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The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer's Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay
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The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer's Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  231 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In The Tools of Screenwriting, David Howard and Edward Mabley illuminate the essential elements of cinematic storytelling, and reveal the central principles that all good screenplays share. The authors address questions of dramatic structure, plot, dialogue, character development, setting, imagery, and other crucial topics as they apply to the special art of filmmaking.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 15th 1995 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1993)
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Arina Sydorkina
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Подробная инструкция про то, как написать сценарий. Вот тупо бери и делай. Да, получится кагбе клише. В первый, второй и третий раз. Но на десятом сценарии есть шанс выдать кое-что достойное.
Эта книжка про азы. И хороший сценарий она писать не научит. Но она научит, как сделать первые шаги. Это букварь. Без него не продвинешься вообще никуда.
Tolendi Kaken
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Легко читается, анализы крутые (разбор Гражданина Кейна и Свидетеля просто огонь). Хоть и пришло понимание структуры сценария, такие вещи как единство и анонс будущего требуют дальнейшего изучения. Продолжу "Спасите котика", который был обруган в предисловии.
Emmanuel Oberg
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in screenwriting, especially in relation to Hollywood cinema
Recommended to Emmanuel by: Yves Lavandier, author of the excellent Writing Drama
Howard, one of Frank Daniel’s [renowned screenwriting teacher at Columbia University] former students, wrote this excellent adaptation of Dramatic Construction, An Outline Of Basic Principles without ever meeting Mabley who passed away in 1984.

A fascinating foreword by Gregory McKnight explains the genesis of Mabley’s book up to its publication in 1972; how it went out of print and lay dormant until Daniel discovered it and adopted it for his own use as a teacher, recommending it to his students
Willow Redd
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film
I have read through this book several times now. It is a good, concise guide to the elements of screenplay writing. Apparently the book was adapted from an older text on the craft and elements of stage play writing and was updated by a professor upon his learning that the original was no longer available as a resource for his writing classes.

One thing I really like about this book is the great examples it incorporates from the screenplays of well known movies. The writers go through and analyze
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. Contains a lot of valuable writing concepts, some that I haven't found in other books, some that I have but which are explained better in this book. For example: the basic principle of drama (somebody sympathetic wants something badly and is having trouble getting it), objective vs subjective drama, dramatic irony, main tension, advertising and elements of the future. Etc. It's not a perfect book. For example, the section on dialog was IMO weak and didn't begin to explain w ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: masters-program
I found this to be a fantastic guide to screenwriting, not regarding formats and formulas. If you want format, hit up Judith Haag. If you want formula, stop and go home. There is no 'magic' formula. There is no how to. As for those citing confusion over the film write ups, reviews, and samples-- there is no answer to your question. It is your job to creatively construct your own script. If you want answers to how to do that, then your looking to plagiarize someone's work, or tread the easy route ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a very helpful book. The author first explains elements that are important in a good movie. Then he gives several examples of movies that use these elements well. Unfortunately, I have not watched all of the movies the author recommends. So I skipped the chapters where he would talk about a movie I had not seen. I did not want any spoilers. That is one downfall of the book. Half of it is a spoiler if you have not seen any of the movies he gives examples of. But on the bright side they al ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The only thing I didn't like about this book were the screenplay analyses. First of all, they don't make sense if you haven't seen the films, and second, they identify the elements discussed in the rest of the book but don't effectively show why those elements are there or how they make the screenplay a good one. Basically a waste of 180 pages.

The discussion of the elements themselves -- the tools of screenwriting -- was informative and interesting.
Robin Connelly
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
The book covers aspects that are important to any kind of writing, not just screenwriting. I've never tried screenwriting before, but this book hasn't offered me anything really knew that I haven't ran across in books about novel writing. Ok for beginners.
Mar 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: filmmaking, writing
After reading Story and a slew of other books. I felt I was reading the same thing I already knew, but presented in a lesser form. It does have some good info, but I think there are too many books out there that I would recommend other than this.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: research, technical
More of a reference book, with some good film analysis really. If you come to this expecting to give it a read and know how to write a screenplay, then I feel you are on the wrong track. Otherwise, pretty clear cut on the general elements that make up an effective screenplay.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Yep. Just as influential as it was the first time I read it. So influential that there's no point in writing a review...most of my theoretical writing is a response to this book.
Mike Mercer
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Mike-Nice book I like it
Rodrigo Mendoza
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read for beginning screenwriters. Unpretentious and easy to read, this is a must: it's not about formulas or preconceived equations but about important concepts. Excellent.
Ash Connell
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Sarah Hart
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I attack stories and storytelling from a variety of perspectives. I write both fiction and non-fiction books as well a screenplays. I have written or co-written more than two dozen produced film and television projects which have won a number of national, international and festival awards. I have taught screenwriting for a long time at USC where I am a tenured full professor in the School of Cinem ...more
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