TVWriter™ Newsletter – August 2012

For those of you who haven’t gotten the email:

TVWriter™  Newsletter – August 2012 or



…Has brought us more visitors than ever before. And, we have to modestly say, more praise than we ever expected. Our blog style is proving to be exactly what you all want, to which we can only say:


Because you never know…you know?

Our Crack Staff of TV Addicts thanks all of you for your visits, and we in “management” (so how does a shoestring operation like this end up with a management level, huh?) thank not only you but also the crack staff. (Which beats thanking a TV Staff of crack addicts, no?)

All of us here are having a lot of fun as we try to learn both what visitors want and what you need. We hope you’ll help us out by letting us know, either by emailing TVWriter™ at or via the “Comments” section at the end of each article.

In addition to your suggestions, we’re always open to getting any kind of help we can. TVWriter™ needs more writers to report on TV writing related doings, on their own experiences in (or trying to get into) the Biz. We’re open to any and all submissions but especially looking for TV reviews and overviews of the work of major – and minor – television creators/writers/showrunners.

Oh, right – please email us about this first. And also please remember: Until our visitor numbers are high enough for us to get some paid ads, everyone’s payment for all this hard work is…you got it. More of the gratitude thing. And maybe some advice or mentoring if LB’s in a good mood.

Hoping to hear from as many of you as possible…soon!


How soon? Ver-ry soon.

PEOPLE’S PILOT SEMI-FINALISTS will be announced Next
week, sometime between August 13th and August 18th.

the following week, sometime between August 21st and
August 25th.

This is a full month earlier than we originally announced at the
conclusion of both entry periods, so we’re going to take this
occasion to give ourselves just a wee pat on the back.

We’ll release more specific data as we get it, but if you want to be
as up-to-date as possible on this subject, hey, it wouldn’t hurt to
visit the PP and/or the SS.

Or just go to our delightful home  page and click on the contest of your
choice in the righthand index.


More on Characterization
by LB

F. Scott Fitzgerald, not exactly known as an action writer, said it best:  “In movies, characters are what they do, not what they say.” This is the most important thing you can keep in mind when writing any script for film or TV, and believe me I know how hard it is to remember.  After all, we’re writers, aren’t we?  We live and die by the word.

In a novel, we get into our protagonist’s mind.  We know his or her thoughts.  In a stageplay, the flow of words is designed to both propel the story forward and illuminate the psyches of the speakers. But in a teleplay or screenplay the only way we can know what a character is thinking is by how he behaves.  We never hear his thoughts, and the only time we hear him talking is when he’s in conversation with other people, to whom he could easily be lying.

Action, then, is what gives us our characters’ states of mind.  An angry character throws a chair, breaks a mirror.  A loving character holds a dear one tenderly.  A character who can’t face life literally turns away.  Whether the action is large or small, it has to come from within, driven by the needs of the character and therefore illuminating them at the same time.

The next time you sit down to plot out a script, think of yourself as a supreme Existentialist.  Sartre wrote that “Existence precedes essence.”  Your job as a writer for the visual media is to make Sartre’s words come true.  Create events that will give your characters their existence, so that the audience will understand the essence that makes the entire piece come alive.


Because the questions never stop:

The next TVWriter™ Basic Online Workshop starts in October, 2012. More info and our sign up-page

The next TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop starts August 22, 2012. More info and our sign-up page as well

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