Since the 81st Oscars are this Sunday I thought I’d mention the only screenwriting books I am aware of that come from the perspective of screenplays that are Oscar winners. Dr. Linda Seger is a much respected script consultant and the author of several books on screenwriting including Academy Awards Advanced Screenwriting: Raising Your Script to the Academy Award Level and also And the Best Screenplay Goes to: Learning from the Winners—Sideways, Shakespare in Love, Crash.
“I’ve used Linda’s concepts from Making a Good Script Great on all my films starting with Apollo 13.”
Academy Award-winning Director (A Beautiful Mind)
“A bold new approach to screenwriting. Dr. Seger humanizes the process by acknowledging the role that psychology, our personal stories, and our personal spirituality play in our creative work.”
Screenwriter (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast)
Back in the 80s I took a class from Seger that was held to the American Film Institute campus but open to the public. She knew her stuff then and has continued to build her reputation and influence over the years. For a more detailed information about Seger and the services she offers contact her website at www.lindaseger.com.
But the quote from today doesn’t come from one of Seger’s many books but an interview that she did with Emon Hassan for Shooting People.
SP: How much should a writer be aware of in terms of character, structure, theme, and story when a burst of inspiration hits and (s)he is writing the first draft?
LS: The first draft, do the work to figure out where you’re going, but let it flow and don’t evaluate too quickly. Write as it comes to you, while still following somewhat of an outline, but be prepared to let the Muse take you other places. Remember, there is the creative process and the analytical process, and although there are places where they come together, you want to favor the creative process in the early stages. But, if you’ve learned structure, concepts about character and theme, then they will have been digested and still be informing your creative process.
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