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What Do You Think About A Book?

Book Pic 1I can’t get a single producer in Hollywood on the phone which means yes, Rob, the Holidays have begun. Over the November – December break I’m going to be writing shorter pieces so that Nancy Bates doesn’t have to weed through my thousand word mini-books twice a week. We’ll also be putting a bookmark in our quest to unravel the mysteries of Outlining until the second week in January.

In the meantime, I’m strongly considering writing a book about WRITING FOR ANIMATION. Basically, putting most of the stuff I’ve been writing in this blog into easy to follow book form. We’ll call it something like WRITING FOR ANIMATION but I’m open to suggestions. And on that note, I want to ask you guys and gals some lingering questions I’ve had in this area.

1) What are your 2 or 3 favorite books on writing?

2) What are your 2 or 3 biggest complaints about your favorite books? In other words, what are those books missing that you wish they had?

3) Do you like writing books that are more anecdotal (like Adventures in the Screen Trade) or technical (like Syd Field)?

Just curious. Next time, we’ll talk about our favorite Holiday movies (spoiler alert DIE HARD, yes, DIE HARD is one of mine). Until then, share your comments below and we’ll mix it up a bit.


  • Frank Marasco

    Though it isn’t screenwriting specific, “On Writing” by Stephen King is a great one. I think he hits that sweet spot between anecdote and technicality – sort of uses them as a tandem.

  • Oseremi

    (I’m a new follower from CTNX) I think it would be great! I would buy it.
    1) What are your 2 or 3 favorite books on writing?
    a. STORY by Robert McKee
    b. INVISIBLE INK by Brian McDonald
    c. WRITING FOR EMOTIONAL IMPACT by Karl Iglesias

    2) What are 2 or 3 things missing that they wish they had?
    a. tips on writing for television (long format, ex. Netflix and Hulu binge watching) in contrast to writing for feature
    b. the pros / cons of storyboard artists originating the script, and dynamics of writing collaboration
    c. writing exercises, individual and groups
    [ CARTOON NETWORK STORY PROCESS with Cole Sanchez - http://youtu.be/bm91RYa1i-Y?t=8m37s ]
    [ PIXAR's STORY PROCESS with Austin Madison - http://youtu.be/whnJSSkR_B0?t=2m42s ]

    3) Do you like writing books that are more anecdotal or technical?
    I like when there is an anecdote that support techniques. Outside of “screenwriting” books, I read “leadership” books by Pat Williams and John C. Maxwell. Each anecdote helps me digest a technique.

    • Rob Edwards

      GREAT SUGGESTIONS, Osermi!!! I’m going to watch all of these videos on Monday. It’s interesting, I get a lot of questions about television writing and a section like that would do a lot of good. Especially because there are two sub-categories there. The full 1/2 hour format (Simpsons, Family Guy) and the 15 minute mini-story (Sponge Bob, etc).

      As for 2,c. “writing exercises”, that’s a great idea. I’ve been thinking about a workbook as a companion to whatever I write. I tend to do a lot of warm up writing that has nothing to do with the movie but helps me focus. I could include stuff like that. I’m also thinking about making it kind of a calendar with hard due dates for certain things. I always find I write better when I have a deadline looming over me. It could make the book fun and also guarantee that you have something workable by the time you’re done reading the book.

      As for your 3 books, I’ve read “a” and “c” but I haven’t seen “b”. How would you describe it?

  • sidney

    Favorite writing books, Screenwriter’s Bible by Dave Trottier, Save the Cat (I know, but I found it helpful) by Blake Snyder, How to Write for Animation by Jeffrey Scott and Danse Macabre by Stephen King to name a few. Basically these were pretty complete, and yep, I’d buy your book all to pieces.