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The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script
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The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,547 ratings  ·  85 reviews
This book provides a concise presentation of screenwriting basics. The author shows the correct formats for both screenplays and teleplays, and takes the writer through the writing and marketing process.
Paperback, 386 pages
Published September 15th 2005 by Silman-James Press (first published November 1st 1994)
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,547 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Apr 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Screenwriters - especially new/unsold screenwriters

This is a fantastic addition to the aspiring (and maybe accomplished) screenwriter.

The book is broken down into sections, which author Trottier states you can read in any order (but suggests you go cover to cover if you can). Mostly I read the book from start to finish, but a few sections I skipped and read at the end.

I like that Trottier gives solid examples of proper formatting. But he also gives pointers on how to strengthen a script's story, structure and depth.

I like that Trot
Joe Albanese
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This books tells you everything a beginning screenwriter needs to know abut the screenwriting business. The first half of the book teaches you how to write a great screenplay (how to create characters, story concepts, plot points, etc) along with formatting information so your script looks how people in the industry expect it to look. He then gives a detailed explanation of how to sell your screenplay and really start your writing career. It gives a potential screenwriter great insight into the ...more
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Aspiring screenwriters and film makers
This book is chock-full-o useful information about how to format your scripts. It might seem like a minor point, and you might have the mindset, "Well, my story is so good, they'll overlook any formatting errors." However, professional script readers have tons of scripts cross their desk and if they see a bunch of formatting errors, they are likely to assume they are dealing with an amateur and may toss your script aside unread.

Anyway, Trottier's book is like a Strunk and White's for the screen
Kristin Dow
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An essential guide for aspiring screenwriters that covers all the bases. Easy to read. I'm sticking with novels for now, but this manual helped me get on track and get going on my next book. I'd only suggest that Trottier use more popular/classic movie examples to illustrate his points vs. his own scripts (Like he did so well with Casablanca). A reader can take away more from his point if they know the material.
Jason Luna
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is primarily for people who want to write a screenplay or sell a subsequent screenplay they have written. But it's a testament to David Trottier's writing style that even with this sort of niche format, there's a solid readability that makes this an enjoyable book regardless.

The highlight is when he breaks down the outline elements that go into a script, the beats that come up in screenplays across the board. He makes this a pleasant read by using examples from well known films, blendi
Jozeph Daniel
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
كتاب the screen writer's bible او انجيل السيناريست
اتسمي بالاسم ده لانه بيعتبر من اكتر الكتب المقدسة عند السيناريست او كاتب الفيلم ... لأنه مليان بbasics او قواعد دايما بترَجع اي مؤلف للمسار الصحيح في الكتابة و الاكثر عمقا في خلق الشخصيات و صناعة الحبكة و تعلم التيمة و ال genre
انا اشتريت الكتاب ده من Amazon
لكن عملا بمبدأ التبشير زي ما حصل في الانجيل ... انا كمان هبشر بالكتاب ده جدا
لو اي حد حابب يتعرف علي الكتاب و محتواه يقولي .... هبعتله الفهرس
اما لو عجبك محتوي الكتاب فـ ياريت تقولي انك محتاج
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Simply the best formatting guide for screenplays.

There is not a better resource and it has a permanant place bside my desktop for finding out obscure rules for formatting.

Add on some great advice for writing, and it should be on every writer desk.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I actually read this in 2007 when my sister-in-law converted my novel Rendezvous Rock to a screenplay. Both of us knew nothing about writing a screenplay and found it extremely informative. I recommend it for anyone who is contemplating writing their first screenplay.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Super helpful on formatting!
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-4-stars
Very informative, especially in regards to formatting.
William Adams
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-how-to
This “Bible” is very informative, detailed, well-organized and accessible; more comprehensive and with a wider range of examples than Syd Field’s classic, Screenplay. On the other hand, it’s nearly 500 pages of 8.5” x 11” text, so it’s formidable. Despite that, it wears its organization on its sleeve and is easy to navigate.

Five sections describe and discuss aspects of writing and selling your script. The first three cover basic principles of storytelling, how to write a script (or any compelli
Jurij Fedorov
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
It's nothing you have not read 10 times before if you have already written for some years. But it's not bad. All the essential stuff is here. All the stuff you keep telling beginners about :-)


The book is great for beginners. I wish actually I had read it after writing my first screenplay. There are a lot of really essential tips here. Of course today many of the tips appear on Youtube too. But most of them are still only found in books such as this one. Or websites. And it's very well writte
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book won't write the screenplay for you, but it can do pretty much everything but that. I've always wanted to enter the screenwriting field, but I've always been fearful of the different formats and expectations from fiction. Trottier's Screenwriter's Bible will explain every single one of these details. If I let fear hold me back now, I can't blame it on ignorance. Every aspect of a screenwriting career is covered in this lengthy volume. It is a giant, unwieldy thing, but what do you expec ...more
Kaye Bewley
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one fantastic book. It is written in easy style and formatted logically so college students and embarking on a career in the trade of writing for screen can learn everything they need to know - and I mean everything!

Thankfully, it also applies to those who are well-versed in the business of writing stories that are to be made into movies. You can use it as a 'primer' or reminder, a useful book to dip into when you need a memory jogger.

Divided into five parts it takes you through the ste
Luke Morris
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my textbook for a graduate course in screenwriting. Its organization is a bit confusing, but most of the information is on point. Especially useful are the sections on treatments and screenplay formatting.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very helpful book. I learned so much.

It was fun too. Most of the book is about story, not scriptwriting, but the characters and plots are lifted from films. I have a sense now of a feedback loop, how viewing the story from an eventual script can enhance an original novel.
Dorothy Harris
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It has helped with my scripts
Teri Temme
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great advice and detailed steps to help sell your script.
Martin Felando
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Worked with Mr. Trottier on several of my screenplays, this is an excellent book on screenwriting.
Dana Gricken
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, this is the best book on screenwriting I've ever read.

Very helpful and simple for beginners. I can't wait to use what I've learned.
Kathryn Priestley
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect reference for any beginner screenwriter.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Insightful and a book I will keep with me for as long as I am screenwriting.
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What are the basics of screenwriting? What does a screenplay look like? What’s the basic format and structure? How do you format things like flashbacks?

One of my husband’s co-workers was at square one, he had what he believed was a good idea for a movie, but he didn’t know how to write it. He’d never written or read a script before. I didn't even need to look at my screenwriting books to know exactly which one he'd get the most value from. I went right to this book. The man almost moved cross-c
Al Schmitty
Trottier is giving us bad information: he's saying that there's a major difference between a spec script and a shooting script. There isn't. The one difference is that shooting scripts have scene numbers for production. Directors don't put in camera angles after the script is purchased. When you see a script with every camera angle in it, it's a Continuity Script, assembled after the film is edited, for copyright and other legal records. Working pros know this, but new writers don't.

Trottier's e
Rachel Frank
Bible correctly describes this book. It's dense and huge. While the information was good, the book itself is HUGE. So huge I couldn't comfortable read it and ended up selling the print copy and buying the ebook just so I could manage to hold it. The information was good and as a beginning screenwriter I got some tips from it. Overall, I felt I got better info from Syd Field's Screenplay and Blake Snyder's Save the Cat for the basics. Together those books give you a lot more food for thought and ...more
Kelan O'Connell
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great resource that covers the many aspects of screenwriting, including the realities of the business side that anyone attempting to shop a screenplay must fully understand.

As someone who turned a screenplay into a novel, I recently went back to update and polish the spec my novel was based on. Reading the "Bible" again has been a great refresher course.

If you're already grounded in story structure, screenplay formatting, and the business end of Hollywood, I highly recommend getting David's T
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although no books can completely solidify the experience, from one perspective, of collaborating and producing a film, this manual has all the techniques answering a newbie's questions in regard to screenwriting. If only one book is acquired, or even a first book, for the subject of screenwriting, this should be the first one purchased.

I have two shelves of screenwriting books and manuals, and two of them are this title. One of them is so marked up, highlighted and dog-eared, I keep it for note
Jun 04, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: scriptfrenzoids
Shelves: on-writing
I signed up on to write a screenplay this month. So far I am behind by roughly 2,521 words (the site suggests writing 667 per day to achieve the 20,000 word count by the end of June). Don’t people say that admitting goals publicly (or on goodreads) is a way of motivating/shaming oneself? In any case, this book seems like a good resource so far, though perhaps it’s time to stop reading and try writing (isn’t that always the case?).
Soul Rhallin
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book truly lives up to its title. Any and every question I have had about writing and distributing screenplays, I have found a relevant answer to.

The writing is unfettered by unfamiliar jargon, plainly communicated, ans liberally sprinkled with examples. I keep this book on hand at all times.

If you are new to writing screenplays, or looking for some fresh tools to incorporate into your current screenwriting endeavors, I highly recommend this book.
Michael Lawrence
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Screen Writers
Recommended to Michael by: Evan Somers
This was the textbook I had to buy for my very first screen writing class about 4 years ago. And I still use it for reference from time to time not to mention have I yet to find a better ref style book for Hollywood Screen writing.

This is well written, well organized and easy to understand. The workshop method will have you writing in no time and before you know it you will be finishing a script.

Great book for all screen writers.
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The Screenwriter's Bible, 6th Edition: 1 4 Sep 08, 2014 04:03PM  
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