munchman: The “New Writer’s Handbook” is Chock Full of Stuff You Need to Know

by munchman

newwritershandbookcaptureExpressed a tad more eloquently cuz its contributors include some of the best writers in the writing biz.

Accurately subtitled “A Practical Anthology of Best Advice for Your Craft & Career,” this book, published in 2008 (okay, so I’m a little late to the party; at least I got there!) has very good advice indeed from writers including Lisa Firke, Shannon Hale Tess Gerritsen, Ira Glass, Tom Sant, Barbara O’Conner, Tim Patterson, Leo Babauta, and many more prose specialists and includes sections on creativity and motivation, the craft of writing, business savvy, and just plain literary thoughts. (I ignored the literary thoughts thing, but that’s, you know, how the munchman, um, munches.)

One of my favorite chapters is called “Great Faith. Great Doubt. Great Effort.” In it, writer Rhonda Abrams gets right to the heart of things:

It is not only the quality of your ideas, but the strength of your faith in your ideas that will help you succeed….Great doubt is part of the process of building a success, not ncessarily an indication of failure….Nothing succeeds without hard work….

Yeah, we all get kind of exhausted by the hard work, i.e., Great Faith thing, but isn’t that what life in general is all about anyway? My father used to say that “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” My current take on that, though, changes a couple of work: “Anything worth doing is hard.”

The New Writer’s Handbook makes it a little easier to take the hard road.

munchalito recommends both.

More about this book HERE.

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 1/24/15

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by munchman

  • Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club) is writing the pilot for Syfy’s 51st State, a drama series about a future in which “the United States, confronting a prison population stretched to the limit, purchases Greenland and converts it into a frontier prison colony with male and female convicts incarcerated together.” Except, of course, that things don’t work out as planned. (Notice the not-so-subtle satire here, the whole “we’re all living in prison now” thing? Thanks to the harmless outlet that this show provides, we real prisoners won’t have to revolt after all. Whew.)
  • Matt Tarses (The Goldbergs) is writing the pilot for a CBS comedy series called Coverband about “members of a rock band left to scramble after their lead singer dumps them for a solo career.” (LB informs yer sweet munchman that his first paid-for script was for a similarly themed feature film at MGM, but his protagonist was the lead singer. The more things change….)
  • Exciting new unknown David E. Kelley is adapting Mr. Mercedes, a novel by another new unknown named Stephen King into a mini-series detective drama for a company called Sonar Entertainment. (Cuz in this youth-oriented market two of the most successful writers still breathing can’t get broadcast or cable network deals on their own? What gives?)

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 1/22/15

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by munchman

  • Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) is writing the pilot for Park Row, a drama series about “the newspaper circulation wars between publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst” in the late 1800s. The announcement makes no mention of what network or cable entity this will appear on. (Cuz “newspaper circulation wars?” “Late 1800s? What idiot executive – excuse the tautology – is going to commit to something like that? Oh wait – all of them probably. Meh.)
  • David DiGilio (Crossbones) is developing a martial arts series called Warrior for NBC. (They call it a “drama,” but yer cute little munchikins has to admit that I’ve never seen any show or movie in martial arts that even remotely resembled a genuine drama. But maybe that’s just me?)
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who old-timers might recall as some kind of basketball hero and modern TV viewers may recognize from appearances on New Girl, is co-writing a novel about Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s bro, with Anna Waterhouse (On the Shoulders of Giants). (I have absolutely no idea what Kareem is bringing to the table here except his obsolete name but am certain that one way or another he’ll make a – wait for it – slam dunk. No? Not worth waiting for? Sorreeee!)

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 1/19/15

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by munchman

  • Ian Hollands (Beaver Falls) is writing the mini-series Apocalypse Slough, “a Sky 1 “adrenaline-fueled witty epic about the end of the world.” (Yer friendly neighborhood munchman fully expects this to turn up on Syfy sometime next year as well. Unless it’s good, in which case Syfy will have no interest whatsoever but maybe Netflix will?)
  • Guillermo del Toro & Travis Beacham & Rene Scheverria  (Star Trek) are co-writing Carnival Row, a potential Amazon Studios series based on Travis’ spec script. (The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I didn’t give any credits to del Toro. That was deliberate cuz if you talk about him as a writer you soon realize that he can’t. Write, that is. Fortunately, if the pilot for Carnival Row gets shot, he’ll be directing…as sublimely as ever, I hope.)
  • Have I mentioned that Woody Allen, of whom you may have heard a few things, is set to develop his first TV series for Amazon Prime? (It’s what’s called a “blind commitment,” and in this case its totally blind: Nobody, not even the Woodster, has a clue about what he might deliver. Or, for that matter, if he’ll deliver anything. My munchensteinian prediction: It’ll be a series about a middle-aged man in love with a much younger woman and every single line of dialog and joke will be one we’ve already heard in a Woody Allen movie. How do I know this? Well, I’ve seen a few recent Woody Allen movies. Hehehe…

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 1/16/15

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by munchman

  • PJ Liguori (YouTube star creator – yess!) is developing OSCAR’S HOTEL, a comedy about “a  man who becomes the owner of a boarding house “where he must manage the high-maintenance mayhem of the mythical creatures who live there” into a “TV” series for vimeo. (And you betcha munchalito’s gonna watch this. Some of my closest relationships have been with mythical creatures, and high maintenance definitely was the order of the day.)
  • Sawyer Hartman (another YouTuber making good – all riight!) has a similar Vimeo thing happening, a science fiction drama called PARALLAX about “a young scientist who alone has knowledge of an imminent, cataclysmic meteor strike.” (What makes these two Vimeo projects special? Well, they’re both for Vimeo On Demand, which is the website’s foray into competition with Big Media TV, oh and they’re both being produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, whose careers for many years have been the definition of A list in both TV and film. Anybody out there got a phone number for either Brian or Ron? I’m thinking maybe I should give ‘em a call.)
  • Back in the Big Media world, Jason Tracey (ELEMENTARY) has a new overall deal with CBS to keep kicking ass on that show and create new ones. (Try as I may, yer munchero just can’t come up with any decent snark about this guy. Cuz if anybody’s career arc has made him my hero, Jason’s the one. Congrats, dude, let’s get together so I can show you my new ELEMENTARY spec – which I’ll start writing as soon as I find the Final Draft template, don’tcha know?)

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 1/14/14

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by munchman

  • Lauren Iungerich (AWKWARD) is developing TOUGH COOKIE, a comedy about “a young mother who isn’t ready to parent and her daughter who doesn’t want to be parented,” for ABC Family. (Yer friendly neighborhood muncher identifies completely with that scenario – I had a GF who could have been both characters – but that doesn’t mean I’d want to see this show. In other words, “Yikes!” But maybe that’s just me?)
  • Barbie Adler (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER) is also developing a comedy for ABC Family. This one’s called KEVIN FROM WORK and is about “a young man…who professes his love to a co-worker, thinking he’ll never see her again [after taking another job, only to discover that] the duo must continue to work together.” (WTF? That’s my munching life story!? Gotta get a gig on that series – so I can claim that my situation was just research. Everybody’ll buy that, right? Right? Uh-oh….)
  • Peter Tolan (RESCUE ME) is writing the pilot for THE STUDIO, a drama about behind the scenes greed and opportunism at a film studio in the early 1990s. (Cuz it’s all cleaned up now? Is that what we’re supposed to believe? How dumb to the development execs think we are? Uh-oh, maybe we’re all better off if we never learn the answer to that one.)

That’s it for now, munchaladas. Don’t forget to write in and tell yers truly what you’ve sold when you sell it. Cuz TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)