Recommended Books

Texts on Screenwriting, Storytelling, and Film
All purchases from these links will help support my site. I have read every book on this page, and have not received promotional consideration from any of these authors.

THE ART OF DRAMATIC WRITING: Lajos Egri’s book is one of the essential, foundational books for understanding the structures and mechanisms that build working, effective drama. One of the most useful, important books I’ve ever read.

WRITING THE CHARACTER-CENTERED SCREENPLAY: This book provides a needed counterpoint to writing which always considers structure first. Andrew Horton reminds us that structure can also grow from character.

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE: Walter Murch is a legendary film editor who has worked with many noted directors. His keen insights into editing will deepen your understanding of cinematic storytelling.

REBEL WITHOUT A CREW: One of the all-time great do-it-yourself stories serves as excellent inspiration for all aspiring filmmakers and creators.

EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS: One of my favorite works of film history, which covers the remarkable period of 1970s Hollywood during which the industry was open to new, daring ideas as never before, resulting in some of the best movies ever made.

ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE: Essential reading for all aspiring screenwriters; an autobiographical look at the career of one of the hardest-working screenwriters of the 20th century.

SAVE THE CAT!: The pithy, controversial classic that gives you nothing but the essential elements of screenwriting. Is it the cure or the cause of formulaic filmmaking? You decide!

MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT: Linda Seger is an old-school screenwriting guru, and this book gave me some of my first truly useful insights into the process of screenwriting.

THE ART OF FICTION: This brilliant book will get you thinking about all of the elements of writing that other teachers neglect, from the rhythm of language to the creation of convincing verisimilitude. A must-read.

THE WRITER’S JOURNEY: This is the definitive guide to utilizing Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” paradigm in your own writing.