Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Awe (Book Review. Yeah, I Read, Too. Don't Faint)

I'm still banging my head against the walls, and my desk, and any other surface available. Because I'm still working on a play/screenplay, darn it.

It's not the same as writing a novel. Different structure, different flow. Lots of things I don't know that need to be done.

I'd quit, but I want to do this. And I also have something that's keeping me going. I have "The Complete Book of Scriptwriting" by the master himself, J. Michael Straczynski.

JMS created "Babylon 5" (all bow and go "oooooooohhhhhh" for a few minutes) and he also was a writer and producer on "Murder, She Wrote" (all bow and go "aaawwwww" for a few minutes). So the man knows of what he speaks.

And the book is great. If you're wanting to break into writing for TV, movies or the stage, this is the book to get. And it's understandable. And he gives examples. This is one of the few 'textbooks' I've hit as an adult where I just want to trot over to the easy chair and have a good, long read of it. It's that engaging.

So, while my screenplay itself is inching along (where is the funny? Where? Why is it on hiatus now?), I'm greatly enjoying learning this aspect of 'the craft' (yeah, it sounds funny to me, too, when I use that term). I give this book two big thumbs up, five stars out of five, wholehearted endorsement, and so on. If you're looking to write anything in script form -- and that includes genres other than science fiction and mystery, I must add -- this is the book to get.

Now, it's back to the reading and the attempting and all that for me. The reading is going much more smoothly, but with JMS's book in hand, I shall overcome.

Hey, at least there's some part of this that's enjoyable and educational. I'm willing to call that a win.

G.J. Koch

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I have no interest in writing scripts, I, too, bow at the feet of JMS. Read somewhere that he sketched out the entire 5 year arc of B5 on a napkin in a short period of time. Were I ever to meet him, I would probably do the prostration thing while chanting 'I am not worthy'.


April 4, 2009 at 7:44 PM  
Anonymous WKEverhart said...

Someday I might want to write a screenplay. In fact, I'm sure I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the head's-up on the book.

April 4, 2009 at 9:24 PM  

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