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Writing the 1-Hour TV Drama

At a Glance

  • Online instructor-led course on writing the 1-hour tv drama
  • Develop and perfect an act of your tv drama script that is ready to go right into a producer’s hands
  • Learn what it takes to make it in the thriving world of the tv drama

What does it take to make a great 1 hour television drama script? Is it a compelling plot or protagonist? Is it engaging dialogue or originality? In this six-week course, you will learn what makes a script work in the tv drama genre. Learn exactly what can set a good script that gets set in the waste basket apart from an outstanding one that can get you a writing job or a production deal.

The world of the one-hour drama is thriving—and always looking for new talent and fresh ideas. Special effects and shooting budgets are soaring. The small screen and the big screen are getting closer all the time, but you still you have to know the rules of the game.

By the end of this course, you will develop and perfect an act of your tv drama script that is ready to go right into a producer’s hands!

This workshop is offered in two formats. The budget-friendly On Demand option (which is for sale here) gives you the option to work on the same great workshop materials as the Online option, only without instructor feedback. You'll immediately receive our comprehensive course in PDF format, which provides instructions and exercises on specific skills you will need to succeed as a screenwriter. You can purchase the On Demand option here. To get the Online option with instructor feedback and online discussions with other students, please click here.

Course Outline

Week 1: Prime Time – The World of Writing for Television
  • Types of shows now on television and how to differentiate
  • Writing opportunities in a rapidly changing market
  • For whom is the TV writer writing?
  • How to earn a professional reputation
  • The importance of the 60 minute drama format for all TV writing
Week 2: Scripts – Many Formats, Many Shows
  • Each show type has its own specialized writing format
  • Why proper formats exist and must be used rigorously
  • Headings, narrative, dialogue, parenthetical directions, and transitions
  • How to preserve individuality and innovation in strictly formatted writing
Week 3: Structure – The “Bones” of Your Story
  • Aristotle’s “three part structure”
  • Each part has a length and set of requirements to fulfill
  • A modern addition is the “halfway point” and what it must accomplish
  • How to transpose the three part structure onto a complex television script broken into 4 or 5 acts based on the need for commercial breaks
Week 4: TV Series Characters – How to Invent Real People
  • A TV writer must be able to reproduce existing characters
  • Each episode needs single use, unique characters that fit the show’s needs
  • What are the major character types, including their functions and traits?
  • How to make bland characters come to life
Week 5: Dialogue and Narrative – The Nuts and Bolts of Basic TV Writing
  • Dialogue should be as natural sounding as possible, with each line in opposition to the lines before and after it
  • How to use and not abuse parenthetical directions in dialogue
  • Narrative, describing the biggest image possible with the fewest words
  • How to surf the crests: tell only the important actions in narrative and let the director cast take care of the rest
  • Avoid trite lines and descriptions
Week 6: Putting it Together – Writing the Act
  • Acts have structures similar to the three-part structure, with beginnings, middles and ends
  • The first act has many jobs: hooking the reader (ultimately viewer), introducing the plot and conflict, setting the seeds for the ending, and setting the episode’s tone
  • How to end the first act?
  • The middle acts and what they must accomplish, including the halfway point
  • The final act: how to create a resounding finale

Product Details

  • Publication date: 09/19/2013
  • Return policy: This item is not eligible for return.

Return Policy

Your satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please return the item(s) for an exchange or refund within 30 days from the purchase date, unless otherwise noted on the product page.

Ship the item(s) to The Writers Store via a traceable and insured method. You will be responsible for return shipping fees.

Please include a completed Return Form with your shipment. Refunds take up to one week to process once we have received the item(s).

Software returns must be deactivated and uninstalled from your computer before a refund may be issued. Please contact the software manufacturer if you need assistance uninstalling or deactivating your software.

The following items are not returnable: Hollywood Creative Directories, DVDs (opened), and Gift Certificates.

$149.99