Before anyone worries, I haven’t suddenly decided to take up screenwriting. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting was recommended to me because I’ve been working on scripts for math video tutorials and a graphic novel, and I can understand why it was recommended to me.
Through examples from the same seven movies (I now never have to watch Chinatown thanks to this book!), Syd Field covers the basic layout of a screenplay, and then offers suggestions and tips for how to develop an industry-standard screenplay. For those aspiring to sell their screenplays, there is even a chapter dedicated to doing just that!
I took a lot of notes on structure and the role of the writer in the script. Much of what Field covers can be used by writers creating just about anything. You just have to tweak bits of the paradigm to make it work. I’m already looking at how to apply some of the advice to the graphic novel script. His revising suggestions will also help me as I tackle the two oversized editing jobs sitting in my to-do list (one of which people have been asking me about, the other one should apparently go gather a pile of rejection letters).
If you write, regardless of what you write, you should thumb through this one. (Me? After I finish the three books on my shelf, I should ban myself from reading another writing book.)