Writing a TV drama is a dream for many but there are people that do this for a living right now. What do they know that others do not? Roger Wolfson tries to shed some light on this topic by highlighting very important things that need to be known about TV drama writing. He surely knows this better than most people since he is writing for “Crackle” and even wrote for “The Closer” and “Law And Order: SVU” in the past.
Nailing Intentions First
It is important to nail writing intentions right from the start. This is what keeps the writer right on the original thought/idea and makes the process simpler. The writing process is different for a TV drama because of the fact that there is a specific timeline that needs to be respected. A lot of discipline is needed for goals to be met.
Creating The Macro And The Micro
Writing a TV drama is not just about one of these aspects. You need to focus on both of them. There is always some sort of message that needs to be promoted to an audience. Something needs to be mentioned and the audience has to connect with what is decided. The macro is the wide viewpoint and the micro is what actually makes the audience hooked, going from one scene to the next. Focusing on just one of the 2 would lead to a confusing episode.
Creating Character Arcs
Every single character in a TV drama has the potential of connecting with a part of the audience, in one way or another. This is impossible if the story arc is not controlled by the writer. A character’s arc actually has to be built for both the episode and the entire season. In some cases, it is important for all seasons. After creating the character arc, it makes the entire writing process simpler. In many cases, the writer ends up finding ideas and moving to the next step in the story in a very natural way by simply having a thorough character arc created.
This is something that is rarely discussed because it is not really known. When writing a TV series, it is important to identify its DNA. A template is always utilized and if it does not exist, controlling the narrative of this series is difficult. The writer oftentimes just ends up writing around 3 episodes and then is stuck when a template is not respected.
Creating A Serie’s Outline
The outline of the TV drama offers confidence and helps writing everything from the pilot episode to the final episode. An arc has to be plotted in a broad way. Then, there is the jump-off point, the ending, and the midpoint. 3 important story blocks have to be cemented so that every single point can be worked out in terms of complexity and detail.
On the whole, the outline can be very simple and you would write it in just a small amount of time. Even so, it will help a lot in writing.