“Fargo” Showrunner Noah Hawley Speaks


When the creator/showrunner of a series as highly regarded as “Fargo” speaks, we TVWriter™ minions are eager to listen. And now, thanks to the miracle of interweb video, we can gaze upon his super successful countenance in awe and delight as well.

(What? No, that wasn’t irony or sarcasm at all. This particular minion remembers the days before YouTube became the Font of All Knowledge and appreciates its most excellent existence.)

Writers! ManuFixed is Here for You!

EDITOR’S NOTE: TVWriter™ is continually barraged by with requests from people asking us to recommend a solid, reliable editorial service to help writers prepare their teleplays, screenplays, literary manuscripts as such. We’ve never stepped into that trap because such recommendations are fraught with peril.

Now, though, we’ve found a service we’re happy to step up to the plate for. It’s called ManuFixed. Here’s what its creators have to say:

Scripts! Manuscripts! Plots! Queries!
Scripts! Manuscripts! Plots! Queries! Not only does ManuFixed do stuff, it’s a real word!

by Samantha Bohrman & Cristina Pippa

Sometimes your family won’t read an eighteenth draft of your script, even though it has a stunning, epic love story and a vivid WWII backdrop. (Some of us may know this from experience.) Perhaps you realize that your current circle of readers doesn’t have the expertise to offer you useful feedback anyway.

We started ManuFixed to offer just those services– professional editing and coaching for writers. We are writers ourselves, and we love helping other writers bring their visions to life.

A professional editor with experience writing script coverage will help you take your work to the next level. And if you’re looking for inspiration or someone to pitch your ideas to, you can call on an enthusiastic and thoughtful writing coach who has worked with screenwriters for television and film.

We first met a few years ago at our writing group’s holiday party. We like to call the coffee shop where we write “the office” and host summer BBQs and holiday parties as if we’re a Fortune 500 Company.

One of us was on maternity leave from writing sessions at “the office” when the other one joined the group, so the holiday party was the first chance we got to sit down and find out why everyone thought the other one was so great.

There was German pretzel bread. Writers offered to watch each other’s dogs while they were out of town. And we must have arranged a writing date, because we’ve been meeting once a week since then.

After chatting and exchanging work, we found that:

  • We had worked for the same boutique New York literary agency, and
  • We never got more useful feedback on our work than we did from each other. We had been providing editorial services to writers separately for years, and we had so much fun comparing notes and honing our work together, we decided to go into business.

ManuFixed offers:

  1. Coaching: Focus on your writing goals, pitches, and specific challenges and strengths. Perhaps you’re deciding what to work on next or you would like feedback on an early draft. Hop online or on a phone call with us, and let’s dig in.
  2. Developmental editing for scripts and manuscripts: We’ll read your work multiple times and present you with 2-3 pages of notes, focusing on overall character development, plot, pacing, dialogue, and structure.
  3. Copy editing and proofreading: This is a line edit for that final polish.
  4. Query, plus 10 pages: Refine your query and first 10 pages to help snag an agent.

If you’re interested, check out www.manufixed.com, connect with us on Twitter (@ManuFixed), or send us an email at manufixers@gmail.com.

Our pricing for coaching and editing is competitive and is listed on our website. We love talking with writers and discussing their writing. Even if you’re sick-to-death of working on your latest project, we can’t wait.

ManuFixers’ Bios: Samantha Bohrman’s first book, Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality, came out with Entangled Publishing in 2014, and two more titles will be released in the next year. Cristina Pippa is a published playwright and filmmaker, and she received an Artist’s Initiative grant for her novel.

E-Book Publisher Opts for Writers’ Rooms Not Authors

An intriguing idea, this writers’ room in publishing thing, but also dismaying to all the writers who are trying to leave the TV writers’ room environs and proudly and solitarily produce work that’s all theirs.



by Charley Locke

MATTHEW CODY BEGAN his new book ReMade with a premise sure to be a hit with fans of dystopian YA fiction: In a post-apocalyptic future, 23 teenagers wake up to look for answers in the wreckage of human civilization, all while being hunted by machines. But beyond its initial chapter, he didn’t write the details of the rest of the book. He didn’t have to—he’s just the showrunner.

ReMade, which debuts today, is the fifth series from Serial Box. The company is essentially a book publisher, but instead of releasing whole novels by lone authors, it rolls out stories like a TV network: one “episode” a week, each penned by a different writer. Every installment, much like every episode of The Night Of, will take a little under an hour of your time, and for those who keep up with their shows on iTunes, the options to buy will be familiar. Readers can purchase an episode at a time for $1.99, subscribe and get each of the 13-15 episodes for a discounted $1.59, or buy a season pass for $19-22. For subscribers and pass holders, a new episode arrives in their Serial Box app each Wednesday, in both written and audio form.

Other companies—Wattpad, Crave—have experimented with serialized digital storytelling, but Serial Box hews much more closely to the TV model than anything that’s come before it. That’s intentional. Co-founder Molly Barton, who was previously the global digital director at Penguin, wanted to start an ebook company that borrowed not only from television’s release schedule, but from its marketing and creative process, too.

“When I was at Penguin, I was going to more and more dinner parties with literary agents who were just talking about TV,” Barton says. “With TV, I can figure out where you are, but if we’ve read the same novel, it’s a more dense thing to access.” Through episodic release, Barton hopes to offer a reading experience that’s easier to speculate and obsess about, through books that you can read in sync with your friends.

Writing Novels Like TV Seasons

Serialized book publication, of course, requires a quick turnaround….

Read it all at Wired

John Ostrander: Making a Better Superman

by John Ostrander

supergirl-season-2As of last Monday night, Warner Bros grew a Superman problem. That’s the night that Supergirl started its second season on its new home, the CW… where one could argue that it always belonged anyway. The show guest starred Supergirl’s cousin, Superman, embodied on TV by Tyler Hoechlin.

If you don’t already know, DC – unlike Marvel – does not link its movie universe and its TV universe. Since DC Comics is currently in the Multiple Universe concept once more, it might help to think of their TV and movie universes as alternate dimensions. So we can have two Flashes, two Wonder Women – and two versions of Superman.

The DC movie version of Superman, as shown in Man of Steel andSuperman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice Whaddee Do Dah, is played by Henry Cavill and is a darker, more brooding, somewhat more Batman-ish Superman. His costume is also darker, almost a blue-black. He is, we are told, a more “realistic” Superman. And that’s where I think the trouble is going to lie.

Supergirl’s Superman is a more traditional Man of Steel. He’s a brighter, more confident, more hopeful vision. And, not to slam Henry Cavill, Tyler Hoechlin is a better actor. As a kid he held his own with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig in Road to Perdition where Hoechlin played a starring role as Michael Sullivan, Jr. (Sidenote: not everyone realizes that Road to Perdition is also a “comic book movie” based on the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner. Work that little factoid into your conversations. Amaze your friends. Go out and get a copy. Great read. End of plug.)

The Superman appearing on Supergirl is more my idea of who Superman is – confident, capable, friendly, powerful and, according to one character on the show, smells good. When he walks into the DEO, the government facility where Lara’s adopted sister Alex works, people just stop and stare. Superman works the crowd, smiling, shaking hands, setting people at ease not like a politician or even a celebrity but like a nice guy from Kansas which, for all his powers, he is.

Hoechlin also does a great Clark Kent, reminiscent of Christopher Reeve’s great turn, having a deft sense of humor to the portrayal and making the bumbling aspect work. When his cousin secretly congratulates Clark on a well executed file fumble in the elevator, he tells her it wasn’t an act. That’s endearing.

Also, in the TV aspect of the DCU, there isn’t the underlying mistrust that the DC movie universe has for this strange person from another world. Batman wants to kill Superman because the Kryptonian could be a threat; one of the arguments leading to the creation of the Suicide Squad was who could stop Superman if he decided to burst through the roof of the White House and grab the President? On Supergirl, people trust the Man of Steel. Seeing him, or his cousin, inspires hope. While the darker portrayal may be more “realistic,” it’s not what the character is about.

I’m not looking for a return to the Superman of the Fifties as seen in either the comics or the TV show. To be honest, that one bored me even as a kid. The movies, however, makes him more angsty, more dour, and less Super. Hoechlin is only scheduled to appear as a guest star on the TV show for right now but he wears the tights and the cape – and Clark Kent’s glasses – quite well.

I know that in BvS: DoJ (spoiler alert, I guess) Superman dies at the end of the film but we all know he’s coming back for the Justice League movie. I, for one, wouldn’t mind if the movie Superman uses the grave as a chrysalis and pops out as Tyler Hoechlin. Or maybe they can have Tyler spin off into a series as Superman. I’d watch it. And I bet lots of others would as well.

And that’s going to be WB’s problem – the better Superman isn’t on the big screen; it’s on the small one.

John Ostrander is one of LB’s favorite writers in any medium and the writing brain behind the most successful run of Suicide Squad in comics. Don’t forget to read his most excellent blog at ComicMix.

The Wit & Wisdom of Chris Albrecht

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht has been one of the most influential executives in television  for decades.

At HBO he developed such classic shows as OzThe Sopranos, The WireEntourage, and Six Feet Under, and at Starz he has brought Power, Ash vs Evil Dead, Outlander Blunt Talk, Black Sails, and more outstanding visions to audiences everywhere.

One of the keys to the success of Albrecht’s shows has been the writing. As a former literary agent (who once represented our Beloved Leader LB), he knows the good stuff when he reads it.

So when Albrecht speaks about his career, we, as writers aching to learn all we can, make it a point to listen. (So what if he was fired from HBO for an act of domestic abuse. Hey, it happened in Vegas, so, you know. Anyway:)