You want to preserve your creative freedom. Most beginning screenwriters create projects in lots of different genres and fail to sell them, over and over again. At that point, three things will often happen quickly: This work is how most screenwriters support themselves.
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Her Script Consultancy Script Advice delivers workshops, provides online TV writing training and develops writer talent. Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers! The creative process can be messy. If you are a Jackson Pollock sort of word splasher, then you will know what I mean.
Only you will understand the complexity of your story mapping and you will adore story lining. As a writer, I fall into both camps. I splash, but I also like structure and order. I am also obsessed with story lining. The Creative Spark happens; as we story nuts all know, whenever the flip it wants to.
At the point of ignition, your imagination will be firing off at all angles. It might have been a word. It might have been an image. Here, at the Ignition Point, you need to brain storm what it is you are trying to say. But now you have started the engine, you need to make sure the narrative continues to drive forward otherwise what you may find is that you have just had an idea for a story that only sits in a single hour or two at the most.
The life span — or format length — of your story depends on many factors, but the most important one focusses down on the number of characters you have carrying your plot line and their interaction with each other.
Longevity of a story is the direct result of how much connectivity, association and impact one character and their arc, has on another. There is a reason why the series format also called Continuing Drama in UK TV has at its centre, a family, a group, an ensemble — these characters carry the weight of the series on their shoulders.
What is it you are trying to say? By vocalising what your story is really about; what you really want to discuss here, you will realise very quickly if there is enough actual meat on the bones to warrant more than a single telling.
You will also begin to pin point the main message. It will only be in the writing of the Treatment that you will be able to totally nail your story and where you will also be able to define the over all concept as well as zone in on the detail of your world. The Expansion bit of the creation process is where you will need to describe and define the over all story arc of each character.
Here you will be doing two vital things: These two have to work together. When you get Subtext working with Text; then your Message can come alive and your audience will know what it is you were trying to say. You are getting at the essence; the kernel of your idea. You want to show both the beating heart of your world, but also the narratives surrounding it.
So we are talking about themes; we are also talking about the beats of your story arcs for your characters; the drive of the narrative through the episodes.
In Bloodline, for example, the themes are: The component parts of the story represented in the Treatment of the idea would be: The Family — Back story and present. The Secret — the Murderous activity of the siblings and its consequences.
These should be expressed in the Treatment. Be sure your story holds water. Ask yourself these questions: Get this information into your Treatment and you will be able to at least start the development ball rolling.
Without this process, you will find you are ill-prepared for the questions that will be asked of you about your potential series. I know in the US, you view the business of series differently to writers in the UK.
But I wanted to show you my template for a TV Treatment. In my world, a Treatment is no longer than 8 pages and no less than 2.
We can produce extended treatments and also of course Bibles of drama series, but for the purposes of this article, I am focussing on the document that is most often requested at the beginning of a conversation with a potential Commissioner or Producer.
This is the Selling Document — where your creative idea gets broken down in to its component parts and the Essence, or Distillation of your idea is presented.A treatment can be useful in getting your story straight, as well as getting the details of the screenplay you wish to write clearly spelled out.
When you begin creating the details of the script, it's too easy to lose track of the backbone of the story. Writing a treatment before you write your next screenplay can help you work out problems and determine whether your story idea is a diamond in the rough, or just a lump of coal.
The goal is to combine stories told from the heart with a deep understanding of what other people want to see. Former MGM film executive Stephanie Palmer explains how to write a screenplay you can sell to movie studios and producers.
How could I write a comedy screenplay. I heard it’s a lot harder than the other genres. then you expand that into a treatment and test that, then you write the screenplay and get feedback on that. Reply. The odds are high that your chosen script exec/producer/director will want you to write a treatment for the show at some point (alongside a great screenplay for the pilot episode).
Having a great idea for a comedy TV show will not get you an audience with a TV producer, but knowing how to write a treatment to pitch a comedic TV show may.
Learning to write a treatment can jumpstart a writer's career because it allows a screenwriter to communicate his or her screenplay idea in a brief but compelling way. I am often asked if a writer has to actually write a screenplay, or can they just sell ideas?
And Then Came Love is a character-driven romantic comedy about a high.