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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advice from a professional
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...
Published on 20 Feb 2011 by Tony Little

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.

TV series have evolved since that era, so I felt that the examples given were a bit reductive.

There seems to be a cynical tone to the writing, which I found off-putting. Rather than preparing me for...
Published 8 months ago by Delilah


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advice from a professional, 20 Feb 2011
This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of W. Smethurst's 'How to Write for Television', 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (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
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Silso (Basingstoke UK) - See all my reviews
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
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This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (Paperback)
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
This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Tow to Write for Television: A Guide to Writing and Selling Succesful TV Scripts, 8 Jan 2011
This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (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
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This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (Paperback)
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
By 
Mr. S. J. White (Eastbourne, Sussex, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read for anyone looking to get into this genre of writing, 5 Jun 2012
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This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (Paperback)
Very informative. I have had this book for a while now and I still refer to it alot. Some really great hints and tips.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for Beginners, 14 July 2013
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This review is from: How To Write For Television 6e (Paperback)
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.
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How To Write For Television 6e
How To Write For Television 6e by William Smethurst (Paperback - 24 Aug 2009)
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