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How To Write For Television 6e [Paperback]

William Smethurst
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

24 Aug 2009 How to
Television is a growth industry with an insatiable hunger for writing talent. From soaps, series, dramas, plays, situation comedies - TV constantly needs new writers. This inspiring book is full of professional tips and techniques that producers, agents and script editors would give you themselves - if only they had the time. The book advises new writers on today's expanding market for TV scripts and gives valuable details of companies looking for new writers. It offers vital information on how to sell your writing - and how much you can earn, and lists essential contacts and phone numbers.

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How To Write For Television 6e + The Insider's Guide to Writing for Television
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Product details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: How To Books; 6th Revised edition edition (24 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845283805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845283803
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'I can state categorically that Mr Smethurst's advice does work.' --Writer's Monthly

'would-be scriptwriters...should certainly invest in a copy.' --BAFTA News

'Clear and concise, this book avoids pretentious theorising and provides a practical, no-nonsense guide, invaluable for both new and experienced writers and for potential script editors and producers in drama.' --Diane Culverhouse, Literary Agent

'would-be scriptwriters...should certainly invest in a copy.' --BAFTA News

'Clear and concise, this book avoids pretentious theorising and provides a practical, no-nonsense guide, invaluable for both new and experienced writers and for potential script editors and producers in drama.' --Diane Culverhouse, Literary Agent

About the Author

William Smethurst has written numerous radio and television scripts; was script editor at BBC Pebble Mill; and executive producer of drama serials for Central Television. He is now a director of an independent TV company.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advice from a professional 20 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback
A brilliant book. Writers who learned script writing skills from William Smethurst have worked on Holby City, Eastenders, The Bill, Doctors, Hollyoaks, Taggart, and on the radio scripting The Archers (Smethurst was editor for several years, and even created the late lamented character of Nigel Pargiter). Smethurst doesn't believe in overwhelming new writers with complicated rules and pages of theorising. He believes this approach strangles new talent at birth. His advice is: take the critically important hints from professionals, and start writing a saleable script now! He lays out the basic rules with a relaxed humour that disguises an intense desire to help new writers succeed.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have read other `how to write' books and this is the best I have come across. It is packed with excellent help and advice, backed up by genuine examples. What I found particularly useful were the compare and contrast sections, where Smethurst presents the same story but told in very different ways. One can see immediately the reasoning behind his advice about what makes a script work and, crucially, what to avoid, dissecting dialogue, location, characters, and plot. The book also provides an invaluable - and entertaining - overview of the television industry in general, and what script editors and programme commissioners are looking for in particular; everything from where best to send a script to how wide the margins on the page should be. If you buy only one book on writing for television, I would say this is the book to buy. I recommend it highly.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and practical 3 Feb 2009
By Silso
Format:Paperback
I bought this without any other reviews which I normally never do. However I wasn't disappointed. The sections are very practical, and very detailed. All the different areas of writing are covered eg dramas, sitcoms, soaps, etc with the pros and cons of writing for each of them plus the chances of getting any accepted. A very useful purchase and one that I can keep going back to when I think about trying something new.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to get you started... 31 Mar 2011
By Karon.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have had several ideas floating around for a while with no idea how to formulate them into scripts for screen, tv drama etc so purchased this book and found it amazing. Great advice and also a joy to read. If your starting out as a screen writter this will be your guide and your bible.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sitcom advice that's also very funny to read 16 Feb 2011
By Pandora
Format:Paperback
His analysis of what makes a saleable sitcom is very good. I don't know about the other areas of writing, but this chapter is excellent, and pretty much essential reading I would have thought for anyone who wants to know how to get a sitcom idea onto the screen.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
An excellent book, packed full of useful information. It covers not only how to structure scripts and other practical writing tips it also gives plenty of information where and how to submit scripts.The information is presented in a clear and concise style. A good book for anyone who would like to write for television, but is unsure where to start.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must have! 13 July 2012
By nikkyb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
as i am just starting out as a script writer this book has been an invaluable source of information.it has everything you need and some you did'nt know about.it has become my one point of reference for my work.can't reccommend enough for any script writers out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to Write for Television - Review 9 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An informative and useful book written by a man I used to work with as a reporter forty years ago. Smethurst has the qualifications and track record with The Archers and various TV companies to ensure that you are reading the work of a true pro'. He knows exactly what he's writing about.

A feature film optioned screenwriter and novelist myself I stumbled across it on Amazon and immediately bought it. Having read it I believe Bill Smethurst's book is invaluable for new writers hoping to work in TV. I personally found it useful for a TV project on which I was embarking. My only mild criticism is I felt it could have been just a little more detailed. But a good read, helpful and well worth the money. To quote the blurb for Final Draft software, after reading this all you have to do is "just add words." (And that's the hard bit!) Stuart White
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book and
quick delivery, very good book and peice
Published 2 months ago by DQ
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, full of useful information
This book was so good it was immediately purloined by a member of my family. It has everything the aspiring writer of screenplays needs to know.
Published 4 months ago by Sandy
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best
Although this book has had several new editions since its initial release, I felt that it was rather dated. The main example was the UK TV series Boon. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Delilah
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly helpful
This is a very well structured guide to how to get started writing for TV. It also has a wonderful piece at the end with various agents to contact and what to send them. Read more
Published 6 months ago by JB Moussa
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is one of the best book's that I have read about writing for TV, so easy to understand and it gets to the point, the great thing is I will always be referring back to it again... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Harry
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for Beginners
Lots of ideas here for a complete novice who dreams of seeing her stories on the small screen. Also gives ideas on where to submit your plays when you've written them.
Published 14 months ago by Ms J. L. Winton
5.0 out of 5 stars very useful
I have this on my desk by my computer for reference. There are lots of 'how to writes' in the market but this is one of the best.
Published 15 months ago by L I Fix
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Fantastic book, it works for me bought for course studies. It helps and gave me insight about script writing.
i like it.
Published 17 months ago by henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read for anyone looking to get into this genre of writing
Very informative. I have had this book for a while now and I still refer to it alot. Some really great hints and tips.
Published on 5 Jun 2012 by Rickski
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