The problem with all screenplay books is that they are mostly written by people who have either not written a single screenplay themselves or could not sell any of the ones they’ve written.
I do not know of too many successful screenwriters who also write books describing how to do it. They probably do not have the time to do both.
Having said that, I still think we are blessed for all the great variety of screenwriting books that float around. I probably own at least thirty of them in my own private library. They are inspirational and some of them hit certain things right on the head as well.
“How To Write a Movie in 21 Days,” by Viki King is an old classic. It is highly practical, detailed and inspirational. And also just scratches the surface of the great art of screenwriting.
As the book’s title suggests, King claims she can teach you how to write a screenplay in just 3 weeks if you’ve got the gist of it in your heart and mind.
The structure she proposes and her detailed instructions on how to write pages 1, 3, 10, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, and 120 of your script can lead the newbie writers in the right direction.
Here are some of the issues that King also addresses in her well-known book:
How to clarify the idea you don;t quite have yet?
How to tell if your idea is really a movie?
How to move from what you want to say to saying it?
How to stop getting ready and start?
How to pay the rent while paying your dues?
How to keep going when you think you can’t?
If you like movies and screen writing, I’d certainly encourage you to get a copy the “21 Days” and read it cover to cover. You’ll forget most of it by the time you sit before your keyboard and stare at that empty screen. But the stuff that you remember might still benefit you and your great in more ways than one.