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The Screenwriter's Workbook

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  845 Ratings  ·  40 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
Oct 15, 2008 Steev Hise rated it it was ok
Shelves: filmmaking, own-it
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
Nov 26, 2008 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-to, writing
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.
May 04, 2011 Bryan rated it liked it
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
Jul 24, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 02, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, 2010, nonfiction
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.
George Spirakis
Jan 12, 2016 George Spirakis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Πραγματικό εργαλείο.
Adam Morgan
Feb 03, 2009 Adam Morgan rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfic
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.
Ανδρέας Κριτσιμάς
Η βίβλος του σεναρίου.
Jan 15, 2016 Zoe rated it did not like it
I'll preface this by saying that I read a very old edition of this book. I had the opportunity to flip through the most recent edition, and it actually looked very different. The organization looked like it might have been improved and the text was different. So, if you do pick up this book, maybe go for the newer one and you'll have better luck?

As for the copy that I read, the writing was confusing. I felt that there was good information there, but I really had to sift for it. The examples of
Sean McElhiney
Jan 20, 2016 Sean McElhiney rated it it was amazing
Back in the late nineties I wrote eighty-plus pages of an aimless screenplay, carried it to a writers conference in San Luis Obispo, CA, where I expected to be showered with praise, but was instead introduced to this work by Syd Field. (I wish I could remember the name of the woman who taught the course there. She was a script doctor who did some uncredited work on The Santa Clause, I remember she said, kicking herself for declining credit when it was offered).

There are so many arguments out th
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
J.M.J. Williamson
Aug 10, 2013 J.M.J. Williamson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
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
Ken Riley
Nov 25, 2013 Ken Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 01, 2013 Thomas rated it did not like it
Shelves: writing
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.
Sep 17, 2012 Cory rated it really liked it
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.
Luke Stine
Jun 15, 2015 Luke Stine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rodrigo Faria
Dec 07, 2014 Rodrigo Faria rated it really liked it
"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."
Mar 17, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
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.
Joshua Stephen
Mar 24, 2015 Joshua Stephen rated it it was amazing
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.
Natasha Marie Marie
Jan 30, 2017 Natasha Marie Marie rated it it was amazing
This book is invaluable! Not only for screenwriters but to writer's in general. With Syd Field's guidance the reader is able to see how to get the meat from their story. How to take a singular, small, unorganized idea and turn it into a mountain. I can't wait to read his other books!
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
May 29, 2014 Imran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: filmbooks
A good step by step manual for writing a feature script. I look forward to putting some of his methods into practice.
Dani Waggett
Dec 06, 2014 Dani Waggett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 09, 2011 Ke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The distinctiveness of this book is that it instructs the reader to recognize the bare structure of a script.
Oct 25, 2010 Eric rated it liked it
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.
Dec 20, 2007 Benam added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1
Jul 03, 2008 Tracey rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing
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.
Clifford OneHundredd™ Brown
Tupac read this book and wrote a screenplay called "Live to Tell" as mentioned in "Tupac Resurrection" movie
Mike MacConnell
Feb 18, 2008 Mike MacConnell rated it it was amazing
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
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Sydney Alvin Field was an American screenwriting guru who wrote several books on the subject of screenwriting. He also conducted workshops and seminars on the subject of producing salable screenplays. Hollywood film producers have increasingly used his ideas on structure as a guideline to a proposed screenplay's potential.
More about Syd Field...

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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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