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Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great
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Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  435 ratings  ·  48 reviews
A lifetime member of the Writer's Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed.
Paperback, 287 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Michael Wiese Productions (first published January 1st 2008)
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Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Abrasive title, but awesome book. If you're interested in writing or selling a screenplay, this book really is a must have. He tells you how to transform and beat your script into shape as well as letting you in on some of the little trade secrets to help you look like you're not a novice. It's also just a fun read, he's very conversational. The only down-side to it is because he is so open, he makes you really understand how difficult it is to break it into the Hollywood industry. So for any ...more
Alexis Johnson
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you only read one book on screenwriting, this one is perfect. It's easy to understand, and the knowledge of the "don'ts" is far more crucial than the "dos." Like everything else, rules can be bent in certain instances, but this book sets excellent groundwork for writing scripts.
Apr 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-writing, favorites
Your Screenplay Sucks - it's true. And here are 100 practical things you can do to fix it. Learn how to brainstorm, take apart, reassemble, and examine each of your characters one by one. There are other books to tell you about formatting and structure - this is the one to read to learn more about voice and great story. Don't be intimidated by the title. It will have you itching to hammer out a rough draft so you have text to play around with.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a package deal with Blake Snyder’s book, Save the Cat. Save the Cat talked a lot about how to develop a screenplay, Your Screenplay Sucks! focuses on the proofreading and rewriting stage. Because so much of writing is rewriting, William M. Akers’ book is an invaluable addition to my collection.
With a sharp sense of humor, Akers gives readers a one hundred item checklist to go through to make sure your screenplay is as flawless as you can make it. So much of breaking into
Jeff Searust
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
By far the best book on writing a screenplay. It will make you question very specific sections of plot and structure. Even if you think all other books on writing and screenwriting are BS, you should read this one. It's not a beat book or a mythic structure book, it's a book on the basics of the mental and physical aspects of writing.

Would give extra stars for Brautigan reference.

Pull your big boy pants up and take out that crappy screenplay. Get an extra ribbon for the typewriter, and start
Tara Calaby
I think my biggest issue with this was reading it right after Save the Cat, given that generally the stuff in here that is most relevant to me is also covered in StC. There's also a lot of content surrounding how to correctly format screenplays, which is, no doubt, very helpful to people writing screenplays, although it was not at all helpful to my novel-writing self. I realise that's what you get when you read books on screenplay writing craft, so I'm not saying it's a negative in a general ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to write a screenplay for a school project. Before I read "Your Screenplay Sucks!", I started typing head first without thinking about the formatting and content. I read this book to see if there were any crucial points I had missed in writing my screenplay, and to my surprise, I had at least one thing to fix or improve on almost every page (from formatting to basic ideas and conflicts). I recommend first just typing out your ideas and once you feel finished, read the book. The ...more
Mahmood Al-yousif
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a depressing book. But it's an absolutely necessarily text book for experienced and aspiring writers.

Within its covers lie important rules of screenwriting - and writing in general - that must be taken into account if one wants to see their story become successful and produced into a film.

A hard slog of a read, the rewards; however, is that you'll hopefully be a better and more aware writer.
Patrick Johns
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Took my first crack at reading about how to write screenplays. A great book that will hone your writing craft for screenwriting and writing a novel. I highly recommend it! Now, time to write that next blockbuster hit.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and informative read. Some really good advice for writers in general, especially a screen writer or short story writer. Lots of humor as well. Check it out.
Christina Green
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most comprehensive, and enjoyable to read, books on screenplays that I've read. Highly recommend.
Remo Williams
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun to read. Sped through it
Kiera D.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A solid read not just for screenwriters, but for writers in general.
Roger Mendoza
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, especially since it gave me some much needed clear advice on writing a great screenplay.
J.F. Ramirez
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I needed a screenwriting book in a crunch to learn about format.

The title just screamed, “Read Me you twerp!”

A seriously good decision.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cinema
Read most of it and will get back to it later, when I need to.
Aiden Colley
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fun to read and easy to understand!
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good read, I learned many new things and gone over stuff I already knew. Worth a read if you are thinking of writing a screenplay.
Alina Yasnaya
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Superbly entertaining and extremely useful, this book is a must-read for every budding screenwriter.
Stephen Arnott
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why I bought this one. I have no real interest in writing a screenplay, but I'm interested in movies and the movie business, and the title grabbed me.

This turned out to be an amusing, entertaining books that has great practical advice for anyone interested in writing a script. More than that, although some of the advice is specific to screenwriting (formatting errors, for example) much of the advice would also be valuable to a novelist.

According to the author, most professional
Clara Mazzi
Aug 24, 2014 rated it liked it
William Akers says the very same things as Blake Snyder but in a far less nice way. "Your Screenplay Sucks" is a kind of a bad copy of Save The Cat. It's useful and right but Mr Akers likes boasting around his (small) success, loves to mark a clear difference between him and "us, the readers, the amateurs, the non-successful" at such an extent that he finishes his book recommending to consider to drop writing. Thought highly contradictory hence confusing, he keeps insisting on clarity and rigor ...more
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I feel like I've just been kicked so royally hard in the balls. This book blew me away. The last two chapters left something to be desired as I feel like Akers got on the highest of high horses, but the final 6 pages are literally highlighted from the top to the bottom.
Why do you write? Honestly why?
It's because YOU MUST.
And that's true of me. So fu**ing true it isn't even funny.
Tons of great tips, I would recommend this to any screenwriter who needs to be slapped with a hand that's been sitting
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I mistakenly went to Hollywood and pitched my script without reading this book. I thought my script was pretty good until I read this book - no wonder why I never got a call back. As I read through this book, I started to get embarrassed thinking what those Hollywood execs must have thought of my script. I imagined it was passed around as a comedic email chain to all the execs and accomplished screenwriters - at least it found a way to be entertaining.

No seriously. This book was highly
Debbie E.
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not just for screenwriters. Writing a fiction novel? Buy this book. Writing a non-fiction novel? Buy this book. The 100 ways checklist shined a light on the holes in my work-in-progress fiction novel. It gave me tons of ideas of (to borrow from the book’s title) “how to make it great”, plus Akers is hysterical so the points will stick with you. I had to keep stoping to jot down ideas it gave me of things to add / change / improve / delete. This book gets an A+ for stirring the creative mind ...more
Jesse Richards
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was excellent, except for two caveats. One was the overemphasis on humility; he kept stressing the point that aspiring writers shouldn't be full of themselves. He did this by constantly insulting the reader. I fully agree with his point, but it was tiresome to read over and over. I got it the first time.

The other problem was the formatting ... he used lots of excerpts, which was great, but they were set in the same font as the regular text. So, at times it was hard to tell whether the
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've heard a lot of similar advice, but this book was organized in a way that resonated with me. While it points out what someone might be doing wrong in the writing of a screenplay, it gives very helpful suggestions.

I recommend any screenwriter trying to launch their career to read this book. Chances are you'll find a tip that will unlock a part of the process of screenwriting that was previously unknown to you. It did for me.

Writers must persevere! And use their spell check!
Jason Hough
Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Runs the gamut of screenplay writing tips: from your story and characters all the way to what kind of chads you should use to bind your finished masterpiece.

I probably enjoyed the second half the most, which covered revisions. He includes lots of before-and-after examples, and explains why the changes were made. Many of the examples are his own work.

I will keep this on my shelf next to Denny Flynn's "How NOT to Write a Screenplay".
Marti King Young
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is full of nuggets of knowledge to stop you from falling into the pitfalls of mistakes that so many other screenwriters find themselves plummeting... When I write my scripts, I keep this and Blake Snyder's SAVE THE CAT by my side for instant reference. And guess what? My movies get made! Aces on the content... Every aspiring screenwriter needs this book, and I tell them so when they send me scripts to provide coverage.
Akers has lots of good advice for the budding screenwriter, but needs greater structure, overall. He repeats the same points a few too many times. True, repetition is the soul of good pedagogy, but he would have a stronger book with more method to the repetition. Still, overall this is a worthy read, and a must for beginners, since Akers has much industry experience to share.
Lyn Davis
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This laugh out loud funny treatise on the various mistakes made by novice screenwriters is a must for any screenwriter to put all in perspective.

Worthwhile investment in a writer's library. Good checklist for the details to be adhered to by someone who wants to have a screenplay read by someone who might produce it. Or if you want a laugh at the peculiarities of the business.

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“Structure 19. You worried about structure when you came up with your story! If you did, I’m sorry. You missed some of the most joyous moments in writing. Character and story come first. Before anything. Certainly before all that Act One, Two, and Three crapola. When you’re teasing out your story, make lots of notes. Think out loud. Talk to a tape recorder. Make more notes. Fill up oceans of 3x5 cards. Write on yellow legal pads. Write on white legal pads. Scribble on napkins or beer coasters. Write down cool stuff for characters to do that may never find its way into the movie. Make notes and more notes and more notes, but do not trouble yourself with structure. Screw structure. Have fun. Structure is for later. For now, just let your incredibly creative mind run free. Make notes about character and plot and story and funny moments and locations you’d like to visit. Tape record dialogue for your” 0 likes
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