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Are you looking for the secret decoder ring owned by all successful screenwriters? Or at least a map with a spot marked X? Sit down with Max Adams.

The Screenwriter’s Survival Guide delivers 65 chapters  ranging from “Don’t Write Batman” to “What You Really Get Paid.” Other topics include pitching, the screenwriter’s uniform, meetings, the etiquette of “getting read,” navigating social media, and the care and feeding of agents – along with lists of screenwriters’ directories and organizations, a generic release form, examples for cover pages and query letters, and other useful resources.

Adams’s authority is unmistakable. After scooping up the prizes at a number of prestigious screenwriting contests including the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting and the Austin Film Festival, Adams launched her Hollywood career with a big spec script sale (Excess Baggage).  The book shines with Adams’s streetwise attitude. She shares her worst Hollywood memories — the cold calls to producers, the credit arbitrations, and the meetings, meetings, meetings — as well as her victories. Max Adams has the inside story on the writer’s life in Hollywood.  Now, you will too.

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The New Screenwriter's Survival Guide: Or, Guerrilla Meeting Tactics and Other Acts of War
Average rating
3 / 5
Informative, if Cutesy
October 30th, 2013
There's a lot of good practical information on the business side of screenwriting: marketing your script; agents; the WGA; etc. I learned quite a bit, and it's helping me on pitching a script I wrote. The only trouble I had was Ms. Adams' tendency toward a wiseacre-style prose, such as jokes included in parentheses every other page, which got old. Still, I recommend purchasing this book if you want to write for Hollywood, as a well-written script will not be filmed if it's not marketed properly.
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