Friday, January 26, 2007

Screenwriting for Dummies

I realize the "Dummies" and "Idiot's Guide" books are uber cool and supposedly the ultimate easy learn in just about any topic of every day life, but does anyone else have a problem with this title? Do we really WANT to encourage dummies to write screenplays? Aren't there enough of us writing them already?


For me, there's just something insulting about the title of this book. It insults the book's authors and compares learning the craft of screenwriting to learning Word, AOL, or Quickbooks. No, it doesn't say that! But, that's what the title implies and how many screenplays have you read where it's obvious that the "screenwriter" simply opened up a screenwriting software program and started clacking?

Let me make this clear. My issue is NOT The book. It may be genius. I haven't read it. It's the TITLE of this book that chaps me.

I have "HTML for Dummies" because unfortunately, I am, now and then, required to write some html code on the job and am such a dummy that even the "HTML for Dummies" book is over my head. So, just for grins, I looked up some of the other "for dummies" books at (which is a lot of fun, by the way) and here are a few interesting ones I noted for future gifts. There's something here for just about every dummy in the family!
Puppies for Dummies is just funny to me. I don't know why it's funny, but it is. Little boys have been bringing home puppies for centuries and now we need a book to tell us how. That third edition of Sex for Dummies is even funnier -- it's a third edition in case you read the first two editions and still don't get it. Heartburn and Reflux for Dummies is for those of us who choose not to read Anger Management for Dummies. Somebody was preparing ahead.

Screenwriting for Dummies sounds bad! But not as bad as --
There's a special deal at Amazon right now if you buy Blogging for Dummies and Buzz Marking with Blogs for Dummies together. There doesn't, however, seem to be a "Not Taking Dummy Book Titles Personally for Dummies". Somebody should write that one.


Grubber said...

I think I actually flipped through that book once. I may have been part of a focus group :) It was fairly basic, probably better terminology would be screenwriting formatting for dummies, but I agree with your sentiment.

Marriage for Dummies.....Parenting for Dummies are more sorely needed I would suggest :)

Hope you are feeling better Maryan.


oneslackmartian said...

I'm afraid of seeing "Dentistry for Dummies."

MaryAn Batchellor said...

OSM, Yeah, kind of been worried about "gynecology for dummies" myself.

Dave, I feel great. Just not allowed to drive a car right now pending a followup EEG. My brain waves are just TOO POWERFUL!

Steve said...

My favorite is Calculus for Dummies. If you're truly a Dummy, maybe you should just let Calculus go.

Grubber said...

So you're the secret evil character in the next Superman movie!!!!!!!

Do you kill with your plot lines?

PS glad to hear.

Unk said...

I have that book.


MaryAn Batchellor said...

Unk, WHICH book?

Olaf Legend said...

"US Presidents for Dummies"? Sounds like a fair swap, M

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I'm so very sorry to tell you this, Olaf, darling, but there is also an equally fair swap called "British Monarchy for Dummies".($19.99 at Amazon)

But that particular title, "U.S. Presidents for Dummies", struck me as particularly funny and politically charged. If I were a press officer of a higher rank, I'd use that book cover to my advantage.

Alas, we are all but dummies.

Olaf Legend said...

I agree with you on the British Monarchy comment, but lay off us Swedes. For we are named after a root vegetable.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Olaf, Is Tunbridge Wells, Kent, not in England?

Olaf Legend said...

You are correct, M, but Olaf is not full English citizen. Sadly/luckily.

Anonymous said...

the most offensive screenwriting title has to be Write A Movie In 21 Days because, like, come on!

GameArs said...

Dummies can write screenplays, too... and I'm proof. ;)

mernitman said...

Moviequill, you'll note that it's not called "How to Write GOOD Screenplays in 21 Days"...

I'm waiting for "Being a Dummy For Dummies," myself.

ECHenry said...

Don't hate me, but I just found I have an old (over 10 years ago) copy of "Dating for Dummys" BUT hey its written by Dr. Judy Kuriansky, AND its subchapter include such discussions as:

"Why am I shy?"
"What is love?"
"Fighting as a Turn-on"
"Expecting sex" (which natural turns to a chapter on...)
"Bacterial Infections"

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Patrick J. Rodio said...

Did Bush read the US Presidents For Dummies?

Alan Smithee said...

I'm okay with a book titled, Screen Writing for Dummies. I'm going to re-act differently when the series publishes Writing Screenwriting Books for Dummies hits the bookstore shelves. There's more than enough of those books flooding the market as it is.