Monday Morning Editor’s Pick: Screenwriting Structure & Writing Style

To celebrate the launch of Jen Grisanti’s new column Story Structure, I’m sharing my top picks for screenwriting structure and writing style products at The Writers Store:

1. The Screenwriter’s Bible by Dave Trottier – Dave’s book was one of my very first screenwriting resources, and is still one I turn to when I have a question on formatting. It’s always within reach of my desk. It includes useful worksheets, sound marketing advice, sample scenes and treatment, the latest on the new spec style, and more.

2. My Story Can Beat Up Your Story: Ten Ways to Toughen Up Your Screenplay from Opening Hook to Knockout Punch by Jeffrey Alan Schechter – By now, you all know I am a black belt, so anytime I can have my story beat up other stories, I’m in! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jeff in person, and his personality is definitely present on the pages, making this a fun, eye-opening, brain-expanding, and often irreverent guide to writing stories that sell. Covering everything from heroes to villains, from theme to plot points, from cooking up good ideas to a business plan for smart writers, this book forever eliminates that horrible feeling every writer goes through — staring at the blank page and wondering “what comes next?”

3. Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure: Inside Tips from the Writer of Alien, Total Recall & Return of the Living Dead – One of Script’s writers sat down with Diane O’Bannon and Matt Lohr to discuss bringing Dan’s writing tips to life in this book, published after Dan’s death. Once I read the interview, I had to get a copy of the book to learn more. I promise you, it’s as important as Stephen King’s On Writing.

4. On Writing by Stephen King – This book is singlehandedly responsible for launching my freelance writing career and changing my entire philosophy on what “success” means to me as a writer.  It is the #1 must read for any writer, whether you’re a freelancer, novelist or screenwriter.

5. Storyist Software for Mac – We have a new reviewer on ScriptMag’s site, Forris Day Jr., and to launch his reviews, he shared with us his thoughts on Storyist software. After posting the review, I jumped over to the Storyist site and was very impressed with the tutorials. It’s now in my shopping cart to try.

Enjoy this week’s picks!

Editors Picks

jeannevbJeanne Veillette Bowerman is the Editor and Online Community Manager of Script Magazine and a webinar instructor for The Writers Store. She is Co-Founder and moderator of the weekly Twitter screenwriters’ chat, #Scriptchat, and wrote the narrative adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon, former senior national correspondent of The Wall Street Journal. Jeanne also is President of Implicit Productions and consults with writerson how to build and strengthen their online and offline networks as well as face their fears in order to succeed in writing and in personal peace – a screenwriter’s therapist. More information can be found on her blog, ramblings of a recovered insecureaholic. Follow@jeannevb on Twitter.