After promising myself
not to buy any more books on scriptwriting, I succumbed to this
purchase while browsing in an Los Angeles bookstore with a bewildering
array of film books. And I can truly say, it’s worth every dime. This
is one for those who are serious about writing. Full of practical
advice and exercises, the book is an insightful account of the
realities of being a writer for hire. It’s sort of a TV equivalent to
“Adventures in the Screen Trade”, William Goldman’s infamous book.
At the back of the
book are a series of appendices which would be worth the cover alone.
Goldberg and Rabkin include a detailed “beat sheet” for an episode of
Martial Law which demonstrates just how well an American show is
structured with tense cliffhangers at the end of every act. There are
also character outlines, the details of which could be helpful in
writing your own treatments. It’s very useful to see just how
well-thought out each character is and how much depth to go into in
order to “sell” an idea.
Considering how long the book has been in print, it’s always a pleasant surprise to stumble on a review (while relentlessly googling your own name in a pitiful attempt to avoid writing) and to discover that people still find our book relevant and helpful.