Reviews - What do customers think about Screenwriting for Teens: The 100 Principles of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know?
Excellent Primer On Screenwriting-Not Only For Teens But Also Adults Aug 27, 2008
Candidly, I have to confess that before I read Christina Hamlett's Screenwriting For Teens: The 100 Principles Of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know, I knew very little about screenwriting. This is not to say that after completing my reading I have become a maven on the subject matter, however, it did give me an excellent introduction into this fascinating and absorbing craft. And perhaps one day, with the tools and techniques Hamlett has provided me in her book, I will sit down and write my first film short.
Hamlett's vast experience as Professional Script Consultant, as well as an author of twenty-four books, one hundred and eighteen plays and musicals, four optioned films and screenwriting columns that have been published throughout the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, was a natural choice to write an instructive manual on screenwriting. Although, the title may imply that the book is for teens, nonetheless, adults will likewise reap a great deal from its enlightening contents.
The text of the book is kept to a minimum and is written in a clear, upbeat, and conversational style that readers will enjoy. Then again, what really makes this book a standout is its simple and effective presentation. Each short chapter consists of a key concept about the craft of screenwriting that is followed by a "Look & Learn" section listing reference films, television shows, books and website. The intention of these lists is to reinforce the principles presented in the chapters. The last part of each chapter entitled, "Brainstormers," is an activity section containing writing exercises that can be used in connection with specific projects or simply a tool to wake up the creative side of your brain.
As an example, if you look to the chapter dealing with the concept that "Conflict Grows Out Of Character," Hamlett stresses that "conflict becomes the intersection where the participants respective intentions, beliefs, and past experiences all crash into each other." In other words, if your story does not have a conflict, your story is basically about nothing. And as mentioned, "conflict cannot emerge from nothing as it needs to be fueled by the clash of wills that occurs whenever people who feel they have nothing in common are forced to share the same space. Bringing these dissimilar personalities together is what ignites the conflict that will then drive the plot."
To reinforce this principle, Hamlett refers to the movie Lethal Weapon where she goes onto explain how conflict is introduced. This is followed by three suggested exercises such as writing about a situation at school or at home where the personalities of you and someone else clash.
Adding to the book's thoroughness is an extensive filmography containing movie titles and the year of their production as well as the lead actors.
The field of intelligent books addressed to teens pertaining to screenwriting is certainly not overpopulated, however, Screenwriting For Teens: The 100 Principles Of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know has now most admirably filled this void.
Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor Bookpleasures
Very good book for beginning filmmaker Aug 17, 2008
My son got this book from the library and was pretty upset when he had to return it. He had to own it. He loves it.
Screenwriting Exercises Apr 17, 2008
In Screenwriting for Teens, Christina inspires young and old to dive into the film craft. The book's depth of information allows for it to transcend the high-school age group. One of the unique aspects of the book is the subject chapter exercises which prove both helpful and challenging. Participating in these exercises will enhance one's film craft. Highly recommending the book.
A pleasing and practical guide for writers! Apr 8, 2008
The idea of any kind of guidebook normally gives me the "ho-hums", but I must admit that this was a pleasant (and educational!)surprise. Christina Hamlett's Screenwriting for Teens is fun to read; it's pleasing and practical and comes across as more of an on-line chat with one's mentor than anything resembling a "how-to" text. And yet, this book is totally to be taken seriously!
Christina Hamlett knows writing, and she knows movies. She also knows how to speak to a young audience (though I feel this book would be invaluable to beginning writers of all ages). And, most importantly, she knows what it takes to make a good start as a writer. Her wise advice? It's all about you and your writing (and reading), NOT about how to make money, achieve fame, and create blockbusters.
Screenwriting for Teens is a nice visual package, as well, both structurally and graphically. I myself wish Ms. Hamlett had been my tutor in high school - she could've taught me how to do a proper outline! This book can be read effectively in its entirety, or section by section; the blocky layout is great for kids, who we all know can be (ahem) a bit impatient. Another plus for kids is the fact that Hamlett's voice is conversational yet professional, and not "teacher-ly". She's not trying to get young people to slog through yet another textbook, after all. This is about real world goals and practice.
Hamlett also offers great advice for beginning writers of all stripes, not just budding screenwriters. For example, she explains the differences between story and plot, how to write for various genres such as comdey, sci-fi, etc. And yet her advice for screenwriters is priceless - my own favorite Hamlett topic is "Characters Shouldn't Use Dialgoue to Explain Things to Each Other That They Already Know" (she proceeds to cite some dialogue from a Harry Potter film, but she's right so we must forgive her).
So, if you are a teen writer or an adult just fumbling around getting started, pick up this book, sit down, and learn, learn, learn! Screenwriting for Teens is enlightening, sensible, and FUN!
A Gem! Mar 11, 2008
Screenwriting for Teens, The 100 Principles of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know, is an in- depth, yet easy to read book for writers of all ages. Christina Hamlett motivates any promising screenwriter, with her humorous writing style and detailed, informative understanding of the craft.
To call the book a complete "how to" manual would be a vast understatement. At the end of each chapter, a section called Brainstorming, provides writing exercises to reinforce the core concepts introduced in the chapter. Also included, is a Look and Learn section that references films, television shows, books and websites that highlight the focal points contained in the chapter.
Offering more than just helpful hints for those with the dreaded "writer's block", Screenwriting for Teens is a comprehensive guidebook that covers all genres. Whether writing a Drama, Comedy, Action Adventure or Sci-Fi Film, this is the book to begin or develop your skills.
It will be first on my recommended reading list for the Screenwriting Program that I will be offering at my local community college. Thanks a million, Ms. Hamlett, for your brilliance and encouragement, supporting all those with the courage and vision to put their pen to paper, move forward and to not give up!