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Since I read #95books every year, and write screenplays, people often ask me what screenwriting books I recommend. This page archives my top recommendations. I will update this page regularly to reflect my reading around the topic. Sign up below and I will email you free format samples so you can see the basic differences between standard screenplay format (for movies and tv drama) and common sitcom format. Further down is my list of recommended books, and a podcast episode where I discuss the Top 11 Screenwriting Books (in my opinion) and the order in which you should read them.

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My Top 11 Screenwriting Books, in reading order

Subscribe to the Writing the Wrong Way podcast and check out the archives!

Where should you start as a beginning screenwriter? In this podcast, I explain my Top 11 Screenwriting Book recommendations, in the order I suggest you read them. My list moves between practical and theory-heavy texts, and I discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of each book. Below the podcast, I link to all of the books. Below all of this, I will update the list with other excellent books and resources, for when you’ve burned through these 11. I will keep updating this page as I keep reading, so keep checking back!

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

The Way of the Screenwriter by Amnon Buchbinder

The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier

Save the Cat! Strikes Back! by Blake Snyder and Cory Milles

Story by Robert McKee

Dialogue by Robert McKee

Writing the Horror Movie by Marc Blake and Sara Bailey

Horror Screenwriting by Devin Watson

Writing the TV Drama Series by Pamela Douglas

Elephant Bucks by Sheldon Bull

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

Additionally, you may be interested in what screenwriting software I recommend.

I highly recommend a podcast on screenwriting called Scriptnotes, by writers John August (best known for working with Tim Burton) and Craig Mazin (writer of the Hangover sequels, among other comedies).

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    Author of stranger fiction. Advocate of writing the wrong way. Poet laureate of Hell.

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