A WORD FROM LB
Thanks to the wonderful folks who bring us global warming (um, that would be ourselves, wouldn’t it? Always good to know where the responsibility lies), Autumn up here in the Pacific Northwest rain forest has been remarkably comfortable.
High 60s to mid 70s temperatures, sunshine. Lots of neighborly street get-togethers, impromptu music, and, of course, dog walking.
I’m grateful for the fine weather, and, I’ve got to admit, mostly because when life is this beautiful I can enjoy not writing instead of feeling guilty about it.
But even if I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. Stories in various stages of incompletion buzzing around in my brain. And plans for TVWriter™ making a lot of noise in there too.
Mostly I’m thinking of ways to bring the 5000 or so members and regular visitors to the site more entertainment and education about writing and showbiz as a whole. And I keep coming up against the same obstacles:
And, as Bruce Campbell might say, “moolah.”
Tell deal with the time problem, we’ve increased our staff with new Contributing Editors. You probably already know their names because they’ve been appearing at beautiful downtown http://tvwriter.net for a long time. But now these generous and ingenious writers have put themselves out there, committing to writing for TVWriter™ on a regular basis.
So this is an official “thank you in advance” and acknowledgement of (in alphabetical order by first names cuz that’s how we do it on the interwebs, right?) of Cara Winter, Herbie J Pilato, and Peggy Bechko. Luv you all.
A couple more potential CEs are in the pipeline. We’re still waiting to see if they’re going to spread their wings and fly. (I’d call what I just wrote “the most twisted metaphor ever,” but considering the competition I’m afraid it’s not even close.)
The money problem is another matter. The more successful TVWriter™ gets, the more it costs to run. Bandwidth is much cheaper than it used to be, but it’s still not cheap enough for an operation with no advertising. We need to generate more income, but the only way I can see us deserving more $$$ is by giving our visitors more in return.
So here’s today’s question: How does a paid, bonus add-on to TVWriter™ sound? I’m not talking a lot of money here at all. Maybe a couple of bucks a month. $1.99, say…which could make a lot of improvements and expansion possible if enough people joined.
What kind of improvements? Well, the way I look at it, the greatest asset any creator/artist has is his or herself. In our case, that means myself. What I’m thinking of doing is making myself more personally available, using my trusty webcam to broadcast writing tips and TV series reviews on video that can be accessed only at the bonus site. And having monthly live and recorded question-and-answer sessions with bonus subscribers.
That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure that with a little concentration we can all come up with more.
I want to make one thing very clear: If we add the Bonus Annex (or whatever we end up calling it) nothing that we currently do would be minimized or eliminated. This would be all about increasing the communication and interaction.
(Of course, another way we could improve our financial status would be for more of you to take classes at TVWriter University and enter the People’s Pilot and Spec Scriptacular contests and buy my books, but I’d never be so crass as to suggest anything like that.)
Bottom line: I’m asking everyone who reads this to give my proposal some thought. I welcome any and all suggestions at the usual place.
And while your thinking, please remember this: Your dreams once were my dreams, and I’ll do all we can to help you make them come true.
PEOPLE’S PILOT & SPEC SCRIPTACULAR CONTESTS UPDATE
As y’all know, the 2014 People’s Pilot Competition has passed on to TVWriter™ history and is closed till January 1, 2015 – at which time we hope you’ll enter, enter, and then enter again cuz the future’s going to belong to somebody why not…you?
The 2014 Spec Scriptacular, on the other hand, is roaring toward the far turn. Early Bird Entry time is over, but for a measly fifty bucks per you not only get a chance to Win, Place, or Show in one of the premier online writing competitions, with a total of over $10,000 worth of prizes and bonuses being given away, you get Free Feedback from our Beloved Leader, LB, with each entry.
Considering the going rates at other places on the interweb, entrants are in essence getting 2/3 off retail for both the Feedback and the Competition even by paying full price. (Good thing TVWriter™ has such deep pockets, huh? Oh, wait–)
The Spec Scriptacular is open to spec drama and action scripts, spec sitcom scripts, and spec screenplays and scripts for specials.
Past Winners, Finalists, or Semi-Finalists of TVWriter™’s two contests are or have most recently been on the staffs of CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, PERSON OF INTEREST, THE WALKING DEAD, RIZZOLI AND ISLES, GREY’S ANATOMY, NTSF:SD:SUV, ANIMAL PRACTICE, ROME, KILLER WOMEN, and THE LEFTOVERS.
To join them, or find out more about becoming one of that glorious in-crowd, click HERE.
Or just go to TVWriter™ and scroll down the right hand index to the Spec Scriptacular link.
TV WRITER UNIVERSITY UPDATE
The next TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop, which will be – wait for it – the 144th! – starts Thursday, October 2, 2014 and considering how quickly it fills up, there’s no better time to sign up than right now.
This is the workshop for writers who already know the basics and have a specific project to workshop with LB. The Advanced Workshop is limited to 5 students, so if you’re interested in getting in on the fun, you really should have a look-see at the Advanced Workshop info and sign-up form
And if all goes according to plan Larry Brody’s next Master Class will begin Wednesday, October 8, 2014.
The Master Class is the online workshop for professional level writers who want to spend an intense month perfecting your current work. That means you have a draft of 60 pages ready to be read and tweaked. Or revised, or, who knows, maybe thrown away, but we don’t want to scare ya. Let LB himself analyze your story, plot, and characterization just as he would if he were producing your masterpiece.
LB accepts a maximum of only 3 students at a time in this one so if you’re interested you definitely need to get more info and reserve your place ASAP.
Or find out more about everything TVWriter University is currently offering HERE.
TELEPLAY TIPS & TRICKS #18
The Importance of Good Dialog
One of the paradoxes of television writing is that although story is king, writers in television are judged by their dialog.
That’s because the plots for each series episode are usually constructed by the entire staff, with input from the stars, stunt co-ordinators, network personnel, and various assistants as well. But the dialog as it first appears on the page is up to the writer, and, in subsequent versions, a possible rewriter. The way to make an impression and stay on the project is to write good–make that “great” dialog.
In the context of a teleplay, good dialog means dialog that is concise, witty, and revealing of human character and emotion. It must be essential to the development of plot or “person” with nary an extraneous word. On the screen people always sound as though they’re saying more than they are which the writer has to make sure they say less.
Dialog should seem realistic, but the writers who rise to the top are those who know how to edit “reality” so that their characters are much more intense, much more clever and more expressive than real people usually are.
Know how sometimes after an emotional confrontation you wake up the next morning and think, “I should’ve said THIS instead of THAT?” Well, all your characters, especially your leads, should say what you would if second-guessing yourself.
Take your time and create exciting new turns of phrase, express things in a way you’ve never
heard them expressed before. The pot of gold is there for you if you deliver.
That’s it for now. Our work here is done. The rest is up to you.
Larry Brody – Head Dood
munchman – Keeper of the Faith
Cara Winter, Herbie J Pilato, Peggy Bechko – Contributing Editors
Various Volunteers – Mucho Appreciated Scapegoats
Gwen Brody – Beautiful Dreamer