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David, our Writer in Residence January 20, 2020, 1:34 PM

Five Library Resources to Help Write Your Feature Film

Do you have an idea for the silver screen? Do you want to see your name in the credits? Are you hoping to one day accept your Oscar?

Of course you are! But where do you start? How do you shape your idea into a screenplay? How do you format a script? Well, here are five fantastic resources to get you on your way:

1. The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier

This is a go-to book for any budding screenwriters. It gives you all the ins-and-outs for formatting your screenplay and helps you with those unique technical problems like montages and telephone conversations.

Side bonus: it’s also a great resource on the planning, writing, and selling stages of your script. If you have any interest in being a screenwriter, this should be in your library.

2. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

This is a fantastic book to write Hollywood features. It outlines all the story beats you need to help you get to THE END.

However, be warned: the biggest criticism this book receives is that it sometimes feels too formulaic. Just remember, it’s always best to learn the rules before you start breaking them.

3. The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler

If you like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, this is the book for you. Vogler’s book uses Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces as a jumping-off point to shape your story around the Hero’s Journey.

And don’t limit yourself to thinking this book only works for epic adventures. Its structure can be applied to everything from Unforgiven, A Beautiful Mind, Lost in Translation...or maybe even your next story!

4. Story by Robert McKee

No list is complete without this popular book. McKee’s book is less about formula and more about form, revisiting ideas like the inciting incident, climax, and resolution, and its effect on genre, character, and meaning.

Whether you love or hate this book, McKee’s influence is so large, he even found himself as a character in Spike Jonze’s 2002 film, Adaptation (played perfectly by Brian Cox).

5. Writing a Feature Script workshop

Of course, I saved the best for last!

I’m teaching Writing a Feature Script at the Sunrise Branch on Jan. 21 at 7 pm. The workshop will help you with the tips and tricks to get that movie out of your head and onto the page.

Be sure to come, so you can get working on your movie today!

About Author

David, our Writer in Residence

David Gane is the internationally award-winning co-writer of the Shepherd & Wolfe mystery series. As well, he writes film scripts, poetry, plays, and academic film reviews, and is a sessional lecturer of screenwriting at the University of Regina. You can find out more about him and his co-writer at

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