The Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How To Recognize, Identify, And Define Screenwriting Problems

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The Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How To Recognize, Identify, And Define Screenwriting Problems

by Syd Field

Random House Publishing Group | February 17, 1998 | Trade Paperback

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All writing is rewriting. But what do you change, and how do you change it? All screenplays have problems. They happened to Die Hard: With a Vengeance and Broken Arrow-and didn''t get fixed, leaving the films flawed. They nearly shelved Platoon-until Oliver Stone rewrote the first ten pages and created a classic. They happen to every screenwriter. But good writers see their problems as a springboard to creativity. Now bestselling author Syd Field, who works on over 1,000 screenplays a year, tells you step-by-step how to identify and fix common screenwriting problems, providing the professional secrets that make movies brilliant-secrets that can make your screenplay one headed for success...or even Cannes. Learn how to:

•Understand what makes great stories work
•Make your screenplay work in the first ten pages, using Thelma & Louise and Dances With Wolves as models
•Use a "dream assignment" to let your creative self break free overnight
•Make action build character, the way Quentin Tarantino does
•Recover when you hit the "wall"-and overcome writer''s block forever

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 3.23 × 2.04 × 0.3 in

Published: February 17, 1998

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0440504910

ISBN - 13: 9780440504917

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– More About This Product –

The Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How To Recognize, Identify, And Define Screenwriting Problems

by Syd Field

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 3.23 × 2.04 × 0.3 in

Published: February 17, 1998

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0440504910

ISBN - 13: 9780440504917

Read from the Book

When I first started thinking about writing this book, I wanted to find some kind of tool that the screenwriter could use in order to recognize and define various problems of screenwriting.  But as I began writing, I became aware that I was really writing about the solutions to various problems, and not really identifying them.  It just didn''t work.  So I began to rethink my approach.  To solve any kind of a problem means you have to be able to recognize it, identify it, and then define it; only in that way can any problem really be solved. The more I began thinking about the "problem," the more it became clear that most screenwriters don''t know exactly what the problem really is.  There''s a vague and somewhat tenuous feeling somewhere that something is not working; either the plot is too thin or too thick; or the character is too strong or too  weak; or there''s not enough action, or the character disappears off the page, or the story is told all in dialogue. So I began analyzing the Problem-Solving process.  The only way I could  make this book work, I realized, was to recognize and define the various   symptoms of the problem, very much the way a medical doctor isolates the various symptoms of his patients before he can treat the disease.  When I approached the Problem-Solving process from this point  of view (and it is a process), I began to see that
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From the Publisher

All writing is rewriting. But what do you change, and how do you change it? All screenplays have problems. They happened to Die Hard: With a Vengeance and Broken Arrow-and didn''t get fixed, leaving the films flawed. They nearly shelved Platoon-until Oliver Stone rewrote the first ten pages and created a classic. They happen to every screenwriter. But good writers see their problems as a springboard to creativity. Now bestselling author Syd Field, who works on over 1,000 screenplays a year, tells you step-by-step how to identify and fix common screenwriting problems, providing the professional secrets that make movies brilliant-secrets that can make your screenplay one headed for success...or even Cannes. Learn how to:

•Understand what makes great stories work
•Make your screenplay work in the first ten pages, using Thelma & Louise and Dances With Wolves as models
•Use a "dream assignment" to let your creative self break free overnight
•Make action build character, the way Quentin Tarantino does
•Recover when you hit the "wall"-and overcome writer''s block forever

From the Jacket

With examples from Pulp Fiction, How to Make an American Quilt, The Shawshank Redemption, Crimson Tide, Broken Arrow...and more of Hollywood's biggest hits

"The most sought-after screenwriting teacher in the world."-The Hollywood Reporter

"If I were writing screenplays...I would carry Syd Field around in my back pocket wherever I went."-Steven Bochco, writerproducerdirector, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue

"I based Like Water For Chocolate on what i learned in Syd's books. Before, I always felt structure imprisoned me, but what I learned was structure really freed me to focus on the story."-Laura Esquivel

About the Author

Syd Field is a screenwriter, producer, teacher, international lecturer, and author of the bestselling books Screenplay, The Screenwriter''s Workbook, Selling a Screenplay, and Four Screenplays. Published in 1982, Screenplay has been translated into sixteen languages, and is used in more than 250 colleges and universities across the country. At present he is creative consultant to the governments of Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Austria, and South Africa, and has been a script consultant for Roland Jaffe''s film production company, for Alfonso Arau and Laura Esquivel on Like Water for Chocolate, and for Tri-Star Pictures. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

From Our Editors

Olive Stone had to re-write the first 10 pages of Platoon before the project could go ahead. Like every good screenwriter, Stone took his problems as a springboard to creativity. For aspiring and seasoned professional screenwriters alike, Syd Field, one of the most respected screenwriting teachers in the universe, offers the ultimate trouble-shooting guide to screenwriting. The Screenwriter's Guide to Problem Solving: How to Recognize, Identify and Define Screenwriting Problems expertly illustrates what makes a screenplay work; how Quentin Tarantino makes action define character; how to overcome writer's block; and so much more.

Editorial Reviews

With examples from Pulp Fiction, How to Make an American Quilt, The Shawshank Redemption, Crimson Tide, Broken Arrow...and more of Hollywood''s biggest hits

"The most sought-after screenwriting teacher in the world."-The Hollywood Reporter

"If I were writing screenplays...I would carry Syd Field around in my back pocket wherever I went."-Steven Bochco, writerproducerdirector, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue

"I based Like Water For Chocolate on what i learned in Syd''s books. Before, I always felt structure imprisoned me, but what I learned was structure really freed me to focus on the story."-Laura Esquivel
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