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

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,302 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.

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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent witty information, by an established show runner!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4ef387c) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4b010c0) out of 5 stars just what you need to know. June 14 2006
By Scotto Moore - Published on Amazon.com
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
HASH(0xa4b01048) out of 5 stars A solid writer's manual that covers all the bases Dec 4 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
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.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4bb2414) out of 5 stars Buy this now if you want a tv gig Aug. 17 2006
By JDC - Published on Amazon.com
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.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4b01780) out of 5 stars Agree with other reviewers March 3 2011
By Max R. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I worried this book would repeat what I read in The TV Writer's Workbook by Ellen Sandler, which I also gave 5 stars.. Instead, it was a prefect complement.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4b1f960) out of 5 stars 100% helpful June 22 2006
By El Kil - Published on Amazon.com
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.