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Writing Truthfully

24 Mar

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Book Review: Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy by Paula Finn

18 Mar

Behind every great television show is a group of professionals working at the top of their games—but no one is more important than the writers. And while writing comedy, especially good comedy, is serious business—fraught with actor egos, demanding producers, and sleepless nights—it also can result in classic lines of dialogue.

Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy is a collection of conversations with the writers responsible for some of the most memorable shows in television comedy. The men and women interviewed here include series creators, show runners, and staff writers whose talent and hard work have generated literally millions of laughs. In addition to Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Lear (All in the Family), this book features in-depth interviews with:

James L. Brooks (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons)
Al Jean (The Simpsons, The Critic)
Leonard Stern (The Honeymooners, Get Smart)
Treva Silverman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
Ken Estin (Cheers)
Matt Williams (Roseanne, Home Improvement)
Dava Savel (Ellen)
Larry Charles (Seinfeld)
David Lee (Frasier)
Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Mike Reiss (The Simpsons)

From these conversations, readers will learn that the business of writing funny has never been all laughs. Writers discuss the creative process, how they get unstuck, the backstories of iconic episodes, and how they cope with ridiculous censors, outrageous actors, and their own demons and fears. Sitcom Writers Talk Shop will appeal to fans of all of these shows and may serve as inspiration to anyone considering a life in comedy.

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My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have always enjoyed TV sitcoms, especially some of the older ones. I’ve seen The Dick Van Dyke Show, Cheers, Friends, and Everybody Loves Raymond so many times that I know every episode. So, when I was offered a free copy of Sitcom Writers Talk Shop, I was thrilled. 

Paula Finn interviewed many of the creators and writers of popular sitcoms mostly from the past. The result is an engrossing and amusing book full of stories about how each writer got his or her start, stories about the different stars, and certain favorite or interesting episodes. And, of course, these are writers of comedy so they are naturally funny. Also after each interview are quotes from different writers which made the book even better. 

What I found fascinating was how many characters were supposed to be on only one or two episodes and they became regular stars on the show. A good example is Reverend Jim played by Christopher Lloyd on Taxi who was my favorite character. 

This is a great book for anyone who enjoys comedy or is interested in sitcoms overall. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably read it again in the future.

 

 

 

About the Author

Paula graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology.

As the daughter of Honeymooners writer Herbert Finn, she grew up in the culture, surrounded by the brilliance and wit of her father and his colleagues. A Los Angeles native and original “Valley Girl,” she has authored ten gift books including When Love Isn’t Easy and Make This Your Day. In the 1980’s, she made a name for herself as Blue Mountain Arts’ most prolific inspirational writer.

Once featured on ABC TV’s 20/20 show, her inspirational writings have been translated into several languages, and have been licensed worldwide on top-selling gift products. Over two million fans have reposted Paula’s most popular quotes on their personal and commercial websites. A former college English teacher and TV documentary researcher, she currently lives in Studio City, where she is Mom to “Puff Finn” the cat and is a favorite auntie to several of her friends’ dogs.

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The Oxford Comma

14 Mar

Styles of Writing

23 Jan

Types of Narrators

21 Nov

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Storytelling

13 Oct

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Book Review: The Life and Lessons of a Young Author by Sunayna Prasad

15 Aug

Book Title: The Life and Lessons of a Young Author by Sunayna Prasad
Category: YA Non-fiction, 19 pages
Genre: Writing
Publisher: Amazon KDP
Release date: Sept 1, 2018
Format available for review: ebook (PDF)
Tour dates: Aug 13 to 31, 2018
Content Rating: G

 

Book Description

Whether you are young or old, The Life and Lessons of a Young Author can offer those who dream of finding the right path in the world of writing and publishing. Sunayna Prasad shares her experience as a young author and discusses what went well for her and what she suggests to those who long for success.

Talking about her life as a published writer, Sunayna Prasad teaches you the rules of the writing craft and the standards of the publishing world, as well as additional tips and tricks. The Life and Lessons of a Young Author can help you choose your own writing and publishing paths.

To read reviews, please visitSunayna Prasad’s page on iRead book Tours.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

In The Life and Lessons of a Young Author, the author shares her experiences and explains what did and did not work for her. She also encourages authors to get feedback from as many people as possible, especially strangers, and to accept negative feedback and use it to better their writing. 

She tries to caution new authors that rewriting and publishing can take weeks, months, even years. Sales may also be a disappointment, but authors need to hang in there. Many bestselling authors struggled for years before they were published or had bestsellers.

This is a good book for authors who are starting out or thinking about writing a book. It’s very short so there’s not a lot about the writing process. It’s more about what has worked for her along with a little encouragement.

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Meet the Author

Sunayna Prasad has been writing since she was six. She continues to write fiction and non-fiction today and has even won a Pacific Book-Review award. She lives in New York, and when not writing, likes to create art and cook.

Connect with Sunayna: Website ~ Facebook

Happy National Write Down Your Story Day

14 Mar

Today is the first National Write Down Your Story Day. Writing your story can be an inspiration to others, history for your family, and a source of healing for yourself.

 

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Reader vs. Writer

28 Feb

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Sad People Write

12 Dec

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