Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The most important book on the shelf

A lot of friends ask me for book recommendations because they know that I love to read, but they also think that I may have some insight on good books because I'm a writer. I don't know if that is necessarily the case, but I try to provide advice when I can. And for writers, there are some books they just cannot live without.

The most important book on my shelf just may be The Hollywood Standard (read my review of the Three Essential Books for Scriptwriters). Not all writers would need this book, but I'm very interested in writing screenplays. The Hollywood Standard is a guide to properly formatting a script so that it should not get thrown in the agent's rejection pile based on those type of errors. It may still end up in that pile, but at least you'll know that it wasn't because you didn't know how to format a telephone call.

I have read a few other scriptwriting books that give advice on how to format, but most of those were also focused on plot structure, scene development, etc. That means that only a few pages in the back could be dedicated to formatting issues. If you want a resource that you'll keep coming back to, I definitely recommend this book. I know that I have kept it on my lap for quick reference whenever I work on one of my scripts.

If you are a writer (script or otherwise), what's your most important book?

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