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Crafty Screen Writing : Thinking Inside the Box - Alex Epstein

Crafty Screen Writing

Thinking Inside the Box

Paperback

Published: 14th August 2006
Ships: 5 to 9 business days
5 to 9 business days
RRP $26.99
$24.75

A professional TV writer's real-world guide to getting paid to write great television
"No need for me to ever write a book on TV writing. Alex Epstein has covered it all . . . along with a few things I wouldn't have thought of. Save yourself five years of rookie mistakes. "Crafty TV Writing" and talent are pretty much all you'll need to make it."
--Ken Levine, writer/producer, "MASH," "Cheers," "Frasier," "The Simpsons," "Wings," "Becker"
Everyone watches television, and everyone has an opinion on what makes good TV. But, as Alex Epstein shows in this invaluable guide, writing for television is a highly specific craft that requires knowledge, skill, and more than a few insider's tricks.
Epstein, a veteran TV writer and show creator himself, provides essential knowledge about the entire process of television writing, both for beginners and for professionals who want to go to the next level. "Crafty TV Writing" explains how to decode the hidden structure of a TV series. It describes the best ways to generate a hook, write an episode, create characters the audience will never tire of, construct entertaining dialogue, and use humor. It shows how to navigate the tough but rewarding television industry, from writing your first "spec" script, to getting hired to work on a show, to surviving--even thriving--if you get fired. And it illuminates how television writers think about the shows they're writing, whether they're working in comedy, drama, or "reality."
Fresh, funny, and informed, "Crafty TV Writing" is the essential guide to writing for and flourishing in the world of television.

Alex Epstein is the author of "Crafty Screenwriting." He has worked as a development executive, television story editor, and television writer for more than a decade. He cocreated the comic drama series "Naked Josh," and was head writer for the science fiction series "Charlie Jade." A graduate of Yale University and the UCLA School of Film and Television, he writes the popular blog Complications Ensue, http: //complicationsensue.blogspot.com. Everyone watches television, and everyone has an opinion on what makes good TV. But, as Alex Epstein shows in this guide, writing for television is a highly specific craft that requires knowledge, skill, and more than a few insider's tricks.
Epstein, a veteran TV writer and show creator himself, provides knowledge and insight about the entire process of television writing, both for beginners and for professionals who want to go to the next level. "Crafty TV Writing" explains how to decode the hidden structure of a TV series, describing the best ways to generate a hook, write an episode, create characters the audience will never tire of, construct entertaining dialogue, and use humor. It shows how to navigate the tough but rewarding television industry, from writing your first "spec" script, to getting hired to work on a show, to surviving--even thriving--if you get fired. And it illuminates how television writers think about the shows they are writing, whether they are working in comedy, drama, or "reality." "No need for me to ever write a book on TV writing. Alex Epstein has covered it all . . . along with a few things I wouldn't have thought of. Save yourself five years of rookie mistakes. "Crafty TV Writing" and talent are pretty much all you'll need to make it."--Ken Levine, writer/producer, "MASH," "Cheers," "Frasier," "The Simpsons," "Wings," "Becker" "An essential guide for those hoping to break into television writing . . . Enlightening and straightforward, this is a must for anyone who wants to write for television."--Kristine Huntley, "Booklist"

"Alex Epstein brings...honesty, skill and expertise to a field otherwise crowded with how-to-write quacks." - John Badham, director of Saturday Night Fever"

Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction: Why You Want to Write TVp. xvii
Thinking Inside the Box
The Hidden Structure of a TV Seriesp. 3
What Makes Great TV?p. 4
A Hookp. 8
An "Attractive Fantasy"p. 11
Characters We Never Get Tired Ofp. 14
A Place Where Stories Walk in the Doorp. 28
Episodic vs. Serial Storiesp. 33
Demographics and Networksp. 36
The Show Biblep. 38
Great Episode Ideasp. 41
The Springboardp. 42
What Makes a Great Springboard?p. 46
How to Come Up with Great Springboardsp. 51
What Makes a Bad Story Ideap. 56
Mixing and Matchingp. 62
Themed Showsp. 63
Writing the Scriptp. 65
Teasers and Tagsp. 66
Act Outsp. 67
Breaking Storyp. 74
Time Compressionp. 76
Weaving Stories Together-The Beat Sheetp. 77
No Hand Waving, Pleasep. 80
The Most Powerful Screenwriting Tool in the Worldp. 82
Mix It Upp. 83
The Rule of Onep. 84
Tracking Expectationsp. 86
Treatmentsp. 92
Going to Pages-the Scriptp. 93
Dialoguep. 101
Actionp. 104
The Writer's Toolkit
Bad Writing and How to Fix It (Or at Least Get Away with It)p. 111
When Is Your Draft Done?p. 112
Contracts and Draftsp. 115
Taking Criticismp. 116
The Flavors of Bad Writingp. 119
Pulling vs. Pushingp. 120
Geographyp. 123
Suspension of Disbeliefp. 125
Offscreen Storyp. 130
Go-Tosp. 133
Point of Viewp. 136
Communicating Without Dialoguep. 138
Bringing the Funnyp. 142
What's So Funny?p. 143
Great Comic Premisesp. 144
Plausible Surprisep. 145
Funny Word Lastp. 146
Commitmentp. 147
Juxtapositionp. 147
Squiggyp. 149
Comedy Is in the Charactersp. 151
Comedy Is in the Pauses, Toop. 153
Don't Break the Framep. 155
Joke on a Jokep. 156
Bric-a-bracp. 156
Up and Backp. 157
Triviap. 158
Underwritingp. 159
Overwritingp. 160
Learning to Be Funnyp. 162
Stand-up Comedyp. 162
Working in TV Land
Preparing to Be a TV Writerp. 167
Writing Partnersp. 170
Film Schools and Classesp. 173
The Free Alternative Film Schoolp. 176
Seminars and Workshopsp. 179
Awards and Competitionsp. 180
The Spec Scriptp. 182
Spec Pilots as Samplesp. 190
Screenwriting Softwarep. 191
Breaking Inp. 195
Getting an Agentp. 195
Staffing Seasonp. 199
L.A., the Big Nipplep. 200
The Back Doorp. 203
Other Back Doorsp. 207
Getting Hiredp. 208
Killer Story Pitchesp. 209
Be Funp. 211
Just Do Itp. 213
Be Flexible but Passionatep. 214
Writing Your Freelance Scriptp. 217
Multiple Jobsp. 221
Moving up the Food Chain: Writing on Staffp. 223
Who Are All These People?p. 224
Story Editorsp. 225
Your Master's Voicep. 228
Credit Where Credit Isn't Duep. 231
Production Notesp. 232
Playing Nice with the Other Kidsp. 234
How to Run a Writing Roomp. 236
Surviving Getting Firedp. 243
The Holy Grail: Creating Your Own Showp. 248
Spec Pilots for Realp. 251
Pitching Festivals: Any Use?p. 254
The Pilot Episodep. 255
Coming Up with a TV Showp. 257
Enjoying the Processp. 266
A Parting Wordp. 268
Resourcesp. 269
Writing Contests and Fellowshipsp. 273
Final Draft vs. Screenwriterp. 275
Scale Paymentsp. 279
Samplesp. 281
Script Pagesp. 289
Glossaryp. 303
Notesp. 311
Indexp. 315
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780805080285
ISBN-10: 0805080287
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 14th August 2006
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 14.0  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1