‘Cut to the Chase: Scriptwriting for Beginners’ by Janet van Eeden is a screenwriting course condensed into a book. Taken from someone who’s got the t-shirt with over 20 years of industry experience, the author has invested rich personal insights and honest advice in order to give back. A comprehensive and user-friendly guide to the art of screenwriting, van Eeden draws on her own experience as a screenwriter and lecturer, breaking down the essentials of writing for film in a clear and concise way.

cut to the chase scriptwriting for beginners

The book covers a wide range of topics, including: the basics of screenwriting format, developing characters and plot, writing dialogue, structuring your screenplay as well as revising and polishing your work.

van Eeden writes in a clear, engaging and conversational style, which makes even the most complex concepts easy to understand. This disarms any trepidation from beginners, filling in many gaps for more experienced screenwriters.

Broaching the practice and theory, ‘Cut to the Chase’ also includes step-by-step exercises and practical assignments at the end of each chapter. You’re encouraged to work through these elements, making this book instrumental in the beginnings of your script project, an ideal resource for aspiring screenwriters of all levels.

One of the things that sets ‘Cut to the Chase’ apart from other screenwriting books is its focus on practical advice. You can sense that van Eeden wants you to succeed, giving you the advice she wish she’d had. She doesn’t just tell you what to do, she shows you how to do it offering clear and concise examples as a blueprint for your work. The screenwriter behind the award-winning White Lion, van Eeden shares her triumphs without shying away from a few cautionary tales about development hell.

From a memorable pitch involving a refuse bag and interactions with Richard E. Grant to trying to produce a deeply personal passion project, this is an introspective journey in and of itself. Providing a valuable one-pager that covers classic screenwriting structures, van Eeden has gathered a wealth of practical tips and techniques based on her own industry experience. From her extensive reading and screenwriting, she pinpoints some of the best advice from screenwriting experts, citing the likes of Robert McKee and Christopher Vogler among others.

Comprehensive, informative and easy-to-read, Cut to the Chase is an excellent resource for aspiring screenwriters of all levels – a great place to start your screenwriting journey. You find the book at Exclusives, Wordsworth, The Book Lounge, Clarke’s Bookshop as well as on Amazon.com.

‘Cut to the Chase: Scriptwriting for Beginners’… A Writing Course Condensed into a Book