For my doctoral thesis at the Berlin Technical Institute (Technische Universität Berlin) I set up an experiment. The idea was to find out which of the most cited screenwriting how-t0 books (according to Google Scholar) had the best and most efficient advice.
I put each of the following books to a tough test. What actionable advice did it contain?
- Aristotle – The Poetics
- Gottfried E. Lessing – The Hamburg Dramaturgy
- Gustav Freytag – Technique of the Drama
- Gottfried Mueller – Dramaturgy of the Theater and the Film
- Semjon Frejlich – The Dramaturgy of the Film
- Lajos Egri – The Art of Dramatic Writing
- Syd Field – Screenplay. The Foundations of Screenwriting
- Christopher Vogler – The Writer’s Journey
- Robert McKee – Story
- Linda Seger – Making a good Script Great
The result was an ordered list of work instructions on the topics of brainstorming, plot construction, scene construction, dialogue and script revision.
I have called it THE TOOLBOX.
Students were given a writing task (a draft for a television movie, an episode of a crime TV show, an episode for a family drama TV show). Students were divided into groups of 4-6 people.
I exposed each group to one set of rules. I invited the executives of the TV series and series of T movies to evaluate the outcome.
500 students went through the process, 120 outlines were evaluated. The evaluation results were merged with data derived from student’s feedback about the writing process. From this a ranking of rules emerged according to their contribution and usability.
The result is now available to you. Below you will find 10 downloadable documents (for now, tool # 1 is available, Aristotle’s The Poetics – more will be added, so check in often). Each on contains the essential tools extracted from one of the books mentioned earlier.
The idea is of course not to replace the books. The TOOLBOX gives you fast and easy access to some of the best advice on screenwriting ever given. You will find that you relate more to one or two of these amazing teachers, to how they talk about screenplays and writing. In this case you have found your master. You should go and buy the book and start your journey into writing.
If you want instead to go the fast route, check out our services. We will give you the right advice, taken from those books, at the right time and in the right shape and form so that you understand what needs to be done to make your screenplay ready to be sent out into the world.
Use the full potential of the TOOLBOX
Contact us to learn how we use this amazing tool to help you succeed as a writer.
Tool # 1 – Aristotle – The Poetics
“…the nobler ones imitate good actions and those of the good, but the ordinary ones those of the bad.“Aristotle – ca 400 A.D.