This Week’s Posts TVWriter™ Wishes We’d Published

Some recent articles from other websites on TV, TV writing, and the TV biz that we think y’all should know about:

Block Out Distractions and Regain Focus With Mental Narration
by Patrick Allan

the-thinker

If you’re having trouble focusing on your tasks, narrating a short script in your head about what you need to do might help you zero in. We all have those days where your mind doesn’t want to focus on any work. When that happens, you need to find a way to put the productivity train back on the tracks. Charles Duhigg, author of Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, suggests that explaining to yourself what you’re going to do, as if it were a story, can help you regain your focus. Duhigg explains to Science of Us….

Read it all at Lifehacker

The good, the bad, and the ugly
by Ken Levine

improv

I’ve always maintained that improvisation workshops are great training for comedy writers. They teach how to be more spontaneous, how to develop a scene, create characters, and appreciate just how difficultreal acting is.

Lots of today’s sitcoms are room written. Rewrites (and in some cases, first drafts) are done by a team of writers sitting around a conference table filled with junk food. Everyone is expected to pitch in, which usually means jokes. It’s a unique talent and there are few opportunities to learn and practice it. Improv classes are ideal….

Read it all at Ken Levine’s blog 

What I Learned About Writing from Coloring Books
by Meredith Allard

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As I’ve said before (in this post), I’ve joined the coloring book craze. I loved coloring when I was a kid, and as it happens I still love to color. I consider myself a wannabe crafter, and I used to dabble in painting with acrylics, and while coloring isn’t actually crafting or creating an original work of art, it still allows me to play with colors….

Read it all at Meredith Allard’s Blog

Sorry, Movies, We’re Just Not That Into You — TV Is Now The Place To Go For Great Rom-Coms
by Lauren Le Vine

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David Wain’s 2014 rom-comparody They Came Together opens with Joel (Paul Rudd) and his partner Molly (Amy Poehler) having dinner with another affable-yet-typical couple, Kyle (Bill Hader) and Karen (Ellie Kemper). It’s a scene that will provide the framework for the entire movie, as it involves Molly and Joel describing their adorable courtship — you know, how they came together. After Kyle and Karen finish their how-they-met story in a concise two minutes, Kyle inquires, “So, how did you two meet?”…

Read it all at Refinery 29

More Posts TVWriter™ Wishes We’d Published

Some recent articles from other websites on TV, TV writing, and the TV biz that we think y’all should know about:

Information Overload? Embrace “Intentional Ignorance”
by Steven MacKenzie

Close-Minded by Luis Prado from the Noun Project
Close-Minded by Luis Prado from the Noun Project

The availability of information in the digital age is overwhelming. For every mesmerizing Instagram profile you browse, there are hundreds of millions more. For every page of search results you scroll down, there are thousands upon thousands beyond that one. For every article you read or RSS feed you subscribe to on a research topic, you could spend the rest of your career consuming more where those came from, and never reach the end.

Writer Sarah Von Bargen discovered the magic of “intentional ignorance” when she clicked “mark all as read” in her RSS reader:

[T]his temporary ‘opting out’ has increased my productivity and cleared my mind like nothing else….

Read it all at 99u

Mara Brock Akil has made her own way in making great TV
by Jill Vejnoska

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Do a cursory search on Mara Brock Akil’s name and what invariably comes up is some version of “TV writer” and/or “producer.”

Yet when it comes to the popular television series she’s created for more than a decade, Brock Akil’s power is all-encompassing — and almost unprecedented for a woman in Hollywood.

Now 45, Brock Akil had spent several years writing for “Moesha” and “The Jamie Foxx Show” when she created “Girlfriends” in 2000. The sitcom about four accomplished and yet refreshingly imperfect African-American women in their 20s aired for eight seasons on UPN (and later the CW network), with Brock Akil serving as executive producer….

Read it all at My AJC

A GREAT Writing (and acting) exercise
by Ken Levine

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Hey they, scribes, do you sometimes have scenes that don’t work and you’re not sure why?  Or scenes that feel too long or unfocused?  There’s a great exercise that will help solve these problems.

It’s actually an improv exercise.  Andy Goldberg in his improvisation workshop had us do this last night and my first thought was, as helpful as this is to actors it’s even more helpful to writers.

Here’s how it works:  Two or three actors do a scene.  And then repeat it.  Two more times. The first time the scene is a minute long. The second time the exact same scene is thirty seconds. And the third time the exact same scene is ten seconds….

Read it all at Ken Levine’s Blog

Bekah Brunstetter Wants You to Feel the Joy
by Suzy Evans

Bekah-Brunstetter

 

Bekah Brunstetter is drinking white wine and having a lunch meeting, like the fancy lady she imagines herself to be. In her fantasy, afternoon drinks over leisurely meals are the norm, even if her reality, as an in-demand playwright and TV writer, doesn’t always accommodate these whims.

But as it’s the first day of holiday hiatus from her new TV writing gig (as a coproducer for the in-development Starz series “American Gods”), and she’ll leave the next day for North Carolina to visit her family, her new fiancé in tow, a toast is definitely in order.

This lunch also marks my first chance to meet Brunstetter in person, though I’ve been following and admiring her work for years….

Read it all at American Theater