Beat by Beat to a Better Script
by Jim Mercurio
No one comes out of a movie talking about script structure. What audiences love and remember about a movie are great scenes, the meaningful moments in a film that reveal character and emotion.
While previous screenwriting guides emphasize story structure at the macro level, The Craft of Scene Writing: Beat by Beat to a Better Script is the first book for screenwriters that focuses entirely on the micro level of writing powerful scenes. Story structure alone does not make a successful screenplay; it is the detailed craftwork of scene writing that breathes life into a story.
In The Craft of Scene Writing, accomplished screenwriter and master writing teacher Jim Mercurio explains the nuts and bolts of how to write emotionally resonant scenes that will elevate a script from ho-hum to extraordinary.
The Craft of Scene Writing analyzes and systematizes the individual elements that create dynamic scenes: beats, conflicts, character moments, specific actions and lines of dialogue. Mercurio demonstrates that every single scene in a script needs to be a story in itself that creates a surprise or reversal. And when a scene incorporates both a twist in the plot and a change in the characters’ internal states, it has the greatest potential to profoundly engage an audience.
The Craft of Scene Writing cites specific examples from popular classic scripts, old and new, to show how great scenes reveal character and advance the story. The Craft of Scene Writing also gives readers practical tools to immediately improve their scenes and scripts.
Writing amazing scenes won’t just make a screenplay a better work of art. Great scenes also make a script more attractive to producers, directors and actors — making a script more likely to sell.
An incredibly detailed exploration of screenwriting technique, The Craft of Scene Writing will help beginning writers to write great scripts and experienced writers to gain a more complete mastery of their craft.
Audience: Professional and aspiring screenwriters, playwrights, fiction writers and other creative storytellers.
About the Author: Jim Mercurio is a writer, author, screenwriter and filmmaker. He has directed or produced five feature films and has helped countless writers as a teacher, story analyst and script doctor. Creative Screenwriting magazine ranked him as one of the top screenplay consultants in the country.
$18.95 US • Trade Paperback • 6″ x 9″ • 400 pages • Index