Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids

E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Writing in Pictures

Writing in Pictures

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Writing in Pictures

Written by Joseph McBrideAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Joseph McBride

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: February 28, 2012
  • Price: $16.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-307-74292-6 (0-307-74292-X)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

Writing in Pictures is a refreshingly practical and entertaining guide to screenwriting that provides what is lacking in most such books: a clear, step-by-step demonstration of how to write a screenplay.

Seasoned screenwriter and writing teacher Joseph McBride breaks down the process into a series of easy, approachable tasks, focusing on literary adaptation as the best way to learn the basics and avoiding the usual formulaic approach. With its wealth of useful tips, along with colorful insights from master screenwriters past and present, this book is invaluable for anyone who wants to learn the craft of screen storytelling.

“Impressively readable, unpretentious, and remarkably useful. Based on a lifetime of experience and observation, as well as conversations with some of the greats (like Orson Welles, John Ford & Howard Hawks), Joe McBride's comprehensive yet very succinct work should become a standard text.” —Peter Bogdanovich, screenwriter, director, film historian

“I must confess that I had never read a how-to book straight through for the sheer pleasure of it, and I never expected to—until I got my hands on the splendid Writing in Pictures. . . . A word of warning: in this book you will not find the Six Keys to Compelling Characters, the Seven Secrets of Successful Plotting, or the Eight Jungian Archetypes No Studio Executive Can Resist. There are no magic formulae here—but if you do have a story to tell, this book will give you the solid practical advice you need to tell it in the most effective way. Writing in Pictures is a short course in how to think cinematically. It will change the way you write. It will change the way you watch.” —Sam Hamm, screenwriter of Batman, Batman Returns, and "Homecoming"

“If this isn't the greatest screenwriting book ever, I'll eat my hat! Writing in Pictures is the kind of how-to book Ben Hecht would have written on that subject: a Socratic tour of the profession the novice aspires to, filled with screenwriting lore, for illustration and entertainment. If you want to judge someone's work by how personal it is, this may just turn out to be Joe McBride's masterpiece." —Bill Krohn, author of Hitchcock at Work and Hollywood correspondent, Cahiers du Cinéma

“In this unique contribution to the screenplay literature, Joe McBride invites writers to connect themselves to literary tradition, relying less on formulas and more on intelligent uses of classic storytelling technique. He blends general precepts, concrete examples, hard-won experience, and lively anecdotes into something more than the usual script manual: an invitation to participate in the great human adventure of sharing stories.” —David Bordwell, author of Poetics of Cinema

“A real contribution to a much-abused genre. Most screenwriting 'how to' books are either formulaic, craven, or both. . . .McBride’s book is something else. It’s a straightforward, considered and lucid meditation on the arts and crafts of storytelling for the screen, informed by McBride's unsurpassed knowledge of, and deep love for, the movies.” —Howard A. Rodman, screenwriter, teacher, and vice president of Writers Guild of America West

"If it is possible for only one book to embody the ethos of screenwriting, this is the one, a guide to screenwriting that is more than a guide -- craft, history, practical advice, philosophical bedrock, wisdom, wit—and through it all, as in the very best screenplays, the reassurance of one clarion voice." —Patrick McGilligan, film biographer and editor of the Backstory series of interviews with screenwriters

“McBride offers the kind of friendly but honest advice that will make him the mentor to a new generation of aspiring screenwriters. Born of long experience and exceptional insight, he distills the lessons of screenwriting history into a first-rate primer for the screenwriters of tomorrow.” —Julian Hoxter, screenwriter and author of Write What You Don't Know: An Accessible Manual for Screenwriters