Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing (and not getting eaten)

A bestseller that is the first artist-friendly screenwriting guide to success by an Oscar nominated Hollywood insider whose productions have grossed more than a billion dollars.
Riding the Alligator is different from other screenwriting books in that it takes a non-dogmatic approach to finding your own personal creative process, and shares Pen’s best kept secrets for selling your creations and yourself.
Pen is your own, warm, funny, personal mentor as you read this book.  Actress Robin Wright says: “It is like getting a UC screenwriting course for under $30!!!”. 
Pen draws from his own extremely simple breakthrough techniques, shares his inspiring philosophy of finding a personal well of creativity from your inner voice, to overcoming the many challenges in a unique business, managing stress, the real secrets to selling your work, finding the right agent and being true to one's nature to create a lasting and passion filled career.
The book is hailed by Hollywood luminaries like Ron Howard, Paul Haggis, Jeff Bridges, Morgan Freeman, as well as heads of major motion picture studios and academics from top film schools including USC, UCLA, NYU and AFI.
Also included are short, personal essays by A-List Hollywood scripters such as Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha), Ron Shelton (Bull Durham/White Men Can't Jump), Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island/Avatar), Todd Robinson (White Squall/Phantom), Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center), Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes) and more.
Additionally, Pen provides an ‘Instant Library’ summarizing 10 other popular books on Hollywood, as reviewed by his USC Film Students.

Reviews from Goodreads.com

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By Alex (The United States) · ★★★★★ · April 01, 2011
Having grown up reading book after book about screenwriting and being lucky to have attended one of the very best film schools in America, this is the first book on the craft that made me feel truly good after reading it. Not only is it written from an unusual wealth of real-world experience and... ...more
By Jessie (The United States) · ★★★★★ · May 09, 2014
This was a great introductory book about a variety of screenwriting aspects. ...more
By Mathieu (Longueuil, Qc, Canada) · ★★★★★ · March 26, 2014
This is the first book I've read to learn to do movie scripts, and it was a very good first book because it explains basic concepts, and at the end there are good summaries of other screenwriting books: so it helps in picking other books to deepen our knowledge of the subject. ...more
By Joe (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · March 17, 2012
it's not Save the Cat, but it'll do... ...more
By Daniel (The United States) · February 21, 2011
Writing (and life) advice. ...more