Since I am always on the lookout for low cost, helpful resources for my readers, I thought I would pass along information on this book for screenwriters. The author, Todd Klick, offered to write a short post describing how he came up with his method for screenwriting and why he thinks you will find it useful. The book is a quick read and at $2.99 there is very little risk here. BTW, I am not an affiliate and receiving no compensation, just keeping you informed.-Sheri


When screenwriting jobs became (blessedly) abundant the last few years, I no longer had the luxury of writing a screenplay, outline or treatment at my normal leisurely pace. Film production companies needed the stories fast. Money was on the line. Careers and mortgages at stake. I needed to write high quality scripts and rewrites at a rapid clip. To help me accomplish this task, I developed The Screenwriter’s Fairy Tale out of sheer necessity.

While researching over 300 successful movies for my bestselling book, Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs To Know, I also studied the archetypal story patterns that have occurred over and over since the ancient Greeks — the same structure that Marc Norman (screenwriter of Shakespeare in Love) points out in his book about the history of American screenwriting called What Happens Next. In the opening chapters, Marc talks about the early screenwriters of the 1920s. He states, “The classic movie narrative {that the early screenwriters used} was structurally simple but capable of countless variations, applicable to drama or comedy, parsed out of the best A pictures.” Those early screenwriters, weaned on theater before films came into prominence, were using centuries-old theater storytelling tricks — the same tricks used by great playwrights like Shakespeare and Moliere; the same techniques used by pro writer’s today.

Knowing that the greats used this timeless structure, I started using it, too, to wonderful results. As deadlines loomed, however, I didn’t have time to re-read entire books on structure before starting each new project. I needed a stripped down, lean-and-mean template to help me crack stories quickly so I could whip them into presentable treatments. So I wrote my own little fairy tale that encapsulated everything I had learned from years of study — a fable that not only reminded me of the bare bones every good story possessed, but a tale that also showed me how the key elements were divvied out in each act.

I had been using The Screenwriter’s Fairy Tale for my own personal use for years when writing friends suggested I put it out into the world to help other writers. “I can’t publish it as a book,” I said, “It’s too short — 12, 13 pages, tops.” But when they recommended putting it out as an ebook, all the pieces fell into place.

Thus, The Screenwriter’s Fairy Tale was born. I hope you find it as useful as I — and other pro screenwriters and filmmakers — do.

All the best to you, Kindred Writing Spirits,

Todd Klick

Screenwriter and producer, Todd Klick, is the bestselling author of Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs to Know and The Screenwriter’s Fairy Tale. Todd’s stories have earned him recognition with the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship and the PAGE International screenwriting competitions. In addition to optioning 5 scripts, he recently sold a full-length screenplay and inked two deals to develop stories for the London and Broadway stages. Todd is a contributor to The Huffington Post and MovieMaker Magazine, and has also appeared on Dateline NBC and NPR.

The Screenwriter’s Fairy Tale: The Universal Story Within All Movie Stories The #1 International Bestseller now available

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