Alex and Nick look at the importance of dialogue in TV writing, and give an overview of what makes it stand out.

What can you use dialogue for? What makes good or bad dialogue? How do you introduce character quirks in the dialogue? What are some common pitfalls in dialogue writing? How do you fix bad dialogue?

Plus, we respond to a review and talk over-used pitches.

The Paper Team trades words…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Odds-and-ends: Review & Pitches (00:48)
1 – Purpose of dialogue (09:06)
2 – Specificities of dialogue: style and character (13:08)
3 – Finding your dialogue (16:38)
4 – What makes bad dialogue and how to fix it (22:41)
Takeaways and Resources (34:42)

Links

Mumblecore
Mark Duplass
Big Brother Live Feeds
The Newsroom
Littlefinger’s “Chaos is a Ladder” speech from Game of Thrones (Video)
“Oh, hi Mark” scene from The Room (Video)
Code-switching
Draft Zero Podcast

Resources

“Dialogue Secrets” – William C. Martell

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Evan Schmitt for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick celebrate the fiftieth episode of Paper Team with a special look back at the first year of the podcast, including updates on past episodes, guests, and other news.

What are some of our own favorite moments and episodes? What are the most popular Paper Team episodes? What new lessons have we learned since recording them?

From assistants and coordinators, to writers and producers, we also catch up with several of our amazing guests: Tennessee Martin, Steven Darancette, Sam Miller, Chris Corbett, Maggie Herman, Jimmy Nguyen and Gary Sundt.

The Paper Team pops the champagne…

SHOWNOTES

Content

1 – Follow-ups to Paper Team episodes and some of our favorites (00:01:21)
2 – Follow-ups from our guests, ft. Tennessee Martin, Steven Darancette, Sam Miller, Chris Corbett, Maggie Herman, Jimmy Nguyen and Gary Sundt (00:15:01)
3 – One year of Paper Team (00:54:21)
Special Thanks, Outro and Next Week On (01:13:14)

Links

“How to Follow Up (Without Seeming Desperate)” (PT07)
“Getting Your TV Script Read” (PT29)
“TV Writer Representation 101” (PT31)
“Australian TV ft. Chris Corbett” (PT18)
Australian Survivor
“Managing Finances as an Assistant & Staff Writer ft. Kiyong Kim” (PT16)
“Web Series and TV Writing ft. Sam Miller (Single by 30/Mom)” (PT27)
SeeSo
Over-the-top content (OTT)
“Diversity in TV and the Writers’ Room ft. Francesca Butler & Kelly Lynne D’Angelo” (PT14)
“Assisting TV Comedy Writers ft. Gary Sundt (Superstore/The Goldbergs)” (PT43)
“Breaking in & Writing From “Outside the System” ft. Hilliard Guess” (PT47)
“Writing Adult Comedy Animation ft. Alison Tafel (BoJack Horseman)” (PT39)
“Act Breaks” (PT15)
“TV Viewing Habits: Writing for the Binge” (PT42)
“Bringing the TV Writers’ Room Process Home” (PT06)
“Writing Themes and Values in TV” (PT36)
“TV Writer vs. Fandom: Writers’ Rooms and Fan Interaction – Paper Team at WonderCon 2017” (PT38)
Tennessee Martin on Twitter
Lucifer
The Lady Parts Collective
The Lady Parts Collective on Facebook
Joe Henderson
Ildy Modrovich
Jennifer Graham Imada
Dawn Wells
“Writing Children’s Animation ft. Steven Darancette (Lalaloopsy/Tumble Leaf)” (PT41)
Steven Darancette on Twitter
Sam Miller on Twitter
American Airness (Video)
Vaudeville
Chris Corbett on IMDb
“TV Budgeting and Line Producing ft. Maggie Herman (Bosch) – On the Road at SDCC 2016” (PT10)
Maggie Herman on Twitter
People of Earth
Wrecked
Search Party
The Detour
The Last O.G.
Miracle Workers
Simon Rich
Man Seeking Woman
The Cops
Michael Showalter
“Independent Producing ft. Jimmy Nguyen (Showrunners)” (PT32)
Jimmy Nguyen on Twitter
Gary Sundt on Twitter
Death Note (2017 Movie)
Adam Wingard
Gary Sundt’s Kong tattoo
Will/Sean Podcast – Episode 255 “Retcon the Episode” with Alex Freedman & Nick Watson
“The 2016 Paper Team Holiday Special” (PT25)
“Joke-Writing, Stand-Up and Late-Night TV ft. Simon Taylor (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno)” (PT22)
“TV Pitching 101: Who, What, and Why” (PT13)
“Spec v. Pilot: What You Should Be Writing Next” (PT04)
“TV Writing Competitions” (PT33)
“TV Spec Script 101” (PT34)
“Supplemental Income for Writers” (PT35)
“Moving to Los Angeles (and Things We Wish We Knew)” (PT01)
“TV Pilot 101” (PT30)
Pocket Casts
“Goal-Setting as a TV Writer” (PT26)
Francesca Butler on Twitter
Jason J. Cohn on Twitter
Alex Switzky on Twitter
Evan Schmitt on Instagram
Elena Rodriguez Miranda on Dropr

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode and Joseph Yuan for the music.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Alex and Nick invite Dana Bramble, coordinator in current programming at The CW, to discuss the ins-and-outs of working in the scripted side of a TV network.

What happens after a pilot gets picked up? How is current programming different from development? What notes do network executives give? How does staffing season operate for current shows? What arcs are pitched ahead of the season? How are standards and practices involved with scripts?

The Paper Team looks at the slate…

SHOWNOTES

Content

Working in current programming, network branding, giving notes, pitching, standards & practices, staffing, diversity initiatives and watching television (01:04)
Resources and Next Week On (34:01)

Links

Dana Bramble on Twitter
The CW
CW Seed
UPN
The WB
CBS Television Studios
Warner Bros. Television
Arrowverse
Broadcast Standards and Practices
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Machinima, Inc.
In the Loop
Sweet/Vicious
JHRTS

Resources

“On Writing” – Stephen King

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

If you enjoyed this episode (and others), please consider leaving us an iTunes review at paperteam.co/itunes! :)

You can find Paper Team on Twitter:
Alex@TVCalling
Nick@_njwatson
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, you can e-mail us: [email protected]

Holy moley.

Today is the nine-year anniversary of TV Calling!

Yes, that’s right. Over 3,285 days of television writing content.

So far, 2017 is on pace to be the most-viewed year on record, with an average 400 visitors a day for the main site and 635 a day including our script library.
In other words, an average of 18,000 visitors a month! If you’re keeping track, that’s what our record month was only last year. Incredible.

So THANK YOU as always for being awesome participants in this growing community.

Now let’s reminisce. What has been happening since last year’s celebrations?

For one thing, I’ve been busy with the Paper Team podcast, the bestest weekly podcast about television writing.

If you haven’t subscribed yet… What are you waiting for?

iTunes: http://paperteam.co/itunes
Android apps: http://paperteam.co/android
Google Play: http://paperteam.co/googleplay
Stitcher: http://paperteam.co/stitcher

If you’re subscribed and enjoy the show, I dare you to leave us a review right now on iTunes! It takes a minute to do and helps us grow the comunity.

We’re in the middle of recording our fiftieth episode of the show, so stay tuned for more awesomeness.

TV Calling is also on the brink of breaking seven hundred posts. Only 11 to go as of this one…

Some of the most popular posts written over the past year included:

– I found a now-gone post by Jane Espenson discussing how Joss Whedon and the Buffy writers’ room broke their episodes. Truly a must-read.
– We flew very close to a writers’ strike and my 2017 WGA strike vote primer proved useful to people for a TL;DR on the situation.
– A reader asked whether to finish writing a pilot similar to an existing show, or transforming it into a spec script. I broke down the answer.
– Another reader wondered how to approach writing TV specs for adapted series. I talked about whether or not you should use the source material as inspiration.

But the most popular new posts, unsurprisingly, were the 2017 TV spec list for drama and TV spec list for comedy.

And like last time, if you’re writing specs or thinking about writing specs, I recommend checking out my awesome (free) Spec Script test.
It’s a PDF with several key questions (and explanations) to make sure the TV show you’re picking to spec is the right one for you.

What a ride.

Here’s to our final single-digit year — and many more posts to come!

Time for year ten.

Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.


I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

693 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.


Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.


I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.


Write on.


P.S.: New around? You should start here.

What’s Alex Watching?

The Good FightThe LeftoversThe Chris Gethard ShowMaster of NoneLegion
TV Calling

TV Calling