The Tools of Screenwriting
David Howard & Edward Mabley
The Tools of Screenwriting has been the definitive text for screenwriters since the 1970’s. Edward Mabley’s classic guide to dramatic theory has been revised and updated by David Howard, making it the essential book for anyone who studies film or wants to write a screenplay, creating a book that utilises the universal principles of drama and reveals how they are specifically used in screenwriting (using examples from Aristotle to Orson Welles).
Addressing questions of dramatic structure, plot, dialogue, characterisation, setting, imagery and other topics as they apply to filmmaking. This is a practical and comprehensive guide based on experience and what works in classic screenplays. In making individual decisions about each element of the screenplay a writer builds a good story from the ground up. David Howard offers in-depth consideration of the many elements that make up a screenplay, clarifying his lessons through examples from classic films: Annie Hall, Citizen Kane, Some Like It Hot, Rashomon and sex, lies, videotape among many others.
Accessible, clear and practical The Tools of Screenwriting is a working bible for the budding screenwriter. Recognising that story structure is the framework for a successful screenplay David Howard teaches how to incorporate the other elements so that the screenplay takes on a life of its own, creating the emotional connection, spectacle and intellectual stimulation that will impact on an audience.
David Howard’s advice comes from years of experience, and from having taught hundreds of successful writers. He makes film writing accessible to the budding screenwriter, and this informative outline of the screenwriting process provides what can be learned from dramatic theorists and playwrights over the centuries.
Edward Mabley was a writer and director, he taught at New York’s New School for Social Research.
David Howard founded the prestigious graduate screenwriting programme at the University of Southern California. Among the hundreds of students he has taught are the writers of Natural Born Killers, Carla’s Song and My Name is Joe; as well as the writers of TV series such as ER, NYPD Blue and The X-Files.
Souvenir Press also publish David Howard’s How to Build A Great Screenplay.
“The Tools of Screenwriting is the best primer on the craft.”
Frank Pierson, Oscar winning screenwriter of ‘Cool Hand Luke’
“A wonderful and indispensable producer’s guide to story, storytelling and screenwriting.”
Lawrence Turman, producer of ‘The Graduate’
“A clear run down of the tools you’ll need to generate a good screenplay… A worker’s guide… if I ever start teaching on a screenwriting course, I would definitely use this as my core text.”
Screenwriting on the Blog
“Advice to spare within the… pages of this excellent, well-established guide… Once the basics and the ‘tools’ are discussed, the second half of the book then turns to useful analyses of some 16 famous films including foreign language classics like The 400 Blows and Rashomon.”