Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Writing Week (Vol. 4) part 189 - Going Back to Basics

I truly believe it's never to late to give up learning about screenwriting. There are so many books and articles and blogs (ahem) and resources out there about the craft that one could literally devote entire years just to reading about the trade. Maybe decades. I know people feel very differently about the importance and value of reading screenwriting books, but I believe there's a very large difference between how-to books and informative reading. There is also a large argument to be made for, "you can always learn more."

Right now, I'm reading William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade. Somehow, I'd managed to make it this far with having read the sequel, but never this first piece. And if you haven't read it (which I recommend you do), it's not so much a "this is how you write a screenplay" as it is a narrative about what it means to be a screenwriter, both personally and professionally. It's incredibly fascinating, a little gossipy, and a great insider look at Hollywood (albeit the Hollywood of the early 1980s, but still).

To the right of this post, you'll see a whole slew of links to sites, blogs, resources, etc. etc. Check them out. Even though they might state what you already know in the most simplistic ways, sometimes those reminders can be refreshing and useful. If you're stuck on your script, maybe reading something about the craft will get your mind jogging again, or it could be that inspiration you need to get over your block. Whatever the reason is that draws you to these texts - even if it's just to remain as up to date (my case now is not the prime example of this) or conversant in the canonical texts and ideas - it never hurts to go back to the basics. Until you're the one writing said books, as you're struggling to launch that career, it can always be a small boost to read the work of those who have come before.