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The Writer Got Screwed (But Didn’t Have To) – Book Review

By April 20, 2016Reviews

There are three must read books for screenwriters.

  1. The first is “Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need
  2. The second is “The 48 Laws of Power
  3. The third is “The Writer Got Screwed (but didn’t have to): Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry

Whether you’re an amateur, pro or in-between, you probably know very little about your rights as a writer. Not only how limited they are, but even the fraction of rights you actually have. With the growing need for biopics in Hollywood, this book is more important to read than ever.

  • You will learn why the WGA doesn’t mean shit.
  • You will learn what “unsolicited material” actually means.
  • You will learn the legal disadvantages of writing about someone you know.

As I a writer, I frequently write from experience. Many events, conversations, and something I might overhear could wind up in one of my scripts (usually, in unrecognizable form). This book helped me to understand how far I have to go to camouflage borrowing from reality.

I’ve become very influenced about the legalities of screenwriting. It helps to know the rules before the agony of screenwriting begins. Asking the questions later (which I have done) could be very painful indeed. Wharton has written a survival guide for the minefield of Hollywood. Avoid it at your own risk.

Written by: Norith Soth

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