Why is TV writing different from any other kind of writing? How will writing a spec script open doors? What do I have to do to get a job writing for TV? Writing for television is a business. And, like any business, there are proven strategies for success. In this unique hands-on guide, television writer and producer Ellen Sandler shares the trade secrets she learned while writing for hit shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and Coach . She offers concrete advice on everything from finding a story to getting hired on a current series.
Filled with easy-to-implement exercises and practical wisdom, this ingenious how-to handbook outlines the steps for becoming a professional TV writer, starting with a winning script. Sandler explains the difference between “selling” and “telling,” form and formula, theme and plot.
• A technique for breaking down a show style so you’re as close to being in the writing room as you can get without actually having a job there
• The 3 elements for that essential Concept Line that you must have
in order to create a story with passion and consequence
• Mining the 7 Deadly Sins for fresh and original story lines
• Sample scripts from hit shows
• In-depth graphs, script breakdown charts, vital checkpoints
along the way, and much, much more!
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Mystery & Detective eBook: The TV Writer's Workbook|
|Release Date: 11-26-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Dell Publishing|
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The TV Writer's Workbook
No one (I hope) watches television all the time, but everyone watches it sometimes. Television is pervasive and common, in the sense of communal, familiar, and available to all. Television establishes our ethical, moral, social, and, God knows, material boundaries more than any other factor in modern life. More than the movies, more than politics--no wonder you want to write for it. It's powerful!
Because it is common, television is often dismissed as insignificant, unworthy of respect or care. Because it is pervasive it is voracious--television needs material, and it reproduces like an amoeba, constantly dividing and replicating itself to fill the continuing void.
Television needs more, and it needs it now. That's where you come in. Your job as a writer is to supply it with content. This leads to fast, which leads to sloppy, which leads to formulaic, writing.
"It's not brain surgery," you'll often hear people in the industry say about working in TV. As a way to deflate self-importance, it's a perfectly good sentiment, but resist the impulse to use it as an excuse to lower standards; because in a way, when you create for TV you are doing a kind of brain surgery. You are shaping people's perceptions, and affecting their reality.
A career as a writer in Hollywood begins with excellent writing (excellent by commercial standards--we'll get into that in a minute). After that it's about persistence, tenacity, and some luck, though less than you might think. These are not secrets. Everybody knows the rules. The secret is committing to them. That's what makes a career happen.
In order to write for TV, you must get a job. In order to get a job, you must have material to sh...