How NOT to Write a Sitcom: 100 Mistakes to Avoid If You Ever Want to Get Produced

Overview

Script mechanic and sitcom-writing instructor Marc Blake strips down the sitcom into its component parts and provides a one-of-a-kind how-to guide for aspiring writers and media professionals for one of the most difficult and demanding genres on TV.

The book first identifies the known pitfalls in concept, characterization, plotting, and dramatic/comedic writing that cause the thousands of scripts submitted every year to producers to be sent to the rejection pile. Then ...

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How NOT to Write a Sitcom: 100 mistakes to avoid if you ever want to get produced

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Overview

Script mechanic and sitcom-writing instructor Marc Blake strips down the sitcom into its component parts and provides a one-of-a-kind how-to guide for aspiring writers and media professionals for one of the most difficult and demanding genres on TV.

The book first identifies the known pitfalls in concept, characterization, plotting, and dramatic/comedic writing that cause the thousands of scripts submitted every year to producers to be sent to the rejection pile. Then each component point is illustrated with an example of both the error and with practical suggestions and exercises for the writer to apply the proper technique to their scripts. Also featured are insightful interviews with successful TV producers and other practitioners of the craft.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Shows examples of pitfalls in concept, characterization and plotting so you can create your own slice of sitcom gold."—DVD & Blu-Ray Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781408130858
  • Publisher: A&C Black Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Series: Writing Handbooks Series , #46
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,363,122
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Blake is a script consultant, writer and teacher of writing for sitcom. At City University he taught Sitcom and Comedy writing for fifteen years and launched the careers of many BBC producers.
He has sold three sitcoms to ITV and the BBC and his TV two-part Drama 'The Swap' (ITV) was broadcast in 2002 to great acclaim and nine million viewers.

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Table of Contents

Introduction-Welcome to the garage vii

Acknowledgements ix

Cast list x

Section 1 Form and Format 1

1 What sitcom is and isn't 2

2 Grammar: the grammar of sitcom 24

3 Sitcom in the US and the UK 57

Section 2 Character and Plot 73

4 Character 74

5 Plotting 94

Section 3 Nuts and Bolts 111

6 Scenes 112

7 Jokes and dialogue 125

8 Your first episode 139

9 Case Studies 160

10 What production companies put in their shredders 182

11 Team-Writing 207

Section 4 Selling the Script 215

12 The business of sitcom 216

Conclusion 242

Author details 245

Websites 246

Suggested reading 247

Sitcoms and comedy drams cited 249

Index 252

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