“I was a writer before I knew what a writer was.” —Joseph Dougherty
Joseph Dougherty has been a successful playwright and television writer, producer, and director for more than thirty years. He’s written for breakthrough series that have changed the way we look at television drama, from thirtysomething to Pretty Little Liars, winning everything from Emmys to Teen Choice Awards along the way. Dougherty’s voice comes off the page with anecdotes about the writing process, hard-learned tips for survival in “the business,” and reflections on the influences that have led him to a successful career.
Honestly, entertainingly, without cynicism, he gives readers permission to embrace the writer they want to be, so they can experience the rewards and satisfactions of writing. Beyond an insider’s take on story and structure, dialogue, action and outlining, A Screenwriter’s Companion is as much mentor as it is manual. With every insider observation about how to keep a potential producer reading till the last page of a script, there’s encouragement to explore your thoughts and memories, things a writer needs to embrace in order to become more than “a pro.”
About the Author
Joseph Dougherty is an Emmy-winning writer for his work on the television series thirtysomething. He has written several movies for HBO including the remake of Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman. He was a writer and producer for Pretty Little Liars. His plays, including the Tony-winning musical My Favorite Year, have been produced at Lincoln Center and Manhattan Theatre Club.
The foreword is written by Scott Ryan, author of thirtysomething at thirty, The Last Days of Letterman, and Moonlighting: An Oral History.
"Joe Dougherty is one of the best writers I have known in this business, and I have been in this business a pretty long time so I have known many. His gifts as a writer, combined with his experience over the years on so many varied projects, have given him an enormous and very special point of view. One to be seen and shared." —Melanie Mayron, Actress and Director that worked with Joseph Dougherty on thirtysomething
"When actors sit down to read a script, they hope to find three things: plotting that is believable but unpredictable, characters who are real and compelling, and dialogue that tastes both natural and unexpectedly delicious. To this day, I remember finding those things whenever I opened a script with the name Joseph Dougherty on the cover page." —David Clennon, Character Actor who played Miles Drentell in thirtysomething and appeared in Tom Hanks From The Earth to the Moon
"Much like Stephen King’s On Writing, A Screenwriter’s Companion is a book I will reread often as I look for inspiration before starting a new project. Written for both aspiring and working writers, Dougherty offers encouragement and keen insight and is somehow both magical and practical at the same time. This is for anyone who has a story to tell.” —Marlene King, Executive Producer and Showrunner of Pretty Little Liars
"Joseph Dougherty’s Screenwriter’s Companion is chockablock with wit, candor, and passion. He manages to impart his keen grasp of screenwriting basics with a narrative thrust more akin to a page-turner than any garden variety how-to textbook. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fresh, intelligent, and—dare I say FUN—approach to the craft of writing. I mean, c’mon, where else are you going to find Fellini’s Intervista and Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman discussed with equal fervor?" —Ron Lagomarsino, Emmy-Nominated Television Director of Picket Fences, thirtysomething, and Pretty Little Liars