Subtitled: “Breaking In, Hanging On, and Getting It Made.”
Whenever I get interested in a topic, either personally or professionally, I go a little berserk and read everything I can get my hands on that can teach me anything about the subject. As a working screenwriter, former development exec, professional book analyst, and erstwhile screenwriting teacher/coach, I have read just about every screenwriting book that’s out there looking for anything that can help me in any of those roles.
Jim Makichuck’s The Working Writer’s Screenplay is one that I’d recommend to aspiring writers, and if I were still teaching I’d use it as a course textbook. I think he gives a solid introduction to the important concepts in storytelling, some practical advice on technique and execution, and a lot of insight into the way the industry works. It’s been my experience that students, while they say they want to learn all about Hollywood, tend to bristle at the idea that overnight success may take a decade or more. Or that writing TV movies demands just as high a level of craft and technique as any Oscar-winning movie. Just because it’s on Hallmark, doesn’t mean it was easy to write–and I say that out of personal experience. This book is a welcome addition to the screenwriting landscape and any writer would benefit from adding it to their resource shelf.
Many thanks to Jim Makichuk for the review copy.