Before I launch into some thoughts about writing in the next couple days I thought I'd put a list together of books and resources.
There are so many books now... I've not read a lot of them - especially any written in the last five years - but this list will make for a fine self study writing course.
Story- Robert McKee. This book helps to define what story is.
Adventures in the ScreenTrade-
William Goldman. This is not a very academic book, but you will learn a great deal from it despite being entertained. It actually teaches you some great writing concepts while demonstrating them in his own writing.
Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing -
Richard Walter. This book could be replace with or augmented by a number of books including on by Lew Hunter. I think it's good to get this perspective on scrīptwriting.
Making a Good scrīpt Great -
Linda Seger "All writing is rewriting" it is often said. You must have the ability to look at your material as a work in progress and I think this book helps underscore how to look at your material from that perspective and how to improve it.
Aristotle. It's a short book whcih you should have read at some point because people will refer to it and you should know what they mean. A lot of the ideas are antiquated, but I think it's good to think about them anyway.
Hero with a Thousand Faces -
Joseph Campbell. Campbell studied mythology in various cultures through out history and came up with a formula which is so obsessively followed by most studio exectuives, it's a little scary. But you must know his theories if you want to write. There are entire film courses dedicated to showing how to step by step make your stories into this same paradigm. I do not perscribe to that as a good idea - but that does not mean this isn't a great book.
The Art of Dramatic Writing-
Lejos Egri. Frankly, I find this book a little long winded and boring. Some people find it their favorite writing book. I think what it does do is underscore how important character development is in writing. So, I put it on this list conditionally in that I think the information is important but I wish it were about 1/5 the verbage.
Stealing Fire From the Gods -
James Bonnet. I love this book. I think it is the first time since Joseph Campbell that someone is presenting a trutly unique perspective on the question of "what is story." Just when I thought I could not reead one more original theory on writing, i found this book and was very inspired by it.
Also - you need to read and think about screenplays. Lots of them. Good ones, bad ones - tons of them... Here are some free resources for that:
http://wordplayer.com/ These guys are pretty famous writers now. They have a very large free archive of articles on writing. IF ANIMATION IS YOUR THING - there is no better US writing source than these guys.
http://scrīptsecrets.net/ This guy is great at making the nuts and bolts of writing simple to understand. There is a lot of free information here.
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