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Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box Paperback – May 30 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1 edition (May 30 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805080287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805080285
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 513 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

Epstein, author of Crafty Screenwriting (2002), draws on his experiences writing for the television shows Naked Josh and Charlie Jade to create an essential guide for those hoping to break into television writing. Epstein starts with the big picture by examining what great television series have in common: a hook that draws viewers in, compelling characters the audience cares about, and stories that unfold naturally on the small screen and make people want to return to the world of the show every week. From there he gets into the specifics of how to write a good script. Here he tells writers to create a beat sheet--something similar to an outline--of their episode before sitting down to write the script. After offering insightful writing hints and tips on how to write comedy, Epstein walks writers through finding jobs writing for television--and how to get along with everyone from story editors to show runners once one does. Enlightening and straightforward, this is a must for anyone who wants to write for television. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

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.

Inside This Book

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You're reading this book for one of a handful of reasons: You're a student of television, and you want to understand how it works from a writer's perspective. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I was thrilled by the content of every page. I had to stop reading to go to sleep since I was eager for more. I wish I would have thought of buying this years ago!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 27 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
just what you need to know. June 14 2006
By Scotto Moore - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished my compulsive three-day read of "Crafty TV Writing" after following Epstein's blog for quite some time. The same things I like about his blog are totally on display here: straightforward, no-nonsense, right-to-the-point advice about every aspect of TV writing you can think of. He's got multiple audiences with this book: I imagine only a sliver of his readers are in a position to actually pitch pilots to important people, but there's still a ton to be gleaned about the techniques of episodic storytelling that are of use in a wide range of contexts - I picked up the book because I've been writing and developing episodic internet shows, for instance, and although I may never get to enjoy sitting in a professional writers' room, the insight into collaborative storytelling is quite valuable. Ultimately what I appreciate most about the book is that, like the best television, it's not pretentious; it acknowledges that television at its best is a wonderful art form, but it's also a craft, and frankly, it's also a day job for the people who are doing it right. Shed some romanticism and learn the nuts and bolts - that's what I appreciated most about this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A solid writer's manual that covers all the bases Dec 4 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
Experienced professional television screenwriter and story editor Alex Epstein presents Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box, a solid writer's manual that covers all the bases. From the hidden structure of TV series, to turning great story ideas into workable scripts, the many tips, tricks, and techniques of a writer's toolkit, the realities of working in TV land (including how to break into the business, get hired, and get promoted!) and much more. Appendices, resources, and spot-on advice from direct personal experience distinguish this absolute "must-have" for aspiring and practicing television writers alike.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Buy this now if you want a tv gig Aug. 17 2006
By JDC - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I own both of Alex's books and I have to say that this is my favorite. What you'll get with this book is straight talk with workable examples. His take is fresh and his comments are clear.

There comes a time when you stop reading these kinds of books and you just start writing. I've cleared my writing bookshelf of how-to books, but Alex's two books remain. Make time for this read and you won't regret it.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Crafty and Wise Nov. 23 2007
By Lee Goldberg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alex Epstein's CRAFTY TV WRITING is a terrific new book full of great advice about the craft of episodic writing and insights into the business of television (and I'm not just saying that because he quotes liberally from me and my blog). If I didn't have a book of my own, Successful Television Writing, to recommend, this is the one I'd tell every aspiring TV writer to buy.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
100% helpful June 22 2006
By El Kil - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. I've worked on a few late night shows, and Alex's blog and book have helped me shape my spec and move into scripted work. If you're getting ready to go to meetings, this book will give you the right language to use so you don't sound like an amateur. I completely recommend it, especially to stand-up comedians who want to write more than jokes.