Books

Need to prepare for one of our interactive online courses or live workshops? Or maybe you’ve done one or the other and you’d like to revisit the content in a different form?

Either way, our bestselling Story-Type Method books will become trusty companions…

SCREENWRITING UNCHAINED

The Dogma-Busting Method

In this first volume, written for storytellers eager to reach a wide audience at home and abroad, Oberg sets out a dogma-busting method that will transform the way you develop screenplays.
“The lighsabre of screenwriting books”

The companion course adds dozens of clips, training videos, hands-on topics, quizzes and even gamification to deliver, like our other courses, the best online training experience in town!

Average Rating: 4.9 stars (based on 19 ratings)
THE SCREENWRITER’S TROUBLESHOOTER

The Survival Kit

Building on his ground-breaking approach, Oberg identifies forty of the most common screenwriting problems and helps anyone involved in the Film & TV script development process to resolve them.
“A masterclass in getting unstuck”.

To make the most of this and any further volume in the Story-Type Method series, make sure you watch Oberg’s free online presentation on the Three Dimensions of Screenwriting.

Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 5 ratings)
WRITING A SUCCESSFUL TV SERIES

The Showrunner’s Secrets

In this third volume, Oberg shares career-boosting secrets for the modern series maker, focusing on getting your series commissioned: creating an irresistible bible, a compelling pilot, unforgettable characters and addictive storylines.

The companion course explores advanced series development techniques and helps you master series design at season level through detailed case studies of successful serials and limited series.

Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 25 ratings)

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5.0 out of 5 stars FOR WRITERS INTERESTED IN THE STREAMING SERIES, you will enjoy this book!

For those who prefer longer more detailed reviews. After reading Syd Field, I felt as though I was lost. I eventually came upon the ubiquitous, SAVE THE CAT. I started to feel like I was getting somewhere. I read so many screenwriting books I sincerely lost count. I didn't feel as though I was progressing. Working through the next steps, I added THE ANATOMY OF STORY and THE SOUL OF SCREENWRITING. I experienced positive changes in my writing. But there was something lacking in my sense of story, I found a couple of more gems, then I just happened to stumble upon SCREENWRITING UNCHAINED. I wasn't sure what to think about the title other than the certainty that something felt chained in my understanding of story structure. The first couple of chapters was all I needed to know I found an original thinker. The difference between logistical 3 act structure (the kind of screenwriting structures so stuck in useless formulas that they are excruciating to read) vs dramatic 3 act structure (what people really mean when they say "organic") is utterly simple, but utterly revolutionary in its implications for how screenwriting is understood and therefore taught. Adding in fractal dramatic 3 act structure will change your entire perspective on how to navigate the deeper structure of sequences and scenes. Giving your project psychological velocity through the application of the "M-SCORE." But the theory of the STORY TYPE METHOD is a crucial innovation to how we understand screenwriting. It will allow you to have more flexibility as well as a new level of insight in telling the exact type of story you want to tell, outside of the older models of screenwriting. Your understanding will grow, your writing will evolve. Something happened as I studied the ideas and concepts in SCREENWRITING UNCHAINED, my creative passions started to shift, I started falling in love with longer forms projects. The whole world has as well. Streaming, 8 to 10 episodes, WESTWORLD, THE OUTSIDER, THE LAST OF US, no commercial breaks, creative possibilities, a deep dive you take into a world, deeper levels of character development, ensemble cast. I love it. But how do you write it? I read A LOT of books on TV writing and structure. I kept running into dead ends, I struggled to find any book that would help me to write the kinds of writing structures for the type of projects that I saw of NETFLIX, HBO, PRIME, or APPLE. When I first heard about Emmanuel's workshop for the TV SERIES, I was excited, but I was going through some difficult times so when I saw that he was going to do a book about WRITING A SUCCESSFUL TV SERIES and that was going to address the issues of the streaming series, I was highly energized, then heavy things happened in our world. I was still on my search to understand the elusive Streaming Series structure when I got a message from Emmanuel Oberg. When I realized that he had finished the book and that I would have a chance to be an early reader, I was very into it. I actually read the book and went back and re-read some of the things that I really found useful and insightful. Firstly, while it will be a revelation for you to read SCREENWRITING UNCHAINED before you read WRITING THE SUCCESSFUL TV SERIES, it is not necessary. The author has given the reader enough theory to allow for clarity. The book also offers a deep and updated examination of the state of tv/streaming around the world, a topic I found both interesting and insightful to consider creative approaches to television structure being used by writers in other parts of the globe. The gold for me was to finally have an examination of the structure of the streaming series, the relevance of not having to write to commercial breaks, how to apply dramatic 3 act structure, fractal dramatic 3 act structure, the M-SCORE, and the STORY TYPE METHOD to your TV series tools which will offer the committed reader an opportunity for "organic" structure, greater narrative coherence and depth, and a method "the M-SCORE" designed to add energy and emotional power to your writing. With WRITING A SUCCESSFUL TV SERIES, Emmanuel has managed to do it again. This book is to "writing tv" what SCREENWRITING UNCHAINED is to the screenplay. Do yourself a favor...

Emmanuel holds your hand every step of the way to developing a solid draft of your TV series.

This is a must-read for anyone who wants to write a successful TV Series and more! It's a thoughtful combination of technical knowledge from a man who understands that dramatic structure is key to developing a cracking TV series and not about what page structural points land on. His knowledge comes deep from within the trenches of storytelling and covers really important key issues in constructing a TV drama such as knowledge gaps e.g. the knowledge known by different characters and the audience. Emmanuel cares that you develop your TV series to a standard that might just get you passed the gate-keepers. Those of us looking to develop a TV series know how tough it is to get our scripts read by anyone. There are limited books out in the market on TV writing. A couple provide solid information but not to the depth in Emmanuel goes. Priceless case studies (British and US) that he provides make the whole process less daunting. Let's be honest, if you think you can just sit down and bash out an original TV Series be warned the process is quite different from writing a feature. Emmanuel covers the types of TV series you can write e.g. procedurals, serials and more. A lot of thought has gone into servicing every type of format. A lot of TV writing books only think about procedurals but what if you want to write a mini-series? Emmanuel has thought about every type of TV series out there including anthologies and even hybrids. Personally for me, the Managing Information section was extremely helpful and a game changer if you really want to understand how to use the right information in your script to ensure the audience keep coming back to their favourite character. The case study to show you how to map out and weave each story into your episode and across your series really opened up my understanding of how we should present information in a compelling way. I spent thousands attending a TV MA in Scotland to learn how to write an original TV Series and the course didn't dig as deep as this book. When I scanned the contents section of Emmanuel's book, I was gobsmacked. I now realise how little I was taught about constructing an original TV pilot from a 1-year TV MA! Do a little research. There are also online courses making bold claims with very little substance underpinning what is delivered. Happy to charge you hundreds and even thousands of pounds for getting your toes wet. Entice you in by using an industry professional to vet your 1-hour TV pilot in ten minutes. Then claim it is good to go out to the industry. No wonder so many companies refuse to read unsolicited material. We are sucked in by our need to get that first credit and think we have to pay loads of money for that magic formula. The most you will pay for this book is £20 (if you want the hard copy) and your time, lots of it. Let's face it writing any decent script is tough work and those showing you how to do it should be making you sweat buckets to get the best script out of you. There are 250 plus pages to digest and develop your understanding of writing a TV series. As well as, developing a Series Bible and so much more. Check out the contents section for yourself, Emmanuel has been very generous with his knowledge. I am using the book to write my own TV Series and a Mini-Series. I will write another review perhaps at the end of the year to let you and Emmanuel (if you are listening) what response I get from the industry. I am being realistic, it may not end up being a sale but it will be interesting to see what producers think of my script and series bible in terms of execution after using Writing a Successful TV Series. PP

Packed with useful concepts and on top of a highly useful methodology

Well worth the read, to the point I am interested in also buying the other book he has on this methodology too.

4.0 out of 5 stars To write is Human to edit is Devine.

I liked everything about the book. It was as clear as an azure day of summer.

The Best!

One of the best books I've ever found after many many years of research. So useful. Helped me immensely. At first it seemed like an irritating exercise in selling his other book...but this one is invaluable. Made my screenplays go off in directions I never imagined. Buy it. Buy it now.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a finish!

If you are far along (or even half way) in your readings about screenplay writing, having read several other books and need a great capping-off, this is the book. Mr. Oberg provides an essential check list for your 'almost' finished play. He also provides several hints and standards which can be vey helpful and inspiring. I give this book a very high recommendation.

5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, useful information

Despite its cheesy title and cover, this book really delivers. It acknowledges the existing formulas but also allows for the fact that not all movies adhere precisely to the three act structure. Story structure advice is simple and practical. Ironically, many craft books are unfocused and wordy but “Screenwriting Unchained” covers a lot of ground in a concise way. This book has a lot of astute analysis of modern films that I found insightful. The concepts in this book are clearly and simply explained. I found it very useful to my writing and my understanding of film.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is great

Oberg's experience shines through. His answers are directly useful to developing a story for screenwriting.

5.0 out of 5 stars Is your script in a jam, and you can't find your way out of it? Look no further...

Are you a newbie or an experienced writer? It doesn’t matter. This. Book. Is. Brilliant! I will hold this book close to my scriptwriting heart from now on. I have read many screenwriting books, several great ones. Still, none of them deal with step-by-step practicality and solutions to the script problems you will find yourself in. It will define your writing craft as a moment of” before and after I had this book”. You’ll wonder where this screenwriting book has been all your life. Even if you haven’t read Emmanuel Oberg’s first book Screenwriting Unchained (which I think you should too), you will be forever grateful to buy this book. I know I am. It’s like a Swiss knife for writers. Everything you need to solve a script problem is in it. The structure of the book works as a tactical and practical handbook for any writer. It’s totally fluff-free and gives you truly actionable advice. But it’s also a reference guide with the freedom to dive in wherever you need. You don’t have to read this book from cover to cover but can identify the specific problem you have and learn about it in its particular section. You get all essential information compiled intelligently in chapters so you can solve issues fast if you’re on a tight deadline. Where The Screenwriter’s Troubleshooter really stands apart is the incredibly detailed look at the various script problems that will occur. Emmanuel Oberg understands the nuances that make a great story. He offers practical methods to help a writer reach that goal by providing solutions to the most common and typical problems to a script. The book provides specific, useful insights and guidance. This is a go-to book in every way possible. It’s not just a problem solver but also educational. It will help you see more clearly what story and structure are really about. The Screenwriter’s Troubleshooter is a masterclass in getting unstuck. It provides a set of tools that finally help you get out of your misery to help you solve what you thought was unsolvable. Read it, use it, be creative! This book is your friend.

5.0 out of 5 stars Sound advice

I love Emmanuel Oberg's first book, Screenwriting Unchained, and have found this to be a good addition to my toolset as a writer. It is designed to be read non-sequentially, with information organised into chapters based on common notes you might get from a studio. However, there is real value in simply swimming around and reading at your leisure. Doing so I found advice that would help with the rewrite of my current animated TV series, advice I didn't even realise I was looking for.

5.0 out of 5 stars A fiction writer's friend!

The review copy showed me where my story ran off the rails. That alone is worth the read. I found it great for helping with a novel, as well as a screenplay!

Très complet

Une façon d'aborder l'écriture de scénario très complète et originale. A recommander.

Un guide concret et solide pour monter en niveau

Contrairement à beaucoup de manuels verbeux, trop théoriques ou sans consistence, celui-là vous permettra certainement de passer un cap dans votre travail d'écriture. Emmanuel Oberg vous tient la main sans vous prendre de haut et vous délivre un concentré d'information et d'astuces.

Ungemein erhellend und sinnvoll für Alle, die Schreiben!

Nachdem ich wirklich schon viele gute Bücher über das Schreiben gelesen habe, dachte ich, es gäbe nix neues mehr, nichts was mich überraschen könnte. Irrtum. Oberg hat mir mit seiner Unterteilung in characterled/plotled/themeled Dramaturgie sehr geholfen. Auch die Zusammenhänge mit der Bedürfnispyramide von Maslow hat für diverse Aha-Erlebnisse gesorgt. Er befreit von einer "zwanghaften" Dramaturgie und bringt viele neue Impulse, die auch für RomanautorInnen sehr erhellend sein können. Sein Englisch ist klar und gut verständlich. Absolute Leseempfehlung!

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Way to approach a Script

Another way to look at dramatic writing. Tends to be a bit repetitive but, that's okay.

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