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The Screenwriter’s Roadmap

Book Description

Finally, a GPS system for screenwriters!

The potentially long and arduous journey of writing a screenplay was just made easier to navigate with The Screenwriter's Roadmap. Avoid the wrong turns, dead ends, gaping p(l)otholes, and other obstacles that result in frustration , wasted time, and wasted energy. The Screenwriter's Roadmap keeps you on track and helps you reach your destination- a finished, professional quality screenplay.

Neil Landau, a successful Hollywood screenwriter and script doctor with over 2 decades of experience, provides you with 21 Guideposts, that if implemented, will help you nail down your screenplay's story structure, deepen its character arcs, bolster stakes, heighten suspense, and diagnose and repair its potential weaknesses. These Guideposts are based on field-tested, in-the-trenches experiences that have been proven to work.

The Guideposts are augmented by interactive exercises, end of chapter "homework" assignments, examples from the latest blockbusters, as well as over 20 interviews with some of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters and directors, including David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel), David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Panic Room, War of the Worlds, Angels & Demons), Melissa Rosenberg (The Twilight Saga: Twilight, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: EclipseThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Dexter (TV)), and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Insider, Munich, The Good Shepherd, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close).


Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  7. Foreword
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. 1 What’s the Catch?
    1. Clarify the Central Conflict of Your Premise
    2. Interview: Tony Gilroy
  10. 2 Why Are We Here?
    1. Think of Setting and Time Period as Another Character in Your Screenplay
    2. Interview: Jane Anderson
  11. 3 Who Are We Rooting For?
    1. Create an Iconic Protagonist with a Core Contradiction
    2. Interview: Steven Conrad
  12. 4 What’s the Point (of View)?
    1. Add Dimension to Characters via POV, Subtext and Dialogue
    2. Interview: Scott Z. Burns
  13. 5 What’s at Stake?
    1. Give Your Protagonist Something to Win and Something to Lose
    2. Interview: Sheldon Turner
  14. 6 What’s the Kryptonite?
    1. Determine Your Protagonist’s Most Significant Weakness (Achilles’ Heel)
    2. Interview: Susannah Grant
  15. 7 Who’s the Bad Guy?
    1. Inject a Potent Antagonistic Force
    2. Interview: Stuart Beattie
  16. 8 What’s the Structural Blueprint?
    1. Draft the Architectural Foundation
    2. Interview: Richard LaGravenese
  17. 9 What’s the Spark?
    1. Hook Your Audience with an “Inciting Incident”
    2. Interview: Ed Solomon
  18. 10 What’s the Trap?
    1. Plunge Your Protagonist into Crisis at the End of Act One
    2. Interview: Carl Ellsworth
  19. 11 What’s the Curveball?
    1. Ratchet Up the Stakes at the Midpoint of Act Two
    2. Interview: Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
  20. 12 What’s the “Aha” Moment?
    1. Position Your Protagonist at a Crossroads at the End of Act Two
    2. Interview: Jose Rivera
  21. 13 What’s the Rush?
    1. Set the Clock Ticking
    2. Interview: David Koepp
  22. 14 What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen?
    1. Push Your Protagonist to the Edge at the Climax
    2. Interview: David S. Goyer
  23. 15 Where Are We Going with All This?
    1. Pay Off the Setups
    2. Interview: Laeta Kalogridis
  24. 16 How Did We End Up Here?
    1. Crafting the Inevitable Conclusion
    2. Interview: Billy Ray
  25. 17 What’s the Missing Piece?
    1. Infuse Your Story with a Central Mystery
    2. Interview: Andrew Kevin Walker
  26. 18 What’s the Movie Really About?
    1. Illuminate the Central Thematic Question
    2. Interview: Eric Roth
  27. 19 Where Is the Heat?
    1. Fuel and Stoke the Dramatic Fire
    2. Interview: Melissa Rosenberg
  28. 20 What’s the Rush?
    1. Connect to the Emotional Core of Your Characters
    2. Interview: Guillermo Arriaga
  29. 21 What’s Wrong with This Picture?
    1. Rewrites: Revise and Refine Your Intention and Vision
    2. Interview: Jeff Nathanson
  30. About the Authors
  31. Index