Writer/director Eric Heisserer has collected 150 specific exercises to help screenwriters develop and hone their skills in dialogue, character, story, idea generation, and rewriting.
Hi. I'm Eric, and I'm a working screenwriter, which is a dressed-up way of saying it's how I pay the rent. I started writing for the chance at paying the rent with it about fifteen years ago (oh god, that's a long time, I was such a derp), and during that long, slow crawl uphill to professional status I learned a ton of tricks and tests to help me improve my craft, including ways to find my own unique voice, and methods to break through writer's block.
A few years ago I began sharing these writing challenges on Twitter (@HIGHzurrer) and gained a healthy number of followers who were just here for the "writing insight porn" if you know what I mean. This book contains my favorite challenges from that collection, plus a few dozen new ones I've learned since then.
To be honest, the book is going to be as much a reference document for myself as I hope it will be for you, so here it is. We're in this together.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Unlike the many "secret formula" screenwriting manuals for sale, Eric presents writing exercises to improve your writing and fire your imagination. There are no charts here, no after-the-fact film analyses, but rather simple, fun exercises that can help you become a better writer and an implicit understanding that becoming a better writer is the only thing that matters. Heisserer should know, he's lived the career of a screenwriter (unlike most).
The "secret" to being a better screenwriter is to become a better writer. But it's tricky to spin that into a bestselling book. So we have shelves and shelves of books postulating various theories about screenplays and films and writing and the creative process and personal anecdotes. The condensation is generally a very basic foundation. Valuable but not terribly practical.
Eric presents a practical set of exercises that can help improve one's craft and work one's creative muscles. The stuff of becoming a better writer.
There are a lot of books out there that will tell you about writing screenplays. How to structure them, how to create characters, how many brads to use... But this is a book that will tell you how to write. How to hone your craft and develop your own voice. And that makes it both unique and a must for any aspiring (or existing) screenwriter's library. Heisserer lays out a regimen of writing tasks that will make you a better writer. Pick and choose; it's a buffet. And you're sure to leave the table well nourished!
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