4 Best Screenwriting Books That Every Aspiring Filmmaker Should Read

Watch the interview from your favorite director!!

Well, chances are high that they will recommend you to write a script or practice screenwriting. The reason is because a film is a script in a true sense. It all starts with a script. Regardless of what kind of cinematic shots are used, or how it’s edited – all of those things won’t matter if we don’t craft a good script.

Here are a few screenwriting books that I recommend to every aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker:

#1 Screenplay – by Syd Field

As the title suggests, Screenplay is about the fundamentals of screenwriting. Think of it like a ‘Screenwriting 101’. I admire the writing style of the writer – Syd Field – clear and simple.

There are a lot of screenwriting books in the market as of today, and every book will add something of value to you as a writer. However, this book remains the must-have on every screenwriter’s shelf, because it helps you learn about the fundamentals – the core that builds the screenplay.

And, don’t get mistaken.

It’s not about formulas, nor about the 3-act structure. Yes, they are an important part of learning screenwriting. However, this book goes much beyond that. And, this book is not a one time read – it’s a reference book. The more you write, the more you should keep coming back to this book and review the script you wrote.

In this way, you’ll be a much better screenwriter.

Screenplay – by Syd Field

#2 The Coffee Break Screenwriter – by Pillar Alessandra

Do you have only 10 minutes a day to write?

Well, this book comes to the rescue. Although this book is targeted to 9-5 job holders (or someone who has less time for writing), I think this book caters to almost all the screenwriters because it follows a practical approach to writing a script.

All the exercise to follow are bite sized and really easy to digest.

However, the most important thing is to use them consistently.

The Coffee-Break Screenwriter

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#3 Save the Cat- by Blake Snyder

This book is another must-have on shelf. It effectively breaks down the genres and beats that every good script tends to follow. Although I don’t believe much in formulas for creative crafts like writing, this book provide you with an ample examples of the pattern that goes into the movies.

It provides you with a template you can follow to write your screenplay.

… this might be particularly helpful when you’re starting out. The best thing about learning screenwriting this way is that you can speed up your writing and the more you write, the more you learn. There’s no doubt on that.

Save the Cat – by Blake Snyder

#4 The Hero With a Thousand Faces – by Joseph Campbell

This book is not about screenwriting, it’s about writing in general. It’s about the story that our ancestors have been telling to us for ages – it’s something that has been there since the beginning of humanity.

Read this book to gain knowledge on what every good story has in common.

The ‘Hero’ in the title does not mean the hero in a filmic sense. It’s about the character and how s/he resolves the conflict along the way. Read the book and you, probably will not be disappointed.

The Hero With a Thousand Faces – by Joseph Campbell

In Conclusion,

Well, writing is a personal experience and books are there to help you along your journey. At the end of the day, it’s you who will craft your story. You can learn about 3-act structure, beat sheets or any other writing methodologies, nevertheless, you’ll probably discover your own style and method along the way – which is closely personal to you.