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First Draft: 14 Screenwriting Books Every Screenwriter Should Read

First Draft: 14 Screenwriting Books Every Screenwriter Should Read

First Draft

The Man Who Heard Voices (Michael Bamberger)

Sometimes it’s great to learn from somebody else’s journey—what to do and what not to do. While William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade offers an excellent perspective, he’s at the top of the totem pole when it comes to screenwriters. What about those who have seen both ultimate success and ultimate failure or sidetracks? What about those who may not be as heralded, but have proven their worth with consistent Hollywood deals?

Whether you view M. Night Shyamalan as a has-been or comeback kid (with his well-received and successful Split), few can argue that his screenwriting—and directing—hasn’t breathed life into the thriller and horror genres in recent years; it has. With his early works like The Sixth Sense, SignsThe Village, and Unbreakable, Shyamalan made an art of engaging audiences through to the final climax, whether they liked the surprise endings or not.

This book has writer Michael Bamberger profiling the auteur with in-depth interviews straight from the source as Shyamalan talks about his writing process, the mistakes he’s made, and how his promising career took a hit when he clashed with studio executives.

You will close this book with a little insight into one of the most interesting cinematic storytelling minds of the last three decades—and having learned a thing or two about engaging audiences, surprising audiences, and maneuvering through the studio system as a storyteller.

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