Writing for TV: How to Succeed
In the first place you must write a script that you can show as an example of your writing skills. This script may never be made into a programme - but that doesn't matter, even though it is made with blood, sweat, and tears, and is the joy and pride of your life. This script is your CV. It is known in various script units as a `calling card' script. Its purpose is to show script editors, agents, and producers, that you have the talent to write dialogue, invent characters, and construct stories. You might be lucky and sell it for production, but it will have done its job brilliantly if it gets you a commission to write an episode of a series drama like Where the Heart Is, or a soap like Emmerdale, or an invitation to join a sitcom workshop.
To impress and excite your script must be:
- original in concept
- well constructed
- confidently plotted
- have good dialogue
- have good characterisation
- be professionally presented.
In the second place you must learn how to sell your script - and thus sell yourself as a writer. To do this you will need to know:
- the kind of drama that television script editors are looking for
- the programmes that are actively looking for new writers
- how to get your script read by the only people that matter: those with the power to commission you to write.