Story at a Glance

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Review – The Blue Books

I list on my “Resources” page what I believe comprises the base library necessary for new screenwriters to begin learning how to find the best version of the story hidden in their idea. But as I say there, they are by no means the limit of the fantastic advice available to screenwriters of all levels about both the craft and trade. Hence this ongoing series.

Bill Martell is, I think, an increasingly rare kind of screenwriter these days—one who is also a true film aficionado, with a deep appreciation for historical cinema and a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of it. Kind of a cross between Roger Ebert and Steven E. DeSouza, because like DeSouza, Bill is also a screenwriting machine with a train of produced action features behind him.

That unique combo explains the punch and popularity of his equally encyclopedic series of how-to books on screenwriting. Known for their distinctive blue covers, his Blue Books series is truly a full curriculum on screenwriting, covering every conceivable aspect of the craft on an affordable, a la carte basis. What the affordability hides, though, is the rich ground covered between the blue covers. These are great books, chockful of “oh snap” insights about the nature of screen story and immediately useful and effective tools for your own writing. It’s not an understatement to say you could buy nothing but Bill’s books (and check out his ScriptSecrets website) and be set where learning screenwriting is concerned.

I’m sure he’d appreciate it, because he probably needs a new tire for his bike.

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