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The Screenwriter's Workbook

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  656 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Here is your very own hands-on workshop--the book that allows ou to participate in the processes that have made Syd Fields workshops invaluable to beginners and working professionals alike.
Paperback, 211 pages
Published August 1st 1988 by Dell Publishing Company (first published 1984)
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Steev Hise
This is one of many "how to write a script the Hollywood way so you can sell it and make tons o' money" books. It's full of really boring standard rules about how stories and scripts work and what you're supposed to do and they're just all very unconvincing. It was good to read just to kind of get a grasp of what this famous guru thought, but i was pretty skeptical the whole way through.

I think with a lot of books like this, it's for people who really aren't that creative or don't think they ar
Jason Koivu
Quintessential screenwriter's how-to book. I read this a few times and reference it now and then as well. It was a tremendous help in getting me off the ground when I first started writing scripts, especially since I'd never even taken a class in it or had any study on the subject whatsoever.
Mar 06, 2012 Bryan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: writers, screenwriters, anyone who loves making up stories
Recommended to Bryan by: A screenwriting teacher
This book has some great, basic knowledge about what happens in our minds whenever we sit to read, watch, or write a story. I think the author did a great job of simplifying the content and keeping it in line with Aristotle's "Poetics" (upon which this book and all other books about stories are based).

The only thing I don't like about a lot of these books is that they often times put dissolute content in without giving the reader a good warning of when it's coming. Still, on the whole it's a rea
I admit that I didn't read this book in its entirety. I could tell just by flipping through it that it was a bit repetitive, but that doesn't mean that Field doesn't impart useful knowledge. He does! His approach has led to many a successful movie. And I appreciate that he points readers to Aristotle's Poetics in the end notes.
Syd's books are masterfully written guides to screenwriting. You may not know it if you have just read his books, but once you have read a great many writing boks you come to realize that Syd's works are the bible for writing. A must read for anyone who wants to one day hope to sell a screenplay in Hollywood.
I thought it was a great analysis of how movies are put together. I ended up watching DIE HARD after reading it, and I was shocked at how more in-tune I was with the movie. Even if you're not interested in writing, I'd recommend this book.
Adam Morgan
Some useful tips here, but Field just isn't a good writer (on the page). He rambles, digresses, and there isn't much structure to be found. Beginning screenwriters are much better off with McKee.
Syd Field has some great pointers and guidelines. The problem is that all of the goo stuff is buried in the mounds and mounds of expository gunk and constant reiteration of the same phrases and anecdotes (sometimes word for word from this book as well as the two companion works). This would have benefited from a good editor, since he seemed to be afflicted with that same ailment a lot of famous writers get - editors are afraid to touch any word in the manuscript of their "cash cow" and so it lea ...more
Joshua Stephen
This is THE text for aspiring screenplay writers. If one wants to write a screenplay, not just stare at a blank page this is his/her book. I formed my 'system' as informed by the likes of Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Ibsen, Chekhov, Pudovkin, Hitchcock and this book.
J.M.J. Williamson
Having read a number of books on writing and screen writing that have mentioned Syd Field and his approach to story structure, it is interesting to read his thoughts first hand. Much of the content of the book was familiar to me; but Syd Field has his own way of presenting it. The book is packed with practical ideas and guidance. He is very much a believer in the three-act structure. He advocates a four page outline featuring the main plot points in detail and the rest in broad terms to get thin ...more
Luke Stine
Very repetitive and somewhat drawn out but I have definitely stained the pages with my highlighter. Read once through not doing the exercises and plan on going back now doing the end chapter exercises in succession. Overall a good tool for beginners.
A good step by step manual for writing a feature script. I look forward to putting some of his methods into practice.
Ken Riley
Insightful, inspiring and informative, The Screenwriter's Workbook is an invaluable guide to writing and perfecting a screenplay. Finally, after having read half a dozen books on screenwriting, I've found an author who pats his readers (and potential writers) on the back, wishing them good will, rather than one with a stick up his ass too eager to tell them why they'll never make it in Hollywood.
Rodrigo Faria
"Um diretor de cinema pode pegar um grande roteiro e fazer um grande filme. Ou pode pegar um grande roteiro e fazer um filme terrível. Mas não pode pegar um roteiro terrível e fazer um grande filme. Não mesmo."
This supplemented Syd Field's Screenplay, and it was a step-by-step tutorial in writing an actual screenplay.

You won't produce saleable material by following Field's guide. But you'll know HOW to do it if you practice and hone your craft. You have to start somewhere, and this is a great place -- AFTER you've read Screenplay.
This book is literally the EXACT same thing as Field's other books just with more pomposity and self-serving rhetoric and maybe a different heading here and there. Just read his first book, he wrote this (in my opinion) to make money on people who think it will make them better writers, which personally makes me hate it.
Saman Kashi
اين كتاب مكمل كتاب اصلي نويسندهي آن :سيد فيلد" يعني كتاب بسيار معروف و مرجع "چگونه فيلمنامه بنويسيم" است. كتاب خوبي است و همانطور كه گفتم جزو كتابهاي مرجع فيلمنامه نويسي است
ترجمهي آن را آقاي عباس اكبري انجام داده
انتشارات نيلوفر هم با قيمت 2900 تومان به بازار داده
Arijit Saha
A perfect textbook for all the aspiring Screenwriters.
This worbook is full of good information for anyone who writes. It is a book that focuses on screenwriting, but really the tools found here can be used for any genre of writing. It is definitely worth a read.
Mike MacConnell
This is THE book for screenwriting. It totally helped me along and has dramatically improved my screenwriting skills. It's a must have for anyone interested in writing a screenplay
Dani Waggett
This is a super helpful book for any one who is wanting to go into the industry or even if you just want to learn how to structure a script, and have practical exercises to do.
As with all Syd Field's screenwriting books, this work has a lot of good information. However, if you've read one and understood it, you likely don't need to read the others.
Used this book to write my first screenplay. It was a wonderful tool that I recommend someone following step-by-step his first time around. Very, very handy.
Alessandra Nicole
Mar 31, 2008 Alessandra Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: aspiring writers of all kinds
Recommended to Alessandra by: Thomas Wolf
This is an essential book for all writers. Next to Roget's Thesaurus, this book is my constant go-to when I am in the midst of a project.
Ke Huang
The distinctiveness of this book is that it instructs the reader to recognize the bare structure of a script.
Clifford 1-HunDredd  Brown
Tupac read this book and wrote a screenplay called "Live to Tell" as mentioned in "Tupac Resurrection" movie
Helped me start and finish my first screenplay. The exercises work!
This is a complete course in screenwriting. Terrific! A must read.
Ira Livingston
Enjoyed this more than original, it gives insight on problem solving
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  • The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 4th Ed.
  • How to Write Movie in 21 Days
  • Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told
  • Making a Good Script Great
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  • The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: Insiders Secrets from Hollywood's Top Writers
  • Writing Screenplays That Sell: The Complete, Step-By-Step Guide for Writing and Selling to the Movies and TV, from Story Concept to Development Deal
  • How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make
  • Psychology for Screenwriters
  • Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great
  • The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer's Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay
  • Dynamic Characters: How to Create Personalities That Keep Readers Captivated
  • Cinematic Storytelling
  • Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting
  • Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters: Storytelling Secrets from the Greatest Mind in Western Civilization
  • The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller
  • The Five C's of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques
  • 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them
Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting The Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How to Recognize, Identify, and Define Screenwriting Problems Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay The Definitive Guide To Screenwriting Selling a Screenplay: The Screenwriter's Guide to Hollywood

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“Art, he proclaimed, is the process of actually sitting down and doing it. Not talking about doing it, not thinking or fantasizing about doing it, just doing it. Only after the work has been completed and exposed to public view will it be considered a work of “art” or not. If you think you're “an artist” just waiting for that one moment of inspiration to sit down and write, you'll be waiting forever.” 0 likes
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