Books and More

The best way to learn about screenwriting is to read screenplays. You can also learn a lot from books by successful screenwriters and other industry insiders.

Books you should own include:

Book Suggestions

Argentini, Paul. Elements of Style for Screenwriters. Los Angeles: Lone Eagle, 1998. ISBN: 1580650031

Bentley, Eric. The Theory of the Modern Theatre: An Introduction to Modern Theatre and Drama. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976. ISBN: 155783279X

Bill, Tony. Movie Speak: How to Talk Like You Belong on a Film Set. New York: Workman, 2008. ISBN: 9780761143598, 0761143599

Brindle, Mark. The Digital Filmmaking Handbook. New York: Quercus, Random House, 2014. ISBN: 9781623650766, 1623650763

Brown, John Russell. The Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. ISBN: 019212997X

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. 3rd ed., Novato, Calif.: New World Library, 2008. ISBN: 9781577315933

Catron, Louis E. The Elements of Playwriting. New York: Macmillan, 1993. ISBN: 0025229915

Dick, Bernard F. Anatomy of Film. 5th ed., New York:: Bedford/St. Martins, 2004. ISBN: 0312415168

Field, Syd. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. New York: Dell Pub. Co, 1982. ISBN: 0440579198

Flinn, Denny Martin. How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make. Los Angeles: Lone Eagle Pub, 1999. ISBN: 1580650155

Hartnoll, Phyllis., and Enoch. Brater. The Theatre: A Concise History. 3rd ed., Vol. World of art New York: Thames and Hudson, 1998. ISBN: 0500203121

Herbert, Katherine Atwell. The Perfect Screenplay: Writing it and Sellling it. New York: Allworth Press, 2005.

Kenrick, John. Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amateur Theatricals. New York: Alpha, 2006. ISBN: 1592575064

Leipzig, Adam. Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. ISBN: 1319013189

Mamet, David. Writing in Restaurants. New York.: Penguin Books, 1987. ISBN: 0140089810

Mamet, David. Theatre. 1st ed., New York: Faber and Faber, 2010. ISBN: 9780865479289, 0865479283

Mehring, Margaret. The Screenplay: A Blend of Film Form and Content. Boston: Focal Press, 1990. ISBN: 0240800079

Miller, Peter. Author! Screenwriter! How to Succeed as a Writer in New York and Hollywood. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media, 2006. ISBN: 9781593375539, 1593375530

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film: The World of Movies, Media, and Multimedia. 3rd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN: 019503869X

Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey. The Oxford History of World Cinema. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN: 0198112572

Pike, Frank, and Thomas G Dunn. The Playwright’s Handbook. New York: Plume Book, 1996. ISBN: 0452275881

Rannow, Jerry. Writing Television Comedy. New York: Allworth Press, 1999. ISBN: 1581150423

Smiley, Sam, and Norman A. Bert. Playwriting: The Structure of Action. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. ISBN: 0300107242

Snyder, Blake. Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’Ll Ever Need. Studio City, CA: M. Wiese Productions, 2005. ISBN: 1932907009

Snyder, Blake. Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into. And Out of. Los Angeles: Save the Cat! Press, 2009. ISBN: 0984157603

Spencer, Stuart. The Playwright’s Guidebook. New York: Faber and Faber, Inc, 2002. ISBN: 0571199917

Straczynski, J. Michael. The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 1996. 2002. ISBN: 0898795125

Toscan, Richard. Playwriting Seminars 2.0: A Handbook on the Art and Craft of Dramatic Writing With an Introduction to Screenwriting. Franz Press, 2012. ISBN: 0615608213

Trottier, David. The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script. 5th ed., Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 2010. ISBN: 9781935247029, 1935247026