Writing situation comedies isn't really that hard. So much of what you need to know is already defined for you. You know that your script needs to be a certain short length, with a certain small number of characters. You know that your choice of scenes is limited to your show's standing sets and maybe one or two swing sets or outside locations. You know how your characters behave and how they're funny, either because you invented them or because you're writing for a show where these things are already well established. Sitcom is easy and sitcom is fun. Sitcom is the gateway drug to longer forms of writing. It's a pretty good buzz and a pretty good ride, a great way to kill an afternoon, or even six months.
And now, thanks to comedy writing guru John Vorhaus, writing situation comedy is easier than ever. In The Little Book of Sitcom, you'll find a whole trove of tools, tricks, and problem-solving techniques that you can use - now, today - to be the sitcom writer of your wildest dreams. Ready to write? Ready to have fun? The Little Book of Sitcom is the big little book for you.
©2011 John Vorhaus (P)2012 Spoken Word Inc
Really helpful and insightful book. Gave me plenty of food for thought and a few great exercises to help get me writing again. Procrastinate later indeed!
Yes as I trust his judgement.
I liked the working out who was in pain in a comedy scene exercise.
Yes the 'puddles' joke that will haunt me and yet be repeated by me forever!
"Incredible insider information: Great delivery."
A refreshing break.
He read his own book, which most of the time is great, if the book is excellent, as this was, and the author confident in his knowledge, like this guy.
Everything. It's non-fiction so the performance was less relevent than a drama.
I don't know- too much to write. I don't like the question.
Just liked the book a lot. He's straightforward, anxious to share information to find real talent, an knows his field. He is my favorite character. Wish he gave more examples though.
I've wanted to write for TV and Film for a long time. Comedy has always seemed the hardest. Within 20 minutes of listening my motivation was spiked and I felt I had a stronger insight in how to become a paid writer for not only comedy, but drama as well. Finished the book the same night I got it!
Kevin - The made up "darling" we all have was important, because as they always say, "We love our darlings, but you have to kill your darlings".
The entire thing. I especially liked his guides to focusing on three types of conflict. That was extremely eye opening.
Anyone looking to write for TV or film, this is a must read. This made me want to sit down and write again.
"Frickin' great information!"
I can't believe how valuable the information is versus how little I paid for it. I feel like I am ripping him off. I bought the paperback version to use as a reference guide.
I am going back to listen again in 3, 2, 1.
"Excellent Guide to Writing Sitcoms, Jokes, Stories"
As a long-time fan of THE COMIC TOOL BOX, I snapped up the Kindle version of this book the moment I discovered it. I read it through, loved it, and then proceeded to jump back and forth through the book doing the different exercises, creating my own material with Mr. Vorhaus's guidance.
So when I happened upon this audiobook version, once again I snapped it up immediately. I really like the way Vorhaus reads his novels, so I knew I would enjoy this.
What I didn't expect was HOW MUCH I enjoyed it!
First of all, since I've been dipping in and out of Vorhaus's last few how-to-write books, I had forgotten just what an inspirational impact his books create as a whole. He takes you from wanting to do it, to getting started, to simple problem-solving, to more sophisticated problem-solving, to "Okay, now go do it!" He takes you through Theory, but this is just to help you understand why and how the tools he gives you work.
But once you're read the book all the way through the first time, you tend to get lost searching down specific exercises to solve specific problems, and forget what that initial reading experience was like.
And as corny as this may sound, there is an added dimension in hearing John Vorhaus reading his own work. It's not that he acts it out or anything, but somehow coupling the voice with the words makes it feel more personal. Even more inspiring that just the text.
And with all Vorhaus's comedy-writing stuff, what he has to teach goes well beyond merely writing within the Comedy genre. Vorhaus shows us how to create characters and stories out of thin air; if we're not trying to be funny ALSO, then we're simply saving a step. (Art doesn't work like that, naturally, but it's a fun turn of phrase, so I couldn't resist.)
I would recommend this book to ANYONE who wants to write fiction! Anybody could string together a sequence of events that eventually cease, but THE LITTLE BOOK OF SITCOM will help you craft a story that resonates with your readers!
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