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The Cinemoose Resource Guide For Writers

An old Royal typewriter.

BOOKS

Unlike most gurus, the Moose will not try to sell you useless books that you don’t need (see Robert McKee & Syd Field). I both own and recommend all the books listed below so rest assured that I am not trying to con you into fattening my wallet.

1. On Writing by Stephen King

I know what you’re thinking. Stephen King? It just so happens that this is the best book on creative writing that I have come across. This book is split into two parts. The first is a semi-autobiography of Stephen King that helps you understand the life and journey of a writer and how that shapes their work. The second part consists of a nuts and bolts breakdown of the craft of writing. While Stephen King’s advice is geared towards aspiring novelists, the advice he gives on plot, character and story are equally applicable to the art of screenwriting.

2. On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King

This is the audiobook version of Stephen King’s memoir on writing read by the ol’ Stevie King himself. Before I start a new script or begin rewriting an old script, I often find myself listening to this audiobook for both inspiration and as a reminder of what and how I should be writing. I recommend both the printed and the audio versions of the book and find each to be useful in different ways.

3. On Directing Film by David Mamet

I realize that this is a book on directing, as the title so clearly states, and it is a very good book for directors. However, it is also a very good book for aspiring screenwriters. Although best known for his dialogue and his plays, Pulitzer-prize winner David Mamet was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter before became a director. This book, which was taken from a series of lectures that David Mamet gave while teaching a class on directing at Columbia University, will help you learn how to break down a story visually, which is a very important skill for any budding screenwriter.

4. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Even a screenwriter needs to have proper grammer, spelling and punctuation. This timeless guide will not only make your writing look more professional, but also help you to make your writing clearer and easier to read.

These are the only books that I have found useful for screenwriters. If you know of any other helpful books or would like to know my opinion of a particular book, please feel free to contact me and let me know.

COMPUTERS & SOFTWARE

As a creative type, my computer of choice is Apple so here are three flavors of Apple laptops best suited for all your writing needs. Click on the links to order or to check out the technical specs.

1. Apple MacBook MB061LL/B 13.3″ Laptop (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive, Combo Drive) White

This is the cheapest laptop that Apple offers. That doesn’t mean it’s not the ideal laptop for writers. It’s fast, powerful and affordable and offers the ease and convenience that is the signature of all Apple products.

2. Apple MacBook Pro MA895LL/A 15″ Laptop (2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD SuperDrive)

The MacBook Pro line offers the power and expandability necessary for those who wish to venture screenwriting into filmmaking. Perfectly capable to handle non-linear editing, sound mixing and pre-visualization as well as all your screenwriting needs.

3. Apple MacBook Air MB003LL/A 13.3″ Laptop (1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive)

Apple’s newest laptop is also it’s smallest. Weighing in at just 3 pounds, this laptop hsa up to five hours of battery life and can fit inside a standard manilla envelope. Perfect for the writer on the go or the writer without any arm strength.

4. Final Draft 7 Professional Scriptwriting Mac/Win


This is the only writing and formatting software you will need to turn your stories into screenplays. Final Draft has more features than most people will ever need yet is simply designed and extremely easy to use. The industry standard.

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