A few weeks ago @edithdrod asked me how she might rewrite her scripts so the protagonist is more active as early as possible. A note she was getting. I think an answer to this is present a choice they need to make, show their choice and how it reveals their character
I learned this thing about choices and revealing character from an episode of @writealongpod where Cargill breaks it down so simply it’s endlessly useful.
For example a recent one I wrote was a protagonist getting good news and showing they could not hold on to it before vetting it was okay to share that news. It allowed me to play some backstory (good news) and reveal their character flaw is being compulsive and over confident.
You can prob think of your fav films or tv shows and rewatch to see what the first choice the lead’s presented with, how early on, and what they decide to do. Then come up with your own structure and specifics in the first pages of your script.

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More from @MonicaBeletsky

17 Feb
Basically there's two ways to be a star on a TV staff. Write outlines and scripts the showrunner barely has to rewrite. Pitch storylines, scenes, images, emotional payoffs, solve story issues etc, that keep landing in the show.
When I was first working, I was quickly very good at the second. I would regularly pitch stories that landed in episodes, scenes, emotional moments, funny lines, etc. I was much stronger in the room than on the page. Somehow I could improv the show outloud better than I wrote.
One day, we were told we were behind and had to turn in an outline by the end of the day we hadn't started. That put the fire in me and I learned to write on cue. I got better and better at outlines over a few shows.
Read 8 tweets
14 Feb
One of my BFF lost her Valentine to a sudden tragedy a few weeks ago after letting herself believe in ❤️ again. I know many people are struggling now. If you’re someone who has something to spare, it would mean a lot to fund the Penn scholarship friends/fam hope to create.
Greg helped Philly public high school students launch their business ideas and provided early exposure to financial literacy. Additionally, he was one of the producers & hosts of the first-ever Bridges To Wealth podcast & blog series.
Read 4 tweets
21 Oct 20
Here's how I do a TV series pitch document (format):
THE SERIES (what the show is, tone, why it's cool/relevant)
LEADS (character descrips w actor reading it in mind)
CREATOR'S NOTE (why I can write it)
SUMMARIES OF NEXT EPS (stories, arcs)
Sometimes to sell a pilot, I've just done a pre-format pitch -- basically everything but the last 3 things. Then added those 3 items for the format. This was short, like 2-5 pp, other times, longer. The format, more like 20pp or more.
PS: For future episodes, I find it useful for execs if you summarize the summary first. Like a good description you might see when you select a streaming episode (the basic storylines) then go into the details. For the series, it helps to bring up structure.
Read 7 tweets
24 Jun 20
When I write a scene ill lay out everything that needs to happen. When I REVISE: I find ways to reveal character, more obstacles & conflict, remove what’s not interesting enough or necessary, dig deeper into an emotional set up or pay off then hone a landing or end/point of it
Writing down a bunch of stuff that happens is not a scene. for the scene to be elevated everything has to be there not just because it could happen because it has to and because it’s furthering character story conflict emotion a set up or a pay off
I’ll also add visuals as if the sound were off but you could understand it and I’ll rewrite it psychologically —how can I enhance how it’s being told cinematically through the character’s point of view. Oh sometimes stuff can be cut that’s interesting but not necessary (research)
Read 4 tweets
13 Mar 20
TV writers: were you staffed once or a few times or been writing assistants for awhile and feel stuck? I’m gonna try to help bc this is a common DM I get. Not big picture advice but as far as scripts and things you might be able to control. I’ll do a Q&A on this topic only after.
Okay so maybe you have a manager but you’re not getting meetings, or you fired your manager bc they weren’t doing much. Maybe your sample got some traction but nothing solid happened. Maybe you’ve been out of work for a moment. Maybe you can’t seem to get promoted.
What can you control? Your work. Your self. Who you know (who likes you). How your work and your self are perceived to match what and who people need on staff.
Read 20 tweets
17 Dec 19
#Rewriting again, so here's some thoughts from today. After two drafts of an ambitious story, I had a lot of character and world building, but the A/B stories were muddy & meandering. My clarity ?s:
What is the premise of the series? Or, can I explain the idea of the series?
What is the pilot story? Or, what happens in the 1st episode?
This is different than:
What is the set-up of the pilot? Or, what starts the hero on their journey and why are they the perfect character to follow in this story?
What happens week to week? Or, how can I show through the pilot what can be expected to repeat, grow or become added trouble in the next episodes?
Who is the hero? What is the arc we might expect them to travel in the pilot? In the season? In the series?
Read 10 tweets

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