Watch the “Grace and Frankie” LIVE Table Read

Watch and listen and learn from the pros. And if you’re one of “those writers,” the kind who disdain actors, this should be an eye-opener.


We need to see more videos like this…but without the coronavirus in the forefront of our fears as we watch.

Ken Levine on Developing Plots for the M*A*S*H TV Series

The Great Ken Levine gives us the inside scoop on the writing of MASH in one of the best -how-to columns we’ve ever seen.


by Ken Levine

MASH episodes tend to be complicated and I’m often asked how we plotted out stories. So here’s how we did it.

First off, we chose the best stories we could find – the most emotional, the most interesting the best possibilities for comedy. Plotting is worthless if you have a bad story. Chekhov would pull out his hair trying to make “B.J.’s Depression” work.

(Side note: stories where your lead character is depressed generally don’t work in comedy. Moping around is not conducive to laughs. Better to make them angry, frustrated, lovesick, impatient, hurt – anything but depressed… or worse, happy. Happy is comedy death.)

We got a lot of our stories from research – transcribed interviews of doctors, nurses, patients, and others who lived through the experience. But again, the key was to find some hook that would connect one of our characters to these real life incidents.

Some of these anecdotes were so outrageous we either couldn’t use them or had to tone them down because no one would believe them….

Read it all at kenlevine.blogspot.com

Listen to Ken’s podcast!

BBC to open up its Writers’ Academy to non-professionals

A couple of days ago we posted about how The Society of Authors in the UK is setting up a fund to help writers get through the financial problems that are part of the current worldwide Covid crisis.

Today we bring news of another way our British cousins are supporting our favorite art form – TV writing. Wow. Just wow.

The BBC is to throw open the doors of its Writers’ Academy to anyone who wants to have a shot at writing for television, in a move dubbed “X Factor for writers”.

In the past, only professional screenwriters have been allowed to apply to the academy, but in a bid to bring in voices from different backgrounds any budding writer will be able to try to follow in the footsteps of previous winners such as Killing Eve and The Victim writer Rob Williams.

The eight successful applicants will write for BBC Studios’ biggest shows such as EastEnders and Casualty, have lectures from writers such as Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio and Years and Years writer Russell T Davies and get three months of paid training.

The move may be welcomed by those in self-isolation due to the coronavirus outbreak who are looking for something to focus on. Recently, stories have been shared about the creativity that has emerged from historical quarantines. William Shakespeare is thought to have penned King Lear during a plague outbreak and Sir Isaac Newton reportedly discovered gravity while in quarantine.

The head of the BBC Studios Writers’ Academy, John Yorke, said writing could help people cope with anxiety….

Read it all at theguardian.com

by Tara Conlan

40 TV SHOW BIBLE EXAMPLES TO DOWNLOAD AND STUDY.

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.

Read it all at SCRIPTREADERPRO.COM

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