Screenwriting Books

An updated list following some great suggestions from screenwriters of books that they’ve found particularly useful.

Poetics by Aristotle

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field

Story by Robert McKee

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant

The Complete Book of Scriptwriting by J Michael Straczynski

Making A Good Script Great by Linda Seger

Into The Woods: A Five Act Journey Into Story by John Yorke

The 21st Century Screenplay by Linda Aronson

The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

Essentials of Screenwriting by Richard Walter

Inside Story by Dara Marks

Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

The Tools of Screenwriting by Howard & Mabley

Writing Screenplays That Sell by Michael Hague

Psychology for Screenwriters by William Indick

The Soul of Screenwriting by Keith Cunningham

On Filmmaking by Alexander Mackendrick (about directing but with great sections on screenwriting)

Alternative Scriptwriting by Ken Dancyger & Jeff Rush

Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapeter by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook (an insight into the creative processes and pressures of showrunning)

The Insider’s Guide to Writing for Television by Julian Friedmann and Christopher Walker (UK focused)

Writing Television Drama by Nicholas Gibbs (UK focused)

Happy reading!


2 responses to “Screenwriting Books

  1. Great list – and I’d like to add two of my all-time favourites:
    Alternative Scriptwriting – Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush (Focal Press) – about the only place you can find serious discussion of either genre or breaking the screenwriting rules –

    And On Film-Making – Alexander Mackendrick, edited by Paul Cronin (Faber & Faber) – nominally about directing but in fact it has some of the best sections on screenwriting anywhere –


  2. Plus “Into The Woods” by John Yorke (my personal favourite)

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