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Making a Good Script Great
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Making a Good Script Great

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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  403 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Making a good script great is more than just a matter of putting a good idea on paper. It requires the working and reworking of that idea. This book takes you through the whole screenwriting process - from initial concept through final rewrite - providing specific methods that will help you craft tighter, stronger, and more saleable scripts. While retaining the invaluable ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published December 16th 1994 by Samuel French Trade,U.S. (first published 1987)
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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
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
Mary Elizabeth
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
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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Ryan Hibbett
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
John
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
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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Katie
Good starter book for those that have no idea about screenwriting.
Nick Poniatowski
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
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
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
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
One of the best books ever! Read everything SEGER! I read first edition!
Michele
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 David Stone
My favorite book ever on screenwriting, and in my opinion the best.
Jill
One of the best books on screenwriting, EVER.
Ceda
Read the David Howard book first, then this one
Jeremy
Script Writing with Dr. David Burke.
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