Gardner's Guide to Television Scriptwriting: The Writer's Road Map / Edition 1

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The writing exercises provided in this guide are designed to get teleplay ideas or episodes for an already existing series down on paper in the television industry format. The "Writer's Road Map" includes information on the different television genres, the basic four act structure, plot gimmicks, character types and motivations, scene construction, dialogue devices, themes, prose, and rewrite lists. Advice is also given on the proper format and how to pitch an idea once it is written.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Expertly explaining and illustrating the mechanics and unfolding of a typical TV script, she gives beginning and intermediate screenwriters tools for creation of scripts and for analysis of TV programs. Besides the 'map' of a screenplay, the author discusses techniques and touches such as character 'tics' and 'plot gimmicks' which can make the difference between an outstanding script and a well-done, yet lackluster script. . . . Aspiring screenwriters would find this an important guide and handbook."  —The Small Press Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589650046
  • Publisher: Garth Gardner Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Series: Gardner's Guide Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn Webber is a former scriptwriter for Saturday-morning cartoons and animation teleplays as well as for one-hour dramas for both daytime and prime-time television. She is the author of numerous screenplays, including How To Kill Howie, winner of Best Screenplay at the Texas Film Festival, The Lawless Legion, and A Place Called Harmony. She has been a freelance writer for networks such as ABC and CBS, and for studios such as Universal and Disney. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Author! Author! vii
About the Author
Introduction ix
Chapter 1 TV Tunnels 11
Popular Television Genres
Tunnel Vision
Chapter 2 The Premise 23
What You as a Writer Want to Say
Chapter 3 Universal Appeal 27
Why Does the Audience Care?
Chapter 4 The Central Idea 31
What Is The Story About?
Three Basic Plots
Story Road Flags
Series Road Flags
The Hook
Chapter 5 Dead End Ahead--The Central Question 43
What Question Drives Your Story?
What Question Drives Your Series?
Chapter 6 TV Bibles 47
Rules Of The Series
TV Writing Fines
Chapter 7 Graphing 57
Graph Of West Wing
Graph Of Gilmore Girls
Graph Of 24
Chapter 8 Introduction to Plot 77
Writer's TV Road Map
Falling Rocks
Parallel Streets
Ticking Clock(s)
Rest Areas
Plot Gimmicks
Elements Which Affect Plot
Chapter 9 TV Characters 91
The Driver(s)
Solo, Duo, Or Ensemble Cast
Types Of Drivers
Pedestrians & Passengers: Supporting Characters
Road Rage - Types Of Villains
Chapter 10 Character Development 101
Identification Please
Character Dipstick
Character Compass Traits
Character Trinity
Character Arc
Character Tics
Character Tags
Chapter 11 Act One 115
The Teaser
Tow-away Zone - The Catalyst
Green Light - The First Turning Point
On-ramp Signposts
The City Blocks Of Act One
Chapter 12 Act Two 129
U-turn: The Midpoint
The City Blocks Of Act Two
Chapter 13 Act Three 137
Road Of No Return: The Obligatory Scene
The City Blocks Of Act Three
Chapter 14 Act Four 145
The Climax
The Resolution
The City Blocks Of Act Four
The Cliffhanger
Chapter 15 Themes 151
Winding Roads
Chapter 16 Checkpoint Charlie 155
TV Road Map Checklist
Chapter 17 Dialogue 159
Television Dialogue
Dialogue Style
Dialogue Devices
Dialogue Signposts
Chapter 18 Prose: Your Information Highway 183
Prose Signposts
Screen Directions
Chapter 19 The Scene 189
Writing The Oblique Scene
Chapter 20 The Rewrite 195
Structure Checklist
Character Checklist
Scene Checklist
Dialogue Checklist
Prose Checklist
Everybody's A Critic
Chapter 21 One TV or Bust 201
The Query Letter
The Script Submission
The Pitch
In Conclusion
Glossary 205
TV-ography & Filmography 209
Road Map Form 222
Appendix One Hour Teleplay: Family Creede 223
Index 287
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