Hidden Metaphors in Anatomical Terms

Arika Okrent, our favorite grammar cop/English language scholar, gets down to the nitty gritty today – body parts. And once again this video gem doesn’t fail to charm.

More about Arika, YouTube’s Patron Saint of Wordsmiths

My Favorite Audio Dramas of 2017

by Bob Tinsley

In case you haven’t run across me before, I’m a big fan of Audio Drama (think radio shows with better – mostly – production values). Considering that most Audio Dramas are put together with production budgets of nothing (less even, usually, than web series), the quality of writing and acting can be surprising. That doesn’t mean all Audio Dramas are put together on a shoestring. Some of them, like “Bronzeville” with Laurence Fishburne, have real budgets, SAG contracts and Big Names attached.

Whatever budget, Audio Dramas are fun. Here are some of my favorites from 2017 in alphabetical order:

“A Scottish Podcast.” (https://scottishpodcast.com) A tongue-in-cheek horror series detailing the activities of a couple of ne’er-do-well musicians who decide to do a paranormal investigation podcast.  

From the website: “You’ll walk through the long-forgotten catacombs under Edinburgh. Sail out to the lonely and abandoned island of St.Caillic. Visit dingy pubs, run-down industrial estates, and obscure non-league football grounds.” They are at the end of their 18-episode first season and hard at work on the second season.

“arsPARADOXICA.” (https://arsparadoxica.com) A time travel story with people getting stranded in unpleasant places and the machinations of a secret government agency across time — in both directions.

From the website: “When an experiment in a time much like our own goes horribly awry, Dr. Sally Grissom finds herself stranded in the past and entrenched in the activities of a clandestine branch of the US government. Grissom and her team quickly learn that there’s no safety net when toying with the fundamental logic of the universe.” They are into their third season with 27 regular episodes and another 15 extras.

“Jarnsaxa Rising.” (https://jarnsaxarising.wordpress.com)  “Just above the 60th parallel in the Baltic Ocean, a team of researchers arrives at an abandoned wind farm, to investigate some unexplained energy surges.”

The team is sent to this remote and frigid location by a multinational corporation with an agenda far beyond a simple service call. Norse gods and eeevil corporations. Oh, my! The first season of 10 episodes is complete, and I understand work is beginning on the second season.

“Steal the Stars.” (https://tor-labs.com/steal-the-stars/) From the website: “Steal the Stars is the story of Dakota Prentiss and Matt Salem, two government employees guarding the biggest secret in the world: a crashed UFO.” But there is much more than just that: a heist of incredible complexity, a story of forbidden love, loyalty and betrayal, and a completely unexpected (at least by me) twist at the end.

Complete in 14 episodes. As might be deduced from the URL, this Audio Drama was sponsored by Tor Books from a pitch by the series creator, Mac Rogers. There is also a novelization of the series published by, you guessed it, Tor Books.

“TANIS.” (http://tanispodcast.com/) A docudrama currently in hiatus at the end of the third season (of 12 episodes each along with numerous extras). From Wikipedia: “Nic Silver, a former radio host, discovers references to something called Tanis in two disparate sources. He begins hosting the podcast in an effort to determine what and where Tanis may be . . . . His search . . . leads him to confront a variety of mysterious groups and organizations . . . .” Conspiracy theory abounds!

In 2017 TANIS was acquired by Universal Cable Productions and Dark Horse Entertainment for development into a TV series . Writers will be the podcast creator, Terry Miles, and TV writer Lee Shipman. The producers will be Sam Raimi and Debbie Liebling.

“The Black Tapes.” (http://theblacktapespodcast.com/) Another well-done docudrama from the same folks that produce “TANIS.”

From Wikipedia: “The story begins as a biography of paranormal investigator Dr. Richard Strand (voiced by Christian Sloan), an ‘evangelical skeptic’ on a mission to debunk all claims of the supernatural. Reagan becomes interested in his collection of unsolved cases, which she begins calling his ‘Black Tapes,’ and the podcast evolves into an exploration of these cases, paranormal culture, and the mysterious life of Dr. Strand.” The series was concluded this year after three seasons, a total of 30 episodes and numerous extras.

“The Bright Sessions.” (http://www.thebrightsessions.com/) Think the cast from the TV show, “Heroes”, in therapy. What we have here is the story of a therapist whose clientele is made up exclusively of people with paranormal abilities, everything from telepathy to teleportation in space and time. I don’t know about you, but I find it comforting to know that superheroes are as dysfunctional as the rest of us. And if you think these folks are wandering around untethered, rest assured that there is a shadowy government agency out there keeping a close eye on things.

The creator and writer of this show, Lauren Shippen, was chosen by Forbes Magazine for this year’s “30 Under 30 – Media” list. Universal Cable Productions and Dark Horse Entertainment (remember them?) are developing the show for TV. So far, in four seasons, 47 regular episodes and numerous extras.

“The White Vault.” (http://whitevault.libsyn.com/) If you liked “The Thing,” the original, of course, you should love this one. A repair team is sent to an unmanned mining outpost in the Svalbard Archipelago, far north of the Arctic Circle.

Trapped by a severe storm that also cuts off their communications, they find something under the ice that shouldn’t be there. Something unfriendly. Seven episodes so far.

“Wolf 359.” (http://www.wolf359.fm/) I reviewed this one more fully, and you’ll be seeing that here at TVWriter™ soon. You could call this one “Good Morning, Vietnam” meets “Alien” — and “Aliens.”

From the website: “Wolf 359 is a radio drama in the tradition of Golden Age of Radio shows like Escape! and Suspense. Take one part space adventure, add one part character drama, mix in one part absurdist sitcom, and you get Wolf 359.” Episode 61, the series finale, just dropped.There are also a number of mini-episodes and extras.

And these are just scratching the surface. The number of Audio Dramas available has exploded over the last couple of years. Whatever your taste in storytelling you can find something to binge on with little effort.

WGAW January 2018 Calendar

What’s happening this month at the Writers Guild of America West

A clickable version is HERE

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – January 1, 2018

Good morning and Happy New Year! What better way to relax and start 2018 than with TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday, December 31st? They are, in order:

Top TVWriter™ Posts & Pages of the Year 2017

Top TVWriter™ Posts & Pages of the Century!

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

The Logline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Outline/Story

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Top TVWriter™ Posts & Pages of the Century!

We were looking for a pic of God doing a thumbs-up, but we also wanted a woman. Then we saw the glee in Liz’s eyes, a look we’d love for TVWriter™ to be responsible for.

So far this week we’ve shown you the most popular TV writer posts and pages of last week and this year. Now is the moment when we hitcha with the BiG MamA of the Familia – our 20 most visited material, including articles, pages, and even pictures, of All Time. In order, they are:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

THE SPEC SCRIPTACULAR (Remember that? We really should bring it back)

Brad-Pitt-Fight-club-Workout

The Logline

Supernatural Season 1 Finale – Recap and Review

The Teleplay

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Rules

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

The Outline/Story

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Prizes

Student Central

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: About

munchman: Stephen Merchant Goes into Comedy Biz with HBO

THE BASICS OF TV WRITING: Overview

Kathy Sees Iron Man 3

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Winners

TVWriter™ Online TV and Film Writing Workshop

The Leavebehind

Major thanks to everyone for coming to learn and laugh and maybe even get mad here at TVWriter™ for the past 19 years. And, to coin a phrase, “Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!”

Seeya next week when we’ll be back working and writing fulltime to give you all our usual flare fare!

Top TVWriter™ Posts & Pages of the Year 2017

 

Time for TVWriter™ to take a look at our most popular blog posts of the year 2017. week ending yesterday. Brace yourselves for the Top 10:

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

‘Longmire’ Proves Hard to Kill

Kelly Jo Brick: Mastering the TV Writing Meeting

LB: Where Did THE FALL GUY Live?

8 Tips for Writing for Children’s TV Shows

Barbara Hale: Perry Mason’s Right-Hand Gal(e)

2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT Semi-Finalists!

2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT WINNERS!

2016 PEOPLE’S PILOT Finalists!

And our 10 most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Logline

The Outline/Story

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

The Teleplay

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Rules

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Prizes

THE BASICS OF TV WRITING: Overview

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great year at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Top TVWriter™ Posts of the Week Before Christmas, 2017

Good morning! It’s the Wednesday after Christmas, so what better day for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular posts of the week ending, ulp, last Sunday, on Christmas Eve?

Okay, so we’re a little late. But Christmas, yeah?

Anyway, here they are, our top posts of the week ending December 24th, in order, of course:

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

Herbie J Pilato: Thank you, “The Flash!” It looks like the dark and dingy days of TV may be over!

The Best and Worst Writing Career Advice I Ever Got

Herbie J Pilato: My Top Ten Christmas TV-Movies of All Time

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Logline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Outline/Story

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!