Publish date:

The Screenwriting Formula

It’s a common misconception that formula films are bad. Bad films aren’t formulaic—and that’s the problem. In this guide, beginning scriptwriters will learn how to structure their screenplay by using seven critical elements (The Formula) so that every other element falls into place perfectly, creating a salable, high-concept movie.
Author:


Buy book | Amazon | BN.com

Image placeholder title

The Screenwriting Formula
by Rob Tobin
Writer's Digest Books, 2007
ISBN 978-158297-462-0
$14.99 paperback, 208 pages


Make the Hollywood Formula Work for You!

As a screenwriter, you have a difficult task even after the script is complete. You have to break into Hollywood. Rob Tobin, who has read thousands of screenplays in his job as a script reader and development executive, has developed the formula to get a script from page to production, and he shares it in this book.

The Screenwriting Formula is not just about how to write a killer screenplay—it also explains the structure that movie executives are looking for, as well as how to transform an idea into a fully loaded script, packed with action and ready to go. You'll learn how to:

  • Use the seven basic story elements to instantly grab an audience's attention and, more importantly, keep it
  • Develop character and plot in new ways through creating a backstory and telling both the objective and subjective story
  • Structure your script so that it gets noticed by movie makers
  • Craft a winning logline that will ensure a good pitch

Plus, to help illustrate the formula, Tobin develops a story from beginning to end, showing you step-by-step how to make the most of this trade secret.

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Author and writing instructor Laura Davis discusses the process of starting, stopping, and starting again with her new memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars.

From Our Readers

Which Writer or Work Made You Think About Point of View in a Different Way and Why?: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers question: Which writer or work made you think about point of view in a different way and why? Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

The kind of research you do can make or break your story's authenticity. Author Blake Sanz offers 4 tips on research for your novels and stories beyond getting the facts right.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Annual Writing Competition Early-Bird Deadline, Seven WDU Courses, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Annual Writing Competition early-bird deadline, seven WDU courses starting this week, and more!

3 Big Tips for Writing a Children’s Picture Book Like a Pro

3 Big Tips for Writing a Children’s Picture Book Like a Pro

Small but mighty, picture books help raise children into lifelong readers. Children's book author Diana Murray offers 3 big tips for writing a picture book like a pro.

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

5 Things I Learned About Writing From Watching Soap Operas

Lessons in writing can come from various forms of art or entertainment. Author Alverne Ball shares 5 things he learned about writing from watching soap operas.

From Script

Writing from an Intimate Point of View and Adding Essential Elements to Solidify Your Screenplay (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, TV writer Kate Sargeant shares a first-hand look on her new digital series that was a life-changing experience. Plus an interview with filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve, a new installment from ‘Ask the Coach’ and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Collecting Advice but Never Writing

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Collecting Advice (but Never Writing)

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is to collect writing advice at the expense of actually writing.

The Benefits of a Book Coach for Writers

The Benefits of Having a Book Coach for Writers

What is a book coach? How could they help authors? Award-winning author and writing instructor Mark Spencer answers these questions and more in this post about the benefits of having a book coach for writers.