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My Story Can Beat Up Your Story: Ten Ways to Toughen Up Your Screenplay from Opening Hook to Knockout Punch
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My Story Can Beat Up Your Story: Ten Ways to Toughen Up Your Screenplay from Opening Hook to Knockout Punch

4.57  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
My Story Can Beat Up Your Story! is the same powerful, easy-to-learn system that industry insiders have used to generate millions of dollars in script sales and ?assignments. In a clear, step-by-step fashion, this book is a fun, eye-opening, ?brain-expanding, and often irreverent guide to writing stories that sell. Covering everything from Heroes to Villains, from Theme to ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Michael Wiese Productions
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Emma Sea
Yup. Good stuff. Thanks, Schechter. Even more thanks to Anyta for reccing it :)

Emily Grossenbacher Pote
May 11, 2015 Emily Grossenbacher Pote rated it really liked it
What I really liked about this book is how it gives you a structure to start with. Writing scenes is not my problem--it's finding a reason why anyone would ever want to read those scenes.

Well done
Sarah Iozzio
Jul 07, 2014 Sarah Iozzio rated it it was amazing
Though intended for screenwriters, this book has done the best job I've encountered explaining what makes a good story structure (I'm a novelist). The author concisely breaks down the three act structure into a coherent progression of plot points to move the story along. He also weaves in other concepts, such as theme and the hero's progression, and he breaks down the roles of supporting characters in the story. The language is accessible and practical- you don't need a Master's Degree to deciph ...more
Roni Loren
May 16, 2013 Roni Loren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, on-writing
I'm a big fan of writing craft books. And in particular, I'm in love with books on screenwriting because I find that those techniques have clicked with my pantser brain more than anything else. I'm practically religious about Save the Cat. So anytime, I pick up a new screenwriting book, I'm hopeful, but usually am not expecting to find anything as helpful as Cat. But this time I was pleasantly surprised.

This is one of those books that has so many great nuggets of information that I feel like I c
Jared Millet
Oct 19, 2012 Jared Millet rated it it was amazing
Excellent, concise, and revelatory. I've been using Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method of story plotting for years, but Schechter takes the development of a main character's (and therefore the story's) journey to the next level. The approach Schechter takes may not be as universal as he claims (some of his examples, particularly his analysis of The Dark Knight, seem a little shoehorned-in), but I'm definitely going to give this outlining and planning method a try for my next project. Schechter ...more
Austin Malone
Mar 14, 2014 Austin Malone rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! A must-have for any fiction author. While the book is ostensibly written for screenwriters, its content is applicable any storytelling medium. Fans of Campbell's Monomyth Theory will see some familiar faces here, but Schechter goes further and not only dissects each of the presented character archetypes, but shows how they interact with each other, and even shows where they appear in the timeline of a well-spun plot. His ideas are well-referenced with deconstructed examples of multipl ...more
Kevin Ikenberry
Oct 14, 2012 Kevin Ikenberry rated it it was amazing
At the recommendation of a friend, I picked up this book while outlining and beginning to write my latest novel. This book is simply fantastic. I cannot say enough about what I learned from this exceptionally easy to read guide to story structure and plot.

Schechter writes with the passion of someone who knows his craft and wants others to succeed.

Believable characters? Check. Solid plot and structure? Check. Fun to read? Check.

Simply one of the best books I've read for writers. Very highly rec
Hannah Givens
Aug 27, 2014 Hannah Givens rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, writing
After reading through this carefully, pencil and novel outline at the ready, I discovered I'm basically following the system already. I take that to mean I’m a genius. In my case, the system is most useful for keeping me on track. Using it means making sure to include all those parts I meant to include. In working through it, you also find yourself thinking about your characters and plot from several different angles, and that's helped me with some structural questions like "Why is this characte ...more
Steven R.
Jan 19, 2014 Steven R. rated it it was amazing
Lou Anders (editor of Pyr books) recommended the book “My Story Can Beat Up Your Story” at a writer’s workshop I attended. It took me a while to get to it, because I’ve read a number of books/articles on story structure and I wasn’t eager to hear the same old thing again. However, it turns out that this isn’t the same old thing. In fact, I’ve just promoted this book on my mental shelves to the number one position for story structure.

I should mention that this book is technically a book on screen
Oct 03, 2015 David rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
Fast easy read with good structural help but the ebook formatting is very poor and My Story Can Beat Up Your Story reads as though it was written by someone who was emotionally still in High School.

But if you are new to writing screenplays, or want to beef up your structural take on storytelling, this would be a good place start...but many of the sentences in this book are emotionally very young and cringe-worthy.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Recommended for those new to the world of screenwriting
Debra Scacciaferro
Nov 15, 2013 Debra Scacciaferro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, on-writing
This is one of the best books on dramatic structure I have read. And it works for novels, not just screenplays.

Have read this book many times. It has helped me figure out how to sustain the middle of my novels, and make the book build towards the ending. I used to start a book, know the ending, but get bogged down in the middle. The author really gives you a method for structuring any story. The section on understanding the dynamics of character relationships is well worth the price.
Cyd Madsen
Sep 05, 2013 Cyd Madsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-craft
I love Jeffrey Schechter. He doesn't take himself too seriously but he's seriously good at teaching the craft of screenwriting. I don't subscribe to formula writing, but I like his approach so much that I bought the Contour software based on his method.

I'd recommend this book for screenwriters and prose writers.
Aug 28, 2013 Nick rated it really liked it
This book describes, wittily and well, a formula for producing a screenplay exactly like Star Wars. If you want to make it in Hollywood as a scriptwriter, then you need a book like this. If you want to make indie films, then save your money and write from the heart, max your credit cards, and make your movie.
Apr 10, 2015 Jilles rated it really liked it
One of the better books about screenplay writing, although you should never take it as a bible. For every rule there is an accepting and the some holds true for everything in this book. But it gives you a great template to work with.
Jazz Virk
Jul 26, 2013 Jazz Virk rated it really liked it
Shelves: screenwriting
With my many books on film and screenwriting, this is the last book I'm buying. That's it. Wasn't expecting much more to appreciate, but I was dead wrong. Another re-read for my next film along with a few other top notch books.
Sean Hannifin
Nov 29, 2012 Sean Hannifin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fantastic book! Full of wonderful insights to help a storyteller lay the foundations for a good story.
May 13, 2013 Juliana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craft
I picked up up this book after a writer friend suggested it. It's great! I loved Save the Cat! but I'm starting to think I like this one more ...
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  • The Dramatic Writer's Companion: Tools to Develop Characters, Cause Scenes, and Build Stories
  • Writing for Emotional Impact: Advanced Dramatic Techniques to Attract, Engage, and Fascinate the Reader from Beginning to End
  • Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434
  • The Word-Loss Diet
  • Break Into Fiction: 11 Steps to Building a Story that Sells
  • Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into... and Out of
  • Holly Lisle's Create A Plot Clinic
  • Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling
  • Screenwriting Tricks For Authors (and Screenwriters!)
  • The Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How to Recognize, Identify, and Define Screenwriting Problems
  • Dialogue: Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue
  • Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story.
  • The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know
  • Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read
  • GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction
  • Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great
  • The Writer's Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages
  • The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller

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