Holiday Gifts for Screenwriters (Part II - Story and Character)
Million Dollar Screenwriting e-Book -- Chris Soth is a fellow blogger, teacher, and writer, who expounds on 8-sequence method. And he's a nice guy to boot. I will also soon write a review of his 4-DVD set.
Power Structure -- I have not used this software extensively, but I have checked it out. If you're interested in a good organizational tool, this may be it!
Dramatica Pro -- Not for everybody, but a very intriguing (though somewhat cold and mechanical) different approach to screenplay structure.
Dramatica -- The book that started the Dramatica system, and explicates it. Where the software is somewhat automated, this book is more of a do-it-yourself take on the material.
Crafty Screenwriting -- Another product I need to write a review on soon. Alex Epstein's excellent book on writing scripts that get made. I am a big fan of his philosophy, having long viewed myself as more of a craftsman than an artist.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves -- Not strictly about screenwriting, but an entertaining book about writing in general. This is for all the stickler grammarians out there!
Chinatown -- Another of the greatest films ever made, and a long-time favorite of mine. Towne does a masterful job of building his story slowly, but deliberately, while maintaining a subtlety throughout.
Pulp Fiction -- For anyone interested in taking a few more chances with their structure. Examine this script, pull it apart, and see what makes the various storylines tick!
Memento -- Another one worth studying for its audacious structure. Here the storyline is less convoluted, but is equally intricately detailed.
Character Pro -- You all know how much I love the Enneagram personality typing system. This software helps you build characters utilizing that system. I've only looked it over a bit, and have not used it extensively, but I enjoyed what I saw of it.
The Literary Enneagram -- An excellent book that uses well-known characters from literature to illustrate the various types and subtypes. Excerpts from many novels and plays offers a window on each personality.
The Writer's Guide to Character Traits -- A more psychologically based study of personality types. This book looks at different character types, and examines likely childhoods, jobs, and potential psychiatric disorders, among other things.
Network -- More than just a biting satire about broadcasting and the media, Chayefsky's excellent screenplay also delivered incisive portraits of madness, greed, and duplicity.
Taxi Driver -- Unlike many of Scorsese's other films, this one was primarily a character study, in this case focusing on paranoia and madness. Schrader's screenplay is lyrically poetic, and utterly moving.
Annie Hall -- I've never got why people consider this a romantic comedy. Though it's certainly a comedy, and focuses on love and relationships, that's where the comparisons end. Maybe it is a tragicomic romance. Regardless, it works as a character study of its humorously neurotic protagonist.
Tags: holiday+gifts, screenwriters, story+structure, character+development