The Helpful Reviewer

Tips from a professional reviewers!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Writing a Standout Procedural

When writing for TV, there are serialized and episodic types of shows. Serialized shows carry the story from one episode to the next, whereas episodic shows are more stand-alone (although they still have some serialized components so we engage with the characters and their arcs). Regarding episod ...


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Plotting Ahead

When writing serialized TV shows, we understand that different things will be revealed at different times, and that not all information will be given out right away. That’s not just a way of writing for TV, but also a way to engage your audience and build your characters and the world of your sho ...


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Cold Opening in a Pilot

When writing a TV pilot, one of the hardest things to do is set up your story and main character right away, without falling into writing a premise pilot, which as we previously discussed, is when you write a pilot that tells mostly backstory and only at the end the show starts, with episode two ...


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A, B, C Storylines and Recurring Storylines

When writing for TV, it’s critical to create multiples storylines that interweave to create each exciting new episode. Commonly, the protagonist’s story is the A story (the main one), and then there are B, C, and other stories that can relate to the supporting characters, and even to the protagon ...


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

TV SERIES CHARACTERS

Writing for TV is an exploration of character over time. Unlike film, where we only have at most two hours to get to know our characters, in TV we have (hopefully) years to connect with them, get to know them inside and out, discover new things about them, and have them surprise us. While TV is i ...


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Legs of a Show & Show Bible

When coming up with an idea for a TV show, as opposed to a feature film idea, one has to see if said idea has enough story to last for a number of years, or as it is commonly thought of, for 100 episodes. For a show to be incredible profitable, sindication after its original run is a must. And fo ...


Monday, November 4, 2019

WRITING FOR TV – Premise Pilots

We’re currently in the golden age of television. There’s so much rich content, so many opportunities for writers, and so much that can be explored on television, that more and more writers are making the transition from writing features to writing TV pilots. And that makes so much sense. TV is wh ...


Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Importance of Outlining & Structure

So much has been said and even criticized regarding screenplay structure. But what people often forget is that structure doesn’t mean arbitrary rules that will make your screenplay feel just like any other. Structure is the basis to help you maximize conflict, theme, development, character, goal ...


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Before submitting a screenplay to a production company, a manager/agent, a competition or posting it on a script hosting website, it’s imperative to have the script ready, polished, and at its possible best. You get one chance to make an impression with your script, and you want that chance to he ...


Monday, September 16, 2019

Write Playable Actions

One of the best pieces of advice I got back in grad school was to read a book called “Directing Actors” by Judith Weston, and my biggest takeaway from reading it was playable actions. One of the hardest things for new writers is to write in a cinematic way, meaning actions that are playable, and ...


Friday, August 30, 2019

Write What You Know

Something all writers, especially aspiring writers, want to achieve, is to be noticed. They want to write that one script that will start their careers or propel them to a new level. What’s going to make that happen? Writing a great script. And how do you achieve that feat? One great way is to wr ...


Friday, August 16, 2019

Character-Driven Stories

Crafting characters is no easy feat. Creating multi-dimensional, realistic, flawed, emotional characters is what every screenwriter wants to achieve. Characters who feel real, that audiences can connect with on a deeper level. Regardless of the type of person they are – or the character archetype ...


Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Importance of the First Page

When writing a spec script, your number one concern should be to grasp the attention of the reader from page one. You won’t get past a reader’s desk and into the hands of the one that could actually option/buy your script if you don’t engage the reader and give him a reason to keep reading your s ...