All bibles don’t have to be holy ones, but those for television series come close, at least in the eyes of their creators. And while the executives who read them as part of their prep for green-lighting a series may make changes, they expect to see something fresh, new, exciting, and just plain impossible to turn down in their email boxes or on their desks.

Here’s some good advice on how to write your maybe-not-so-sacred manuscript so it zings.

Learn how to write a TV show bible and market your pilot like a pro
by Script Reader Pro

So you’ve got a great idea for a TV show…

Do you just write the pilot and start sending it out into the industry? Or do you first write one of those mysterious things known as a “TV show bible”?

If you want to learn how to write a series bible but are unsure what it should include, where to start or whether you need to write one in the first place, look no further.

In this post, we’ll be covering:

 What is a TV series bible?

 Do you have to write a TV show bible? And if so, when?

 TV series bible template and format

 40 TV show bible examples to download and study

And much more. So let’s dive on in!

What is a TV series bible?

A TV show bible is a 5- to 15-page document put together by a writer to help them sell their TV show.

A well-put-together TV series bible is an in-depth blueprint of the show—story world, tone, plots and characters, etc.—and how each develop during season 1 and beyond.


Beginner Tips on How to Write and Sell Your Screenplay

It’s always best to start with the basics, and Stage32.Com knows the basics very well indeed.

via Stage32 Blog

What makes a good screenplay? This is one of the most important questions that an artist needs to be aware of every single day. In coming up with the best work of art, it is important to note that instead of relying on the meta aspects of essential tips of writing a good screenplay, hence for effectiveness, a better focus on the concept of the story structure is essential.

Friedrich Hegel, one of the most renowned screenwriters of all times stated that “structure is the single most important element in writing and selling a screenplay”. Considering the general structure, the flow of a story is directed into three great pillars which include: the beginning section, middle and the ending section of the story. Notably, for a perfect screenplay, there exist three important pillars that play the governing role and when the three are not incorporated in the process then it is not possible to come up with the best screenplay. The governing elements include thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.

1. Thesis

To start with, the idea of the thesis is a significant figure of a good screenplay. Adam Wiener, a creative script writer at SolidEssay and ConfidentWriters, describes it as ‘the set up’ in which “the screenwriter sets up the play, establishes the character and launches a dramatic premise, illustrates the situation, and create a relationship between the main character and supporting characters.” The importance of the thesis in a screenplay is that it sells the idea of the film. In other words, it’s a crucial element encompassing a package of things to persuade people to invest money in a movie, book, or play to come out from that script….

Read it all at stage32.com

You gotta tell the story

Nathan Bransford, one of TVWriter™’s favorite writers and writing consultants has a story to tell…about telling stories. Hmm….

by Nathan Bransford

When you’re writing a novel, it’s easy to get lost in the worlds you’re creating. It’s hard to see what you’re not telling the reader because you know what’s what and who’s who. You lose sight of what is and isn’t on the page.

But you must let the reader into the world of your novel. You must give the reader the information they need to understand what’s happening. You must get over the hump and just come straight out with exposition when the readers need it.

Repeat after me.

I am not transcribing the thoughts of a fictional character in a fictional world. I am telling a story.

I am not recording a conversation for posterity. I am telling a story.

I am not transcribing the way people speak in real life. I am telling a story.

I am not withholding information and being intentionally vague because I think it creates atmosphereI am telling a story.

I am not keeping the reader at arm’s distance. I am telling a story.

My characters are not just characters. They are storytellers. Because I am telling a story.

I am telling a story. I am telling a story. I am telling a story.

Do not write to be true to the characters in your fictional world. Write for the people in our world.

You are telling a story.

Read this and more at Nathan’s blog.

Need help with your book? Nathan is available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!

For my best advice, check out Nathan’s guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and his guide to publishing a book.

And if you like this post: subscribe to Nathan’s newsletter!

Getting Notes for Your Writing – The Screenwriting Life #1

Here’s an outstanding video (podcast?) for all screen and TV writers. It’s the first in a series featuring Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, whose combined credits include writing and production on such films as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Captain Marvel, and we’re hoping it will be followed by many more.

From Popcorn Talk

Bob Tinsley: The Road to ESCAPE!

by Bob Tinsley

In case you weren’t aware, on February 26 the first trailer for my space opera fiction podcast, ESCAPE!, went live on Anchor.fm and new episodes are being posted weekly.

The pilot for ESCAPE! won Second Place in the Drama/Action category of the 2019 People’s Pilot competition.

Since November I have written the last seven episodes of the 12-episode series. I hired an actor, recorded all the lines, and, as of this writing, have finished mixing six of the 12 episodes and two trailers, researched and set up a podcast hosting account, set up a website, started a Patreon page and completed a strategy and promotion plan to publicize it. By the time you read this, that plan will have been set into motion.

Whew! I got tired just writing that.

My path to audio fiction writer/producer/sound designer was long and filled with gaping blank spaces when nothing happened. Mostly due to fear. Fear of doing something new, fear of failure, fear of success.

That last is the most insidious because it means changing your life, and most people prefer the discomfort of their known, current life to the perceived discomforts of a potential changed life, often unconsciously.

I got interested in writing audio fiction after reading The Complete Book of Scriptwriting by J. Michael Straczynski back in the mid-2000s, the Medieval Period of podcasting.

There was a chapter in the book about “radio drama” that fascinated me so I started writing. Again.

At that time websites were about the only place that published episodic audio fiction. I found one, Darker Projects, that was looking for new scripts and series concepts. I submitted and had several stand-alone scripts accepted and produced. I even had a series concept accepted, and three episodes of that were produced.

The problem was (is) that I am an instant gratification kinda guy. It took SO LONG to get the scripts produced that I became disillusioned and dropped out. For a long time.

At the time, I discussed my frustrations with LB. He asked the pertinent question: Why don’t you produce them yourself? Oh, I had excuses. I had a day job. Producing audio was a giant PITA. There was no money in it. Yadda, yadda.

To be fair, the technology and software were primitive compared to what is available now. Nonetheless, it was possible, but I was too hesitant, anxious, otherwise engaged to do it.

Then, a couple of years ago, the itch returned.

I still didn’t want to wait forever while someone else cast, recorded, and produced my scripts, so I decided that the only way to circumvent that bottleneck was to do it my own damn self.

See, LB, your advice does eventually make it through my thick skull. Sometimes it just takes a while – a LONG while. Whatever else I was doing, I wouldn’t be waiting.

I researched DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and found one called Audacity that was free and would do whatever I was capable of doing. I knew some people who were using it and looked to them for guidance and help.

I had some short scripts left over from earlier that I thought wouldn’t be too difficult for a noob producer to make, so I did. Most of them ran about five minutes.

I quickly discovered that anthology shows were a lot more eager to accept new writers if you could also present them with a finished episode that they could slap an intro and outro on and post. That was quite the revelation.

I ran across a Western-themed anthology podcast called The Drift and Ramble Podcast that was looking for content. I had an idea for a docudrama about Wild Bill Hickok’s last job as a lawman, so I proposed it along with the offer to produce it myself. It was accepted, my first 30-minute plus episode. It was a real learning experience.

Now I had sufficient confidence in myself to start planning a real series. Again. That turned out to be J.B. Hickok’s Weird West, Mark 1. I wrote the pilot and decided to enter it into the 2018 People’s Pilot competition. It made it into the semi-finals, but no further.

I knew it was a good concept from the feedback, so I determined to rewrite it from the ground up for the 2019 competition. This time I submitted not only the script and bible, but a fully produced episode. Producing that episode took me the whole month of October to cast, distribute scripts, get recordings back, edit, add sound effects and music, and master the final product. About two days before the deadline, I submitted the package.

This time J.B. Hickok’s Weird West (which you can listen to and read the script here) took Best Audio Series Pilot and 2nd Runner-Up in the Drama/Action category.

With ESCAPE! up and running, I’ll get started writing the remainder of the episodes for Hickok, followed by all the casting, recording, etc. Then there are plans for either a Season 2 of ESCAPE!, or one of the other series I have in mind, maybe both. I’ve got a busy year ahead of me.

Making your own fiction podcast gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that can’t be equaled by having your script produced by someone else. You’re always thinking, “you know, I wish he hadn’t done it that way.” My way is better. At least, to me.

To make a long story short (too late!) I’m hooked on making fiction podcasts. It’s challenging. It’s frustrating. It’s fun! You should try it.

Bob Tinsley is an artist, writer, boataholic and new audio/podcast fiction writer-producer. A mighty fine one too, as his  2nd and 4th place People’s Pilot 2019 finishes demonstrate.