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Making a Good Script Great

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3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  548 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Making a good script great is not just a matter of having a good idea. Nor is it a matter of just putting that good idea down on paper. In scriptwriting, it's not just the writing but also the rewriting that counts. Making a Good Script Great focuses on the rewriting process and offers specific methods to help you craft tighter, stronger, and more workable scripts.

While re
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Paperback, Second Edition, 242 pages
Published 1994 by Samuel French Trade (first published 1987)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,096)
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Muath Aziz
Jan 20, 2016 Muath Aziz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film, borrowed, language, 2015
A good well-organized book for beginners. For someone like me who knows a little even about the Three Act Structure, it was easy to follow up with. It just assumes you've watched many movies already (I just skip reading a deep movie-analysis till I watch it then go back to read this skipped part).

I don't even intend to write scripts but it was helpful to develop a deeper eye and an insight in how writing in general and scripts specifically is done. It's like writing a play but then you have many
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Mary Elizabeth
May 30, 2008 Mary Elizabeth rated it really liked it
What you get here is just a sound, basic text on act structure, turning points, catalysts, and overall narrative cohesion in films and television.

Sure, there are sections on character development and idea development, but I found the content in these sections to be obvious to the point of uselessness. I don't want to mean to the book or to anyone who found it entirely useful, by any means. Certainly, I understand that the whole book's premise is to be a primer on the fundamentals, it's just tha
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Paul Darcy
Jan 09, 2012 Paul Darcy rated it liked it
Shelves: screenplays
As I struggle away on my current movie script I find myself looking through, or in this case completely reading, “how to” movie script books.

I will say this book by Linda Seger certainly has packed a lot of information in ‘Making A Good Script Great’ in not so many pages, and most of it is quite helpful. I read it through in three days and haven’t really had the time to digest all the information yet (I plan on re-reading sections again), but Linda really does seem to know what she is talking ab
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Keri Payton
Script writing is a befuddling thing. Whether you're new to it all or have written a few scripts in your time, everyone is looking for a way to make their writing even grander.

This book was recommended to me by a family friend before I'd even begun to contemplate script writing. So, first off, 'Thank you, John!'

I'd like to clarify before I go any further that although "script" is in the title, the main focus of the book is on writing screenplays. Even so, the writing process for scripts is so ve
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Mitch
Nov 05, 2009 Mitch rated it really liked it
I will preface my review with this fact: I am a structuralist in pretty much everything I do. That being said, this is a pretty good book on screenwriting, focusing on structure. If you don't think structure is important in screenwriting, go find the last five movies to receive bad reviews in your newspaper. I would be surprised if more than one even mentioned the directing or acting. Most of the time bad reviews talk about how a film had holes or the story didn't make sense: structural problems ...more
Ryan Hibbett
Mar 03, 2014 Ryan Hibbett rated it it was ok
Pretty elementary. Seger makes some good suggestions, but there's nothing in here that isn't in every other book. Also, her advice should be taken as "how to make a good script sellable." Her chapter about subplots shows her own hypocrisy when she says every great subplot needs a beginning, middle, and end, then she gives an example where a subplot doesn't have an end. She also says too many subplots can dull down a movie, then she gives AS GOOD AS IT GETS as an example of strong subplots, even ...more
Charles Harris
Mar 29, 2014 Charles Harris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: screenwriters, novice and experienced
Shelves: film-and-tv, writing
One of the classic texts on editing and redrafting. It's excellent on subplots with some interesting breakdowns of the structures of Tootsie and Witness.
Clivemichael
Oct 10, 2015 Clivemichael rated it liked it
Shelves: coaching, writing
Informative, descriptive and prescriptive. Enjoyed the dimensionality and depth of the process via the dissection of various example movies.
John
May 05, 2010 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first screenwriting book I read, and it's the original 80s edition. I only just found out there's a hot-off-the-presses update. I nevertheless found it extremely useful as a beginning screenwriter because it's so clear and concrete. It's also about rewriting, not writing, and as the adage goes, writing is rewriting. So the author's goal is to help you figure out how to make the heart of your story truly manifest in your script. She covers the three-act structure — including subplots, ...more
James
Apr 08, 2012 James rated it really liked it
Very well done presentation of writing a screenplay. Succinct, straight forward, sensible. Often presenting the formulaic basis to screenwriting, but I agree with the author that you must learn the rules before deviating from them.

I have used this analogy before. Picasso mastered color and light so thoroughly he could create a work of art that was photographic in its exactness. Then, knowing he could put on canvas whatever he saw before him or imagined, he went off on incredible explorations of
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Covadonga Mendoza
Breve, al grano, bien explicado, útil, imprescindible para guionistas (y escritores).
Katie
Apr 03, 2014 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: screenwriting
Good starter book for those that have no idea about screenwriting.
Maca Villares
Súper Mega Hiper Great! AGUANTE TOOTSIE!!!
Nick Poniatowski
Oct 08, 2013 Nick Poniatowski rated it really liked it
I first read this book almost 10 years ago, but after reading through it again it's obvious why it's remained so popular. Sure, the example screenplays may be a little dated, but the dissection of story structure and what makes a screenplay tick are as relevant as ever. One of the better how-to screenwriting books I've read. I highly recommend it for beginner screenwriters looking for a primer, as well as for seasoned professionals looking to brush up on the basics.
Andrew Neil
Sep 25, 2014 Andrew Neil rated it liked it
To be honest, this was fine, but not anything terribly special. I read this right after reading McKee's Story, and this book seemed like a warmed-over, thinner version of McKee's book, with less depth. The writing style is also a bit slap-dash.

Definitely it would be useful when you're doing rewrites. But as another reviewer said, it doesn't deliver anything that isn't fairly common in the screenwriting lexicon.
Suzanne Marty
Un bon ouvrage pour apprendre à identifier et résoudre les problèmes d'un scénario : point de vue, construction de la structure, gestion des intrigues secondaires, création de personnages et développement de la courbe dramatique de chacun. (traduit en français)
Jared
Dec 28, 2011 Jared rated it really liked it
Shelves:
Albert Einstein once said that true genius is being able to point out and acknowledge the obvious. This book serves as a great diagnostic tool to find the obvious problems that are wrong with the script. I particularly liked the questions at the end of each chapter. I also really liked the "homework" at the end of each chapter. I definitely plan on following through with each assignment.
Camille
Nov 24, 2012 Camille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whether you are a writer struggling with a script or - like me - curious about the screenwriting process, you will find very useful information in this book. Besides, it reads very easily and is illustrated by specific examples using popular films the reader is likely to have seen, although it is a shame it only focuses on American movies.
Carl Hansen
Jan 11, 2014 Carl Hansen rated it it was amazing
One of the best books ever! Read everything SEGER! I read first edition!
Michele
Aug 27, 2011 Michele rated it liked it
A great book filled with really good tips on writing a script or improving one you've already written. This is one of the only screenplay writing books I've ever read that gives good, practical advice on the crucial art of re-writing and polishing a finished script. Definitely worth reading to any aspiring screenwriter!
Wilson Lanue
Jul 22, 2012 Wilson Lanue rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a great little book for anyone interested in writing for the screen.

There are plenty of other books to tell you that all films are formula and that if you just follow the numbered steps, you can get a movie that works. This is significantly more thoughtful than that, in an industry that seldom is.
Claudia
Jan 01, 2015 Claudia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-ficción, 2014
Un libro excelente no solo para escribir guiones, sino para construir cualquier historia. Aunque quizás es muy superficial en varios temas, las pinceladas que se dan (sobre todo en la construcción de personajes) son básicas pero esenciales.
Endelea
Jun 11, 2011 Endelea rated it it was amazing
The first 22 pages answered nearly every question I had about the two screenplays I have already written. I'm looking forward to another round of rewrites on my projects now, but this time... more on structure
Glenn Bruce
Aug 17, 2012 Glenn Bruce rated it really liked it
This is my second choice reading for my screenwriting class - a terrific easy-to-understand sensible approach to screenwriting. She's a class act and this book will help anyone trying to understand the basics.
Bryan
Apr 10, 2007 Bryan rated it liked it
Shelves: storytelling
A solid, EZ-intro to storycraft. Like a friend said, if the McKee book is a graduate-level thesis, this is the undergrad essay version. Seger followed this up with a book on character creation.
Silverwolf Guild
Nov 05, 2009 Silverwolf Guild rated it it was ok
Shelves: industry-books
Meh. I have read this book before and while it is an overall good tool for beginning screenwriters, I am now in a Master's program and would like a more in-depth study.
Belal Khan
Jul 18, 2013 Belal Khan rated it it was ok
The author isn't a screenwriter herself. She's a consultant, thus take her advice with that context in mind. I'd say the book is worth only for the first few chapters.
Ryan
Sep 11, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: filmmaking
A great book for tightening up your skills. Would also be beneficial to work through the book as you re-write a screenplay.
Brian Misakian
Mar 06, 2012 Brian Misakian rated it really liked it
Straight forward and informative. My go-to source for when I'm stuck on a screenplay and I don't know where to go next.
Julian Stone
Oct 20, 2013 Julian Stone rated it it was amazing
My favorite book ever on screenwriting, and in my opinion the best.
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