Should you write a spec script of the show you want to get staffed on?

Aspiring writers often ask me if they should write a spec script of the show they want to get staffed on. The answer is: “No. Absolutely not.” Even if you carefully study that show, taking notes on the types of stories they tell and how the characters talk, I guarantee you something will be a little off. Maybe you won’t …

The biggest mistake most aspiring screenwriters make

The biggest mistake most aspiring screenwriters make is that they don’t unfold the story properly. I’ve been a professional television writer for 25 years. I’ve written on numerous hit shows, sold a dozen pilots, and two features. On the series where I’m showrunner, part of my job is to hire the writing staff. This means reading countless scripts from young …

How to Write a Script for a TV Show

For students who want to learn how to write a script for a TV show, there’s no better example to learn from than Sylvester Stallone’s script for Rocky. Yes, it’s a movie and not a TV show, but the same story concepts still apply. If you remember, Rocky Balboa was picked from obscurity to fight the champion, Apollo Creed in …

How to Write a TV Pilot Script

  Before you learn how to write a TV pilot script, it’s important to understand the definition of “story.” The simplest explanation is this: a story recounts the struggle of a hero, fighting an obstacle, to achieve a goal. Hero. Obstacle. Goal. In this article, I’m going to take things one step further by discussing ways to make your story …

Writing a Sitcom

  Writing a sitcom a sitcom is very involved process. Even bad sitcoms require a ton of work. Many outsiders think it’s as simple as creating a few fun characters then stringing jokes together. Some people assume that because televisions shows have a staff, every writer must be assigned a character and we just sit around a table, saying whatever …

How to Write a TV Show

For people who want to know how to write a TV show, it’s helpful to know one thing: At its core, every story is about a boy wanting to become a man. (Or a girl becoming a woman.) That is to say, it’s about the hero’s quest to fix a flaw to become complete. Does it matter if the hero …

How to Write a Sitcom

Learning how to write a sitcom starts with understanding story structure. But as a professional television writer and showrunner, I can tell you with certainty that few aspiring sitcom writers understand that. They think that as long as the jokes are funny, they’ll be able to find a job. The truth is, the jokes are the least important part of …

Screenwriting Classes Online

  Here’s a question that all screenwriting classes online should be able to answer:  How has the story of Jack and the Beanstalk remained a classic throughout the centuries? Yes, it’s a fairytale and you’re interested in learning contemporary screenwriting, but what makes a story compelling is the same whether it’s a screenplay, novel, short story, comedy or drama. Let’s …

Learn Screenwriting Online

For those who want to learn screenwriting online, the first step is to truly understand the definition of “story.” That was the discussion of my last piece. Essential, a story is defined as the struggle of a hero, fighting an obstacle, to achieve a goal. In this article, I’m going to take things one step further. This is what you …

Best online screenwriting program

The best online screenwriting programs aren’t taught by professional teachers or graduates with a Masters Degree in Screenwriting. Those kinds of screenwriting courses tend to emphasize theory over practical and actionable knowledge. I’m a professional television writer and showrunner with over twenty-five years of experience. None of my knowledge came from a online screenwriting program. Instead, I learned everything I …