Screenwriting for Storytellers

How to Take Your Story from Idea to Script

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/04/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Multiple award-winning Author S.D. Moore writes in spite of being a brain damaged Air Force veteran who also fights Lupus. She is the writer of multiple award-winning screenplays LEAPERS (Best of the Fest winner 2020), autobiography STRONGER WHEN SHE’S BROKEN (Finalist in the Oscar qualifier RIIFF 2021), L.A. Sci-Fi & Horror Fest's Platinum winner BLUE HONEY (2022) and sitcom pilot FAMILY RENTAL (Finalist Creative World Awards 2022). She also authored Readers’ Favorite 2017 International 1st prize winning horror novel Wicked Prayers and the award-winning Adventures of PJ and Split Pea. She is also the patented inventor of The Portable Hot Sink System; has an ABD towards a Doctorate of Education, holds dual master’s degrees in management and human resources development.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite

Screenwriting for Storytellers: How to Take Your Story from Idea to Script by SherLann D. Moore is a must-read manual for anyone who wants to convert their novel, novella, or short story to the silver screen. If you think this transformation is a simple process, you have a surprise in store. Moore provides a step-by-step guide to margins, page numbers, fonts, camera directions and moves on to character development, sluglines, dialogue, transitions, fade-ins and outs, dissolves, cut-tos, dissolve tos, montages, flashbacks - everything you need to know about the format of a screenplay. She moves on to the hard part, converting your story into a film, which usually requires significant word-cutting to make it “lean, simple, and relevant.” To make her point she provides many examples, including her prize-winning screenplay in its entirety: Stronger When She’s Broken.

As someone who has attempted to convert several of my novels to script form, I wish I had found Moore’s book before I started. I thought, oh, this should be simple enough. But it’s a whole new ballgame. She provides some important advice such as investing in a software program that formats your script automatically, reading lots of scripts in your genre, and how to overcome writer’s block (she includes physical exercises) - all useful to any writer. She gives you an actual assignment of writing a screenplay with you as the main character, and - hugely important - she tells you how to pitch your book in what is called a “pitch deck.” She even gives you quizzes to see if you are paying attention! There is space for notetaking too. Before you try going it alone to convert your novel to a movie, be sure to pick up a copy of Screenwriting for Storytellers by SherLann D. Moore. I sure wish I had.

Samantha Gregory

Screenwriting for Storytellers: How to Take Your Story From Idea to Script by SherLann D. Moore is a guide to screenwriting, beginning with the basic elements, to help the reader get started in screenwriting. Using various examples, the process is broken down into action, dialogue, characters, and more to help you learn the layout and important details that need to be included in a screenplay. Along with quizzes, brain-boosting exercises, and help with writer's block, this book is an all-in-one guide that is a must-have.

SherLann D. Moore has produced an information-packed guide with Screenwriting for Storytellers. It is broken down into easy-to-read sections with space to add personal notes. If you are just starting as a screenwriter, this book will be a useful tool to help you create your first screenplay. The quizzes help you to remember the material and are a great addition. The section on how books are difficult to convert to screenplays was interesting. I don't think many people realize this, especially when it comes to popular books being made into movies. A lot of detail is lost because it is hard to convey visually. I do think the book could have had a little more of an intro about the author as it goes straight into the information. However, I think this could be a very useful book to have for anyone interested in screenwriting and I would recommend it.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Screenwriting for Storytellers: How to Take Your Story from Idea to Script by SherLann D. Moore is a step-by-step guide that makes it easier for writers who wish to turn their books into screenplays. The author leads the reader through the process of setting up the screenplay, from recommendations for the margins to parentheticals and detailed examples. She allows the reader to view her award-winning screenplay, making the book informational and motivational.

I was captivated by SherLann D. Moore’s story and I was surprised to find her memoir within the pages. Her time as a black woman in the military and her struggle with lupus pulled me into the screenplay. I thought it was a good example of the way to pace a script. Even if you have formatting software, it’s better to know the basics behind the organization of a script, especially, as the writer points out, if there are special submission requirements. I learned new terms throughout the book and was glad to see a section that included the costs associated with producing a screenplay. It was professionally outlined and easy to understand. The quizzes at the end of the sections help the reader retain the information they’ve read.

The book may be used in a classroom setting, as it has exercises that help coach writers on the proper way to write a screenplay. I recommend this book to anyone who is considering turning their book, story, or idea into a screenplay. Anyone interested in motivational stories would gain inspiration from reading the screenplay within Screenwriting for Storytellers.

Jennie More

Screenwriting for Storytellers by SherLann D. Moore is a beginner’s guide for storytellers hoping to venture into scriptwriting. She gives advice on how to format your script, screenplay terminology, and translating your story idea from a novel into a screenplay with practical guidance on creating a 120-minute or 60-minute short film. Moore also includes her own script in this book, showing how she applied all this formatting and writing guidance when translating her story into a script, thus showing how to use this knowledge. Her script is engaging, and it is evident why she has won many film awards.

I enjoyed reading Screenwriting for Storytellers by SherLann D. Moore because she made it feel like writing a script was an attainable goal. She advises that she did not formally study scriptwriting and taught herself how to do it, which I found very impressive. The sample script that she included in the book was impeccable, I could vividly envisage the characters, and I felt invested in the life story of the main character Shalann. Anyone who is a writer and has had a novel published, now hoping to venture into scriptwriting, will benefit from reading this book. It gives enough practical guidance and insight to get started. I especially enjoyed the advice on drafting a pitch deck when presenting your script to film executives and investors because, inevitably, the aim would be to get your film funded. I found Screenwriting for Storytellers to be a stimulating, insightful, and worthwhile read.