Writers Software SuperCenter
   Writers Software SuperCenter LLC presents...
The One Stop  
for Writers Software & Writing/Editing Services
Writers Software SuperCenter

writersupercenter.com - Your Writing Partner Since 1997
03/04/2008 - BOOK REVIEW: REWRITE ? A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama

"BOOK REVIEW: REWRITE - A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in your Screenplay"
Author: Paul Chitlik
Book Review by Matthew Terry
Published by: Michael Wiese Productions
ISBN: 9781932907391

Years ago, when I was cheap and could not afford to go to college to take any writing courses, I thought I was clever to watch a course on television for FREE! The PBS show was about writing and it was set in a sit-com environment of a publishing house with characters that interacted. It was boring and I did not learn much. But what I did learn was a certain phrase: "All writing is rewriting." I have used that phrase so often I fear it will end up on my grave stone.

Knowing that "All writing is rewriting" is my mantra, I'm always surprised at how much my first drafts of scripts absolutely suck. I know full well that it's a first draft, I know in my heart of hearts that it will be flawed, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's going to need a lot of work but I always assume I've hit a home run out of the ball park but when I actually read it, I realize it's a dribbler down the first base line. Yeah, I make it to first base and it counts as a single - but only because the pitcher overran the ball and in the process made it go foul...only by a generous scorer it goes as a hit and not an error.

Paul Chitlik's wonderful book is an enormous help to any and all writers out there. It's a very simple book, simply told, and all it really does is just remind you: Did you note what your hero wants? Have you ratcheted up the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist? Do your descriptions need help? Are they too long? Too short? What about...??? Step-by-step (see title) he goes through the reminding process.

Using straight-forward text and many examples, he shows you how to avoid the traps writers fall into. Explaining why they are there and giving you ways around them.

I recently finished another screenplay. I've sent it to a number of friends to get feedback. I have yet to dive back in. I know the script is going to take a lot of work to get to the next level (a solid double down the right-field line). Reading Mr. Chitlik's book has got the juices flowing again in my own mind and I have recently been peppering my co-writer with thoughts: "Well, we can fix this with this... And we need to make the Antagonist more evil - but not in a one-dimensional sort of way..."

If there is any issue I have with this book, it is that I wish there were MORE examples. More: "See this 100 word paragraph? Here it is in 30 words." Or, possibly, hints on how to work around things. For instance in a script I wrote I really needed a big speech at the end. Instead of having the hero do the speech and then move on to the next task, I used the speech as a voice-over while showing him move on to the next task. Two things accomplished, 5 pages cut. Hints and tips like that.

"All writing is rewriting." Paul Chitlik does an amazing job of dissecting the hardest job facing any writer: the dreaded rewrite. Step-by-step, word-by-word, he is like a writing coach looking over your shoulder. Excellent book.


Get your script read and evaluated by the same folks who read for the agencies and studios. Discover what's right and wrong with your script and how to improve it.

More Info...


Copyright © 1997-2015 Writers SuperCenters and StudioNotes. All rights reserved. PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF USE CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS SITE. By using this site, you signify your assent to these terms of use. If you do not agree to these terms of use, please do not use the site.

  Contact Us | Coverage Ordering | Software Ordering | Disclaimer