Cover image for Fitzgerald did it : the writer's guide to mastering the screenplay
Fitzgerald did it : the writer's guide to mastering the screenplay
Wolitzer, Meg.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Penguin Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
vi, 193 pages ; 20 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1996 .W63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This is a book for all writers, be they published or unpublished, novelists or journalists, who want to write for the movies. Meg Wolitzer, who has transformed herself from novelist to novelist/screenwriter, shows writers how they, too, can use their grasp of story, language, and character to write great screenplays. Wolitzer discusses those aspects of screenwriting that can stymie even the most seasoned of writers.Her topics include:* getting started * the essential three-act structure * how writers can use what they already know about writing * why write a treatment and how to do it * how to write visually instead of verbally * creating for the market Wolitzer also advises on shedding obstructive writing habits and adapting one's own work and the work of others for the big screen. Level-headed, encouraging, and always delightful, Fitzgerald Did It is a must for every writer's bookshelf.

Author Notes

Meg Wolitzer was born on Long Island, New York on May 28, 1959. She is the daughter of novelist Hilma Wolitzer. She studied creative writing at Smith College and graduated from Brown University in 1981.

Her first novel, Sleepwalking, was published in 1982. Her other books include Hidden Pictures, This Is Your Life, Friends for Life, The Wife, The Position, The Ten-Year Nap, and The Uncoupling. Her short story Tea at the House was featured in 1998's Best American Short Stories collection. Her books This Is My Life and Surrender, Dorothy were adapted into films.

She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop and Skidmore College and has written several Hollywood screenplays. She currently teaches writing at Columbia University. Her title, The Female Persuasion, made the bestseller list in 2018.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Novelist Wolitzer (Surrender, Dorothy [BKL Ap 15 99]) expands her repertoire with this screenwriting "how to." She divulges the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between writing for the big screen, with its demand for action over discourse, and writing other literary forms. Wolitzer assumes that her readers are already "accomplished" writers and does not go into detail regarding character or dialogue development. Instead she concentrates on the special elements that set those topics apart from their prose counterparts. Wolitzer, who has taught writing workshops at several venues, relies heavily on her experiences in turning her own novel into a suitable film adaptation, running through the various stages of the project, including the basics of preparing the treatment (i.e., synopsis of the story) and building believable scenes, sequences, and subplots. In addition, she addresses the pros and cons of collaboration, how to get into good work habits, and what to do with the screenplay when it's finished. --Ron Kaplan