Writing a television screenplay can be a difficult process if you have had no training in the past. Lot’s of beginner screenwriters have no idea where to start or take their ideas, there is nothing wrong with this as long as you make sure you learn before you start writing. The industry nowadays is very strict when accepting screenplays and there are certain rules you must follow. In this article I’ll give you my top five tips for writing a television screenplay.
1. How Many Characters Do I Need?
Most television screenplays have about three different main characters.. Though this can greatly vary. For your first television screenplay I wouldn’t have any more than two or three main characters.
2. Do I Need More Than One Plot?
A television series will have multiple plots feeding into a main plot. Every plot should somehow be connected to the main plot that drives the story.
3. How Should My Script Be Structured?
The structure of a television episode is the same as a feature film. It should have three acts, the beginning, middle and end with turning points throughout. Obviously the difference is that you don’t conclude the entire series and the episode must somehow continue to the next.
4. How Long Should My Script Be?
When it comes to screenwriting each page is roughly one minute. Some television shows will have to fill a half hour slot and some an hour. Sometimes even more than that if it’s a two part series for example. The choice is yours.
5. Why Do I Need To Think About The Budget
The budget is a very important deciding factor if your screenplay makes it past the initial review. If your screenplay will require a large budget then the chances are it wont get made unless you already have a decent track record. A beginner screenwriter should always be aware of the budget and keep things like the amount of sets and props to a minimum.
If you have never had any experience writing a screenplay before then I would defiantly recommend taking some kind of screenwriting course. I have only very briefly covered what it takes to write a television screenplay, there is so much more to learn.