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The 21st-Century Screenplay: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Tomorrow's Films

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  53 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The 21st Century Screenplay is the much-expanded successor to the author's Scriptwriting Updated. Many books in one, it offers a comprehensive, highly practical manual of screenwriting from the classic to the avant-garde, from The African Queen and Tootsie, to 21 Grams, Pulp Fiction, Memento and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Whether you want to write short films, ...more
Paperback, 490 pages
Published February 11th 2011 by Silman-James Press (first published October 1st 2010)
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Bobbie Darbyshire
Feb 20, 2015 Bobbie Darbyshire rated it liked it
There are some great ideas and insights buried in this overlong, rambling tome, e.g. that in some successful stories the biggest character is ‘mentor antagonist’ to a paler ‘protagonist’, and that there are successful alternatives to the standard single protagonist 3-act structure that can be analysed and used as templates. Where the book falls down is in trying, unsuccessfully, to be a practical writing guide. Without all the ‘development strategy’ repetition and padding it could have been a wo ...more
Kat Sommers
Sep 26, 2012 Kat Sommers rated it liked it
Only read one chapter, about Flashback and Thwarted Dream narratives, but interesting reading. It helped me with my story for a novel, but it's not that applicable - it's meant for screenplays, and has a focus on the unities and time that doesn't necessarily concern a novel.
Sandra Procházková
Jan 06, 2016 Sandra Procházková rated it really liked it
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Jako nepřítel návodů a příruček, které se nějakým způsobem týkají tvůrčích činností (sem spadá i spousta kuchařek), jsem byla k publikaci hodně skeptická a odmítavá. Po důkladném prolistování a pročtení několika namátkových okruhů jsem si ji pořídila a od té doby se mi stala přítelem. Šikovným způsobem poukazuje na chyby, kterých se mimoděk spousta tvůrců dopouští. Pomáhá tyto dílčí přehmaty odhalovat v co nejranějších fázích, aby se daly snáze opravit. Předkládá doporučení a tipy, ve většině př ...more
Jason Luna
May 25, 2015 Jason Luna rated it it was amazing
This book is a very good and informative read, although it is probably best approached as a manual rather than a fun read.

I say that because Aronson takes great pride in her ability to list what she knows about screenwriting. And she knows a great deal. 450+ pages of simply describing things, or close to that level of specificity. For example, she mentions in passing that more and more people ask her questions about fragmented narratives and multiple protagonist films, challenges to the screenpl
Jan 17, 2016 Apoorva rated it really liked it
Fantastic coverage of narrative structure and plotting. I only docked off one star because the section on dialogue & subtext was given short shrift.
Lily Mulholland
Mar 18, 2016 Lily Mulholland rated it really liked it
The first half of this book is fantastic - Aronson covers modern cinematography and screenwriting more effectively than many of her peers. The second half, clearly designed for dipping in and out of depending on your screenplay structure, was less useful (for me). However, the first half of the book is definitely worth the purchase price.
E Towel
Nov 14, 2014 E Towel rated it it was ok
So repetitive, so repetitive, so repetitive. Badly written with plenty of typos and repetition. Did not need to be 480 pages. Too much repetition. Not enough practical advice. Very repetitious. Ironic, given that the author warns against repetitive plot. Could be 200 pages without all the repetitive repetition.
Melissa Field
Dec 14, 2012 Melissa Field rated it it was amazing
Straight forward and helpful advice on screenplays. You can't teach someone how to write, but this book certainly explains a lot about structure, what works, why certain things fail, and everything in between. It's overall a great book for screenwriters!
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Linda Aronson is a working writer with awards as a scriptwriter, playwright and novelist. She has thirty years experience as a scriptwriter working for companies from Australia, UK, New Zealand and USA. As a scriptwriter, she has credits for feature film, TV series and serials, mini-series, children's TV, radio drama, stage plays, and TV drama-documentary. Her young adult fiction is published in m ...more
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