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Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box
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Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  157 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A professional TV writer's real-world guide to getting paid to write great television

"No need for me to ever write a book on TV writing. Alex Epstein has covered it all . . . along with a few things I wouldn't have thought of. Save yourself five years of rookie mistakes. Crafty TV Writing and talent are pretty much all you'll need to make it."
--Ken Levine, writer/producer,
ebook, 352 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Holt Paperbacks
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Robin Conley
I really enjoyed this TV writing book. It's a little dated now -- new shows like Breaking Bad and True Detectives have changes TV quite a bit, but the foundation of this book is still good and well-written. There is a lot of important information to take from this book and I found it very useful overall. The writer's website also had some extra useful information on it, including links of where to find scripts. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in writing television, as i ...more
He leido unos cuantos manuales de guión y este de televisión es uno de los que mas me ha gustado. Es divertido y original y muy actual. Tiene consejos y guías de todo tipo sobre el mundo de la televisión (aunque muchos se aplican al mercado americano).

Quizá otros libros que son más puramente manual no, pero este es uno de esos que un amante de las series puede disfrutar igualmente (creo yo.¡).
This book was really good. I read it last year while I was in film school. I really didn't get a good chance to fully understand the book so I read it again without the pressure of school. I must say that I LOVED it! I also subscribe to this author's blog which has even more great tips. Now I'm writing for TV and developing treatments for an Entertainment company, I still read this book. It's just my go to!
Rachel Frank
This was a great introduction to the world of TV writing. I'll never forget the intro comparing movies to a one night stand :) There were great examples and the tone was smooth and conversational. Highly recommended for anyone interested in writing for television.
Very thorough. Very good. Comedy section was less helpful than I wanted, but it was still good to know some of the ins and outs of industry work and expectations.
Jill Edmondson
EXCELLENT! Very thorough, great examples, a wide-ranging look at all aspects of TV writing. Lots of references, lots of samples. The way in which it was written was fluid, efficient. I zipped through it.
Much of this book isn't all that relevant to what I need from a TV book these days--it was mostly about 1) writing specs of existing shows, whereas I'm working on original pilots, and 2) what to expect/do if you do get a break, which hasn't happened for me yet--but Alex Epstein is always good for inspiration, encouragement, and frank talk about the TV business. I just wish he (and everybody else) would update to accommodate the switch to five-act structure in one-hour shows.
Very informative book that is fun to read, too. I would recommend this book in conjunction with Rabkin and Goldberg's book "Successful Television Writing," also on my list.

This book has a younger and more current tone and a bit more specific info on writing for pay cable TV shows like the Sopranos (although all the TV writing books are still sadly lacking in this area, in my opinion!)
Jared Loper
It'd be better if it wasn't so dated. He makes some assumptions that may have held true at time, but no longer do (TV characters never change, etc.). I had assumed it would have been more on top of things like that. It was published in 2006, a time when long running TV dramas were going, but he nearly completely ignored them and touts the commercial success of shows like "Friends" instead.
Lee Goldberg
Alex Epstein's CRAFTY TV WRITING is a terrific new book full of great advice about the craft of episodic writing and insights into the business of television (and I'm not just saying that because he quotes liberally from me and my blog). If I didn't have a book of my own, Successful Television Writing, to recommend, this is the one I'd tell every aspiring TV writer to buy.
Shawna Benson
An excellent resource, though some of the information is dated. For example, tv showrunners are reading fewer specs of existing shows and more pilots to hire staff writers. Still, craft of writing for tv information (the bulk of the book) is timeless and very useful. Recommend for both novice and experienced writers.
Nikki Ackerman
This is a handy little book if you've never learned how to write for television! It is dated but not a problem if you've seen the shows, you'll get what Mr. Epstein is trying to convey. I too would like to see an updated version but this one is fine. I really found Appendix 6 very helpful!
Great resource, quick read and lots of priceless advice. A nice overview of the TV side of the film industry for those who don't know much. I'm hoping to put some of these strategies into action soon.
Very readable and informative. It also helps that Epstein enjoys the same shows I do. :-) I would recommend this to anyone curious about writing for television.
Brittany Flores
I always refer to this book. It's packed with information, styles, and advice. I go back to it over and over again.
boo-yah. this was so much fun. I couldn't put it down. i totally understand and appreciate TV so much more now.
Well worth it. Recommended highly.
Anne Marshall
Very interesting and well written.
Informative. But that's it. No charm.
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A native New Yorker, Alex Epstein studied Computer Science and English at Yale University. After a year in Paris, he studied filmmaking at the University of California, Los Angeles in the School of Theatre, Film and Television, finishing with an MFA.

Throughout the 1990s, Epstein worked in the motion picture industry as a development executive. His first book, Crafty Screenwriting, came out of his
More about Alex Epstein...
Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made The Circle Cast: The Lost Years of Morgan Le Fay For My Next Illusion I Will Use Wings (excerpt) (Electric Literature's Recommended Reading) Winning the Unwinnable War: America's Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism The Objective Standard: Fall 2009, Vol. 4, No. 3

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