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Classifieds » Next Level Screenwriting: Insights, Ideas and Inspiration [...]

Classifieds » Next Level Screenwriting: Insights, Ideas and Inspiration [...]

Next Level Screenwriting: Insights, Ideas and Inspiration [...]


Next Level Screenwriting
Insights, Ideas and Inspiration for the Intermediate Screenwriter, 1st Edition
By David Landau, David Bennett Carren

152 pages

Next Level Screenwriting is an intermediate screenwriting book, for those that have already learned the basics of screenwriting, written a screenplay or two and want to bring their writing and stories to the next level.

Each chapter of the book examines a specific aspect of screenwriting, such as character, dialogue and theme, and then provides the reader with ideas, tips and inspiration to apply to their own writing. Rather than being another “how to” book, this volume features a variety of case studies and challenging exercises throughout – derived from a broad selection of successful feature films and TV shows from the 1940s to the present day – to help spark the imagination of the writer as they work through different styles and approaches of screenwriting.

An absolute must-read for any screenwriter wanting to improve their writing and storytelling skills.


‘Whether you’re writing your first script or your twentieth, this book will help you take your screenplay to the next level. An absorbing read – great examples and explanations from well-known films and television shows, all with practical applications to your own work!’

—Anna Weinstein, Series Editor, PERFORM: Succeeding as a Creative Professional, and Screenwriting Instructor, Auburn University

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Don’t be afraid of Genre – keeping your promise to your viewer
    Enjoying the Genre
    Crossing Genres
    A Final Note
Chapter 2: The Write Approach – Finding how to approach telling your story and the point of attach
    Motivated Style
    The Internal Approach
    Maintaining an Established Style
    Style that fits the Genre
Chapter 3: Character depth – Thinking about more layered characters and their motivations
    Character Motivation
    the Character Mask
    Humor as Character
    the Other Character Change
    Television Characters
Chapter 4: Dialogue that does more than further the plot
    A Distinct Voice
    Attitude Dialogue
    Period Dialogue
    Dialogue that Reveals Character
    Poetic dialog
    Contemporary Dialogue
    When Talk is Action
Chapter 5: Poetic Description – Writing your settings can be as creative as writing your story
    Choosing Your Words
    Describing for the Mind’s Eye
    Writing for the Reader
    Humorously Said
Chapter 6: Finding the Theme – Discovering what your writing is all about
    Popular Movies have Themes
    Shared Themes of Westerns & Horror
    We have met the Enemy and they are us
    The Stronger the Theme the Stronger the Story
    Even Comedy has a Theme
    The Naked Theme
Chapter 7; First Person Narrative Screenwriting – Writing voice over narration and found footage stories
    Narration that isn’t a Crutch
    Hardboiled Wit Narration
    Found Footage as First Person
Chapter 8: Dealing with Multiple Protagonist Syndrome or Navigating the ensemble screenplay
    Ensemble vs Episodic
    Linking Stories
    Playing with Time
    Ensemble Characters
    Reoccurring Locations
    The Ensemble Anchor
    Ensemble in the Park
    The Trouble with Ensemble
Chapter 9: Based on True Events & Research – Writing the core of the truth without being boring
    Adapting History
    Free yourself from the Truth
    Find a Special Event in History
    Find a Special Place in History
    Research that Works for You
    This All Applies to Television
Chapter 10: Set-up, Pay-off and the Twist – Writing in things that go around and came around
    Twilight Zone Set-up/Pay-off
    Twist Ending Set-up/Pay-off
    Character Character Character
    Twists in TV
    Comedy Set-up/Pay-off
    The Aristotle Connection
Chapter 11: Writing for a Budget – Writing screenplays under budget constraints
    Micro-budget Feature
    Independent Low Budget
    Hollywood low budget
    Limited budget TV
Chapter 12: Rewriting: The Pain and the Gain
    Working in backstory
    Development Rewrite
    Production Rewrite
    Post Production Rewrite
    A Note on Taking Notes
    Three Tricks to Note Taking
Chapter 13: Wrote the Script, Now What?
    Producers and Agents
    They Call it Hollywood
    Make it Yourself
    Low Budget Independents
    How and How Much
    Show Me the Money – in the Movies
    Show Me the Money – in Television
    Don’t Undo Your Sale

About the Authors

David Landau is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright with seven plays published and is the author of the books Lighting for Cinematography and Film Noir Production in addition to numerous articles on screenwriting for such magazines as Script, Screenwriter’s Monthly, Student Filmmakers Magazine and HD ProGuide. His feature screenwriting credits include Murder at Café Noir and Dark Tarot. David earned his MFA in Screenwriting from Goddard College and is a full Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is also a member of the Dramatists Guild and the University Film & Video Association.

David Bennett Carren is an award-winning screenwriter whose work includes numerous episodes for such television shows as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stargate SG1, Martial Law, Dennis the Menace, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles among others. His feature films include Mr. Hell and Waiting for Sandoval, and he was the writer/director on the feature film The Red Queen. A member of the Writers Guild of America and the University Film & Video Association, David earned his MFA in Screenwriting from Spalding University and is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where he is the Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre.