TV Series Script Writing Tips


Unlike short films or movie screenwriting, TV show script writing is generally more tasking and requires considerably more planning. We are talking from between five hours to up ten hours of screen time to script. This is actually a big deal, taking into consideration that every episode of the script has to not only be absorbing but also have its own conflict and a possible resolution with an added cliffhanger to boot.

Sounds scary, yeah? Well, it actually isn’t all that complicated if you take into consideration these five vital points:

Choose your main characters, determining their distinct characteristics, conflicts, and primary purposes.

Doing this early will help you a great deal in creating side conflicts and subplots as your screenplay progresses. Knowing your character’s unique characteristics will also guide not only you in developing consistent plot lines but also any other writer that might be drafted in to help with the writing as the plot thickens.

If you are not so versed in “making it up as you go,” it is usually best to use note cards to create a general outline of the entire plotline from start to finish and possibly the subplots too. Have an A-plot; the main storyline, a B-plot; the subplot, and a C-plot; the tertiary storyline if possible. You can then arrange them most intriguingly and develop the scenes as you divide them into episodes.

Remember that characters generally should not change so easily. Consistency is key here if you are to have a long-running show. You can’t have a character that is painted a womanizer in one episode, then go on to paint them as the most faithful partner in the next. If ever your character changes, there should be a damn good and understandable reason for that. Most TV shows that portray character dynamism in any episode usually have the character reverting back to default by the end of said episode. So, pick a theme for each character and stick to it.

Know your audience and structure the storyline and language appropriately. You can determine this if you are familiar with the network that will air your show. Learning the time that the show will be aired, or even by noting the target of the adverts that usually air during similar shows are also handy. This will guide your plotting and the language of writing.

These points should help ease the task of writing a TV show. In addition, we can help you develop your characters, plot each episode, and write your TV series scripts. Contact a TV screenwriter for hire today.