Screenwriting Updated

New (and Conventional) Ways of Writing for the Screen

Other title by Linda Aronson

21st-Century Screenplay, The


  • 300 Pages
  • 7x10 Paper
  • Index, Bibliography
  • Silman-James Press
  • 9781879505599
  • 1-879505-59-2

Today’s screenwriter must be adept at complex and unconventional script forms, such as the parallel storytelling of Pulp Fiction, Traffic, Magnolia, and Run Lola Run; the multiple-protagonist narratives of American Beauty and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; and the complex flashback forms of The Usual Suspects and The Sweet Hereafter.

Screenwriting Updated clearly explains how and why these  forms work (or fail to work), and establishes the basic principles of their construction. The author presents these contemporary forms in relation to tried-and-true three-act structure, rendering the unconventional forms as easily grasped as the conventional. She also provides a unique guide to plotting problems, strategies for avoiding clichés, and other nuts-and-bolts screenwriting essentials. Screenwriting Updated combines solid, basic screenwriting craft with a thorough presentation of very contemporary script structures. The result is a unique, wide-ranging, in-depth screenwriting text and do-it-yourself script-doctoring manual suitable for both novice and seasoned writers.

“A lucid and eminently useful atlas of screenwriting technique. All the vague confusing things that teachers and studio executives say about flashback, turning points, and multiple protagonists are whipped into coherent shape here, in a comprehensive, precise, and extremely practical theory…an essential tool in any writer’s kit.”
—Christopher Vogler, author of The Writer’s Journey

Linda Aronson

Linda Aronson is a playwright, scriptwriter, comic novelist for young adults, and screenwriting theorist. She is the author of the texts Screenwriting Updated and Television Writing; the young-adult novels Kelp: A Comedy About Love, Seaweed and Rupert Murdoch and Plain Rude: A Comedy about Love, Lies and an Emu Called Bruce Willis; and the stage plays Dinkum Assorted and Reginka's Lesson.


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