This was a interesting read. Not just because of the subject matter, but because of the author’s writing style. Film Crit Hulk, if the name is not familiar to you, is a blog/blogger who does film criticism and analysis. The odd bit is that all the posts are done in all caps and in third-person. So is the book. Which took a bit of getting used to, but not as much as I would have thought and it ended up making me pay more attention to what was being said instead of just skimming over the sentences as I occasionally do when reading. I wouldn’t want every book I read to be like this, but it was a cool experiment. The ebook does have a normal version as well, but I’d recommend trying the all-caps version first.
As for the content, it was very well thought out and should be helpful to any writer, not just people who want to write movie or tv scripts. Most of it is pretty high-level what is storytelling musings. Many years ago, I was dabbling in writing stories, trying to create D&D adventures, and reading a book about scriptwriting, and exploring a few other types of writing all more or less in the same couple of months. I discovered that the core of storytelling is the same in each, but the ‘container’ form expresses it in certain ways. Ever since then I’ve had the opinion that learning different types of writing will make you a better writer for whichever format you want to express yourself in. Both because of that, and the fact that this book is pretty much just a ‘how to tell stories’ guide, I’d recommend this book to any writer. It completely avoids the standard stuff I see in writing books over and over again.
The other book of screenwriting I’ve read is The Complete Book Of Scriptwriting by J. Michael Straczynski. Who, it must be said, is still one of my favorite tv writers ever. I still consider Babylon 5 a great example of how to do long-form plot and story in a multi-season television show. It actually had a lot of similar things to say about writing. Seems like the movie and television how-to-write book market has been barely treading water. Which is actually what this book (Screenwriting 101) comments on in passing more than once. How the hollywood culture has been sliding away from supporting good writing.