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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Confessions of a Script Doctor: How to Turn Your Life Experiences into Books, Plays, Screenplays is a nonfiction music/entertainment-oriented guide to writing and publishing written by Jack Fitzgerald. Computers and the ability to self-publish have encouraged people from all walks of life and levels of skill to try their luck at becoming the author of a golden work, one which instantly catapults them to fame and fortune. In this work, Fitzgerald offers some hard truths about the number of books being published each year and the actual incomes writers receive at the end of the process. While admittedly the bearer of such bad news, he’s also more than willing to show aspiring writers how they can turn their own life stories into fodder for their books by sharing how his own past adventures became the basis for his plays, screenplays, and books. Fitzgerald also introduces “Creative Features” such as satire, creativity, style, and voice, and he details how those devices can make your writing more dynamic and moving. He discusses the challenges facing both amateur and experienced writers in finding agents, publishers and a market for their work. He shares insights on how to select workshops, contests, and gurus, and warns against having unrealistic expectations.
Confessions of a Script Doctor is also a marvelous collection of memoirs written in a smooth conversational style. The author is a treasure trove of stories and facts that would often compel me to share them with others as I read. I’m convinced that nowhere else would I have learned about the homely roots of the MacGuffin and how the judicious use of them can ramp up reader interest. I finished this book feeling as though I had sat for some time with the author, bombarding him with questions and listening as he shared his life stories, gave advice on how I could do the same, and taught me the mechanics of his craft. The stories alone would have been worth the price of admission; the whole package is remarkable and an invaluable resource for aspiring writers. Confessions of a Script Doctor: How to Turn Your Life Experiences into Books, Plays, Screenplays is most highly recommended.