TVWriter™ December Newsletter

A free Kindle book! News about TVWriter™’s People’s Pilot and Spec Scriptacular writing contests! Teleplay Tips & Tricks! Call for students for our upcoming Advanced Workshop!

Enjoy the read:

TVWriter™ Newsletter – December 2012


EDITED TO ADD: The “LB Has a Gift for You” article was posted yesterday, as an announcement about how you can get a free Kindle copy of LB’s book, Television Writing from the Inside out. We want to remind you that you can still get that free copy until the very last minute of, um, today.


A couple of weeks ago we announced the publication of the revised and updated Kindle version of the boss’ best-selling how-to-write book, Television Writing from the Inside Out. It’s a great book. We love it. And so have thousands of readers and reviewers over the past few years.

Because we value this book so highly, we want it to get into the hands and e-readers of as many people as possible, and in order to do that, LB has decided to make the Kindle version available for nothing – that’s right, absolutely free – today, December 5th, and tomorrow, December 6th. As the man himself put it:

“Today (the 5th) is my birthday, and I’m a big believer in birthday presents. But since I’ve already have a hell of a lot more birthdays than I expected, and received far more presents than I deserve, this year I’d like to do the gift-giving thing instead of gift-getting. So if you hurry to Amazon.Com before midnight on December 7th, your free Television Writing from the Inside Out book will be waiting.”

This offer is good for 2 days only, so we suggest you click HERE and take advantage of the best deal ever on the best television (and screen) writing book you’ll ever read!

Lest we forget: You’ll find several reviews of the Kindle version at the link above. And if you want to get more opinions, check out what readers have said about the trade paperback HERE.

And if you love the Kindle version when you read it, please write a review!



Yep, you heard it here. The exact date on which we’ll start accepting entries is January 1, 2013, and we’ll have a short period – probably that magic number of 2 months – in which you can do the Early Bird Entry thing for $30 instead of the usual $40.

Although the PP and SS web pages don’t yet show it, LB has decided to provide free feedback in the form of sending out the judges’ scores and the criteria for those scores after the Winners are announced to all entrants who request it. We believe this will be a huge benefit to the writers and a big improvement to the contests.

We’ll also be changing the PP page to reflect our newer, fairer category system. No longer will we have only one overall winner. Instead there will be separate 1-hour and half-hour categories, each with its own set of Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Winners. We think this will be a much simpler and fairer system for everyone…and, hey, more people will be able to win more prizes. You know that ain’t bad!

The People’s Pilot is here.
The Spec Scriptacular is here.

Or just go to TVWriter™ and click on the contest of your choice in the righthand index.



Raise the Tension


A story can’t maintain reader or viewer interest if it doesn’t build. In other words, to stay interesting it has to become MORE interesting. Upward and onward should be your catch phrase, in the sense that the tension has to increase as you race to your climax.

One way to increase the tension is to keep raising what’s at stake. You say that the people your gutty heroine has learned to love are going die if she doesn’t succeed in solving their problem? How about if as she goes along she learns that she’s in danger of losing everything she has as well? Ditto her boss. And then…? Then cause even more rain to fall, raising the tension still more – to the very breaking point. ala ERIN BROCKOVICH. Oh, those poor people. Oh, poor Erin. But look how she fought on!

The trick here is to let your main character start to triumph only to find that the odds against him or her have just become even greater, so that each triumph ends tragically. Two steps forward and one step back all the way to the climax, when at last your lead wins the overall victory he or she has been after since the first reel. If things have constantly gotten tougher, the audience will still be there to cheer.



The current Basic Online Workshop will be ending next week, but we’ll be holding another one starting at the end of March instead of waiting the usual year. If you’re ready to take the first big step toward becoming a superstar showrunner or film writer, this is – for reals – a must-do.

Basic Workshop info and sign-up form

The next TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop starts December 12, 2012, and will meet for 2 weeks, then take a couple of weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s, and then return in January for the final 2 meetings. As of this writing we have two openings. (Yesterday there were three.) The Advanced Workshop always fills up, so we ever-so-respectfully suggest that you hurry to:

Advanced Workshop info and sign-up form

Or find out more about everything TVWriter University is currently offering here.


That’s it for now. Thanks for your support for the “new” TVWriter™ throughout this past year. Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy and Prosperous New Year!



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