TV Screenwriting – The Top 5 Tips
The process of writing a script for TV can be pretty tough. Beginners need to pay attention to a number of basic rules which need to be followed as no producer would even consider your work if it didn’t follow said rules. The elements of a TV script which need to be on par with the recognized standard are characterization, structure, formatting and many others. This article is going to discuss five number one tips concerning writing scripts for television.
1. Remember Your Budget
Whether or not your script is going to be accepted depends on some factors but the one that can make or break things for you is whether or not your story is strong. There is the total amount of sets to be considered for a TV program and see if your story is strong enough to be enacted with the number of sets allowed in a TV script of your budget.
2. Consider Your Main Characters
It is perfectly usual for a TV script to have a couple of main characters, where each one of them leads their own story based on a different plot. It is important, however, to limit your screenplay to only three main characters or else risking a ‘too loud’ story.
3. Think of Your Plot and Sub Plots
A television script always has a main plot and several other sub plots accompanying it. The main plot needs to involve all the people in the story while the sub plots engage some of the characters only, but also serve as supports to the main plot to make it meatier.
4. Consider The Duration of a TV Show
The rule of thumb concerning the duration of a scene in a screenplay is that one page is pretty much the same with a minute on screen. You need to adjust your script to the length of the TV show you are writing for.
5. The Structure of Your Script
The way you structure your script needs to follow still the basic formula that is the three act formula. Only the ending of an episode needs to provide conclusion to said episode, instead of the whole season, so as there are possibilities of resuming things when the next episode arrives.
Sending off a whole season or series of a TV scripts is unheard of. You need only to send a pilot episode or a treatment. It doesn’t mean that you can get away with writing only those two. Get at least the outlines for a complete season ready in case you are invited for face-to-face pitching. What a way to throw away a chance of a lifetime to be unprepared when opportunity comes knocking.
It is always advisable for beginners to take screenplay writing classes, studying the whole process step by step before trying to write a TV script and sending it to producers or TV stations. You can always edit your writing if you have already finished with it.