The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting (Paperback)

The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting By Jill Chamberlain Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-4 Days


Veteran script consultant Jill Chamberlain discovered in her work that an astounding 99 percent of first-time screenwriters don’t know how to tell a story. These writers may know how to format a script, write snappy dialogue, and set a scene. They may have interesting characters and perhaps some clever plot devices. But, invariably, while they may have the kernel of a good idea for a screenplay, they fail to tell a story. What the 99 percent do instead is present a situation. In order to explain the difference, Chamberlain created the Nutshell Technique, a method whereby writers identify eight dynamic, interconnected elements that are required to successfully tell a story.

Now, for the first time, Chamberlain presents her unique method in book form with The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting. Using easy-to-follow diagrams (“nutshells”), she thoroughly explains how the Nutshell Technique can make or break a film script. Chamberlain takes readers step-by-step through thirty classic and contemporary movies, showing how such dissimilar screenplays as Casablanca, Chinatown, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Silver Linings Playbook, and Argo all have the same system working behind the scenes, and she teaches readers exactly how to apply these principles to their own screenwriting. Learn the Nutshell Technique, and you’ll discover how to turn a mere situation into a truly compelling screenplay story.

About the Author

Jill Chamberlain is a sought-after script doctor, story consultant, and screenwriting coach who founded The Screenplay Workshop ( She has taught the Nutshell Technique to more than a thousand screenwriters around the globe, and many of her students have achieved success in Hollywood, having their screenplays optioned, sold, and made into award-winning feature films.

Praise For…

A clever, fresh way of analyzing structure. I've added The Nutshell Technique to my own writing toolbox.
— Creative Screenwriting magazine

A Top 10 Book of the Year. A go-to guide for anyone with a story to write.
— Austin Chronicle

The Nutshell Technique offers ideas that will grow in resonance with each movie you watch. . . a comprehensive method of categorizing movies that you might consider your favorites can now be applied.
— Free Press Houston

Product Details
ISBN: 9781477303733
ISBN-10: 1477303731
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 224
Language: English