As a writer, I enjoyed Pen Densham’s tome on screenwriting. Without a formal education, Densham has found success and proves articulate and erudite on the subject of writing the written word. Producer/director of the highly popular Austin Powers series, as well as a plethora of other credentials, ignoring his many credentials, this author is right on. He speaks of the importance of experience, of apprenticing to others who have made it before you, of finding a mentor who is invested in your dreams. His ideas and advice are articulate and sound, pragmatic and honest. Just do it, he screams, when it comes to writing. Do not let anyone intimidate you. Since I hold to this theory myself, and all good writers feel that their stuff is crap, I loved his advice – write the crap! I so agree with Mr. Densham, for fear of rejection is a reality in every writer’s life – so passion must drive through the fear.
I am now reading “Escaping Into the Open” by Elizabeth Berg on writing and like “Writing Down the Bones,” and “Riding the Alligator”, the advice is the same. Write what you love, where your heart palpitates, what you truly know. And leave blood on the paper. Remain persistent and if you are rejected ten times, go for the eleventh, as it might be the charm. Densham also presents the thoughts of 13 other writers and screenwriters and provides reference books on screenwriting. The chapter on “Trust Your Guts” is invaluable.
Although I write fiction and poetry, the fundamentals in “Riding the Alligator” ring true. Interesting, never boring or dull, Densham presents the realities and miracles of writing that pertains to all genres and venues. He presents the goods with humor and clarity and this is a book I recommend to any writer and would be writer. Excellent and comprehensive.
Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing (and not getting eaten) is available for purchase at Amazon.com
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.