An indie drama, on the other hand, may breathe better with more flexibility in the plan. Some might grin at the thought of spending multiple books exploring the world and story they’ve created. However, you must have at least a rough idea of the direction in which the story is heading. To plan the setting of your crime or mystery series, think about the sort of atmosphere you want to create. BONUS TIP: Consider creating a Pinterest account dedicated solely to the planning of your series. If you’re writing in another genre, such as literary or commercial fiction, a standalone novel is probably your best bet. As John August puts it, “The correct way to write your screenplay is whatever gets it written.” We hope learning how to create a script outline with our free template gets the job done for you. Immersing yourself in the world of your story will help give your series a consistent, authentic feel. The next thing you need to do is answer the following questions about your plot: These questions will help you identify any major issues with your plot outline so far. Tolkien’s LOTR trilogy, on the other hand, is a prime example of the rising and falling action structure: in Fellowship, the journey begins; in Two Towers, it meets complications and continues; and in Return of the King it reaches a climax and slowly winds down to the ending. Once you have a rough idea of how you’ll break up the overarching narrative, it’s time to focus on that all-important concept: the climax. Will readers be disappointed or will they understand the purpose behind any open-ended aspects? I'm trying to do it so bad but can't get it right. , I have to say this was one of the most organized and not so bogged down tips for series creating. For me, the most important principles of writing effective outlines are to write visually and explain nothing. Know as much as you can about your protagonist … Each individual book should have its own contained plot that feeds into the larger plot of the whole series. I had… Part of discovering the perfect outline, however, is trying different approaches and using what works best for you as well as for the script you are writing at the time. How badly you want to achieve the goal of creating a series. Be economical, and don’t bore the audience with too much exposition. J.K. Rowling, for example, … You’re very welcome! Take a look at your entire story and break it down into sections. Can you spot any potential instances of. A visual medium requires visual methods. Make sure your scenes have a direct cause-and-effect relationship with one another. Transcribe TV shows. Can you see how they will undergo a compelling journey, both physical and emotional? There are game show-elimination formats, personality formats, docu-dramas and other game shows. (Hint: if you had trouble deciding where to break up your series, this point will probably help you out a great deal!). You take the audience on a journey, therefore we need to track the character's emotions as we go. We're including: Save the Cat Beat Sheet, The Story Speedometer, Simple Script Outline Template, and the Treatment template for TV shows. Alongside solid plot development, a series must focus on constant character development in order for it to hold any hope of sustaining itself. Bookmarked and will return. The character arc is crucial to the script outline. And still more might simply cry in horror, ‘A series? And, more importantly, does it answer them all? Develops the storyline using the scenes essential to the story’s genre supplemented by scenes that present relevant and just plain interesting action and/or drama pertinent to the idea set forth in the Logline and Leavebehind. Otherwise, your writing process – and the story itself – is likely to be rather aimless and ineffective. Your characters must undergo significant changes throughout the story. However, I have also experience getting to a scene I thought I carefully outlined, only to realize that it didn’t work. This is the premise of every single TV … This might mean you choose not to undertake every aspect of the planning process we’re about to outline. This sprawling series began almost 20 years ago, and readers are still eagerly awaiting its next instalment. The inciting incident, which will kick off the events of your series. We’re in a golden age of TV writing and development. Not for very long, because I was desperate for work, but I hesitated. Import scripts. I even know I love at least 2 of my other main caste characters too. I’ve already scrapped some stuff and added some stuff, but I find myself overwhelmed wanting this to be that “It” series. You should never need the words “and then” in between any of your scenes. The point is, the words “but,” “therefore,” and “so” denote cause-and-effect. If readers are to stay with you for multiple books, you must create a setting rich enough to immerse them and complex enough to sustain their interest. To wrap your mind around the overarching structure, ask yourself the following questions. That way, when I sit down to write, I’m only worried about writing the scene in a compelling way. For now, just concentrate on mapping out the main events of the story. You chose to write a series because you have a story you want to tell, and because you have a passion for writing. From Harry Potter to Outlander to the Millennium trilogy, every successful series features a protagonist and cast of supporting characters who are compelling, complex, evolving, endearing, or all of the above. We’ll delve into this further below. Each Holmes story deals with an individual mystery, and while there are threads that connect all the volumes, the structure isn’t as rigid as that of a speculative fiction series. Each volume recounts a story that’s not necessarily related chronologically to its companion volumes. But again, it’s about what your character’s arc requires -- there are no rules. A word of warning, though: try not to be too heavy-handed when exploring your themes. Thanks so much! Take a look at our video, How Authors Can Use Pinterest For Fiction Writing & Novels, to find out more about this handy tool. Because they’re deeply invested in the political developments of Westeros? For now, ask yourself these questions from the outset to see if your plot is suited to a series. There’s one key thing to remember here: your series as a whole must have a climax point, but each individual book must also have its own climax as well. Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration and a wonderful way to visualise settings and characters while you plan your series. If there isn’t, the book doesn’t really qualify as a self-contained narrative. There is no straightforward way to know how to outline a screenplay. If not, others have made wonderful outlines … There are resources out there to give you a rough estimate of how many scenes you need per act. There’s no point setting out to write a series just for the sake of it; it needs to be the right vessel to deliver your particular tale. But each novel reads more like a standalone piece, and the three do not necessarily need to be read in order. Write down everything you already know about them, from their appearance to their key personality traits to their family history. What are their desires, goals and motivations? If you’re just looking to write a pithy list of scenes to get you started, you’d be well-served by the one-page outline accomplished screenwriter John August used for his script Big Fish. Script outlines can be boring to read. However, this doesn’t mean that structure isn’t an important consideration for genres that don’t follow traditional ‘series’ conventions. Ferrante and Fielding’s series tell the continuing story of their central characters, which is conventional enough, but series like The Border Trilogy are different. Obviously your plans may and probably will change throughout the writing process, but I think having that backbone in place to start with can give you a great starting point and some future points to work towards, which can help you get stuck in. There may be a less concrete answer to the question of how many books to write. While you might believe that your story needs to be told over multiple books, in reality, your plot might not be able to stretch that far. What are the key events or turning points in each character’s arc? Before you launch into a series – whether it be a duology, a trilogy or a sprawling ten-part epic – you need to seriously consider your commitment to the task. That would disrupt the flow of cause-and-effect crucial to any plot. And I know I love my main character enough that I won’t get bored with his story. World-building in fantasy and science fiction, eight effective ways to write page-turning tension, How Authors Can Use Pinterest For Fiction Writing & Novels. Of course an engaging storyline is vital, however readers must also care about what happens to your characters. As discussed above, character development is vital to any series; static characters just don’t cut it over multiple books. You’ll learn how to plan and execute your series to its full potential, along with how to create plot lines, characters and themes that will make for a compelling multi-volume story. The climax of the entire series will obviously come close to the end of the last book. He used this to evaluate how well the script was balancing the time spent in the different worlds within his story. Consistency is something you’ll mainly be checking during the revision process, but it doesn’t hurt to keep it in mind while you’re writing as well. The most important thing here is that you know the beginning and end of your series. You've finally made it to the final step in the process – and it's the most enjoyable step … Keep up the amazing work. Tag elements like props, wardrobe, and cast. TV Writing and Development. Writing on his website, August said he then made a longer sequence outline after writing his first draft. In Film and TV terms, this referred to as three-act structure. Use key points in their personal journey and development to decide how your series will be structured. Most of all, show don't tell. Wishing you the best of luck writing your series. Rather than feeding into a vast overarching narrative, these types of series tends to be more episodical in nature. Often, you might not realise what your themes really are until you’re well into the writing process. We’re big believers in writing outlines of movies as you watch them and then breaking them down in order to master structure, and the same goes for writing a TV series. First things first: before you do anything else, you need to decide if a series is the right choice for the story you want to tell. D’oh! The exploration of universal human themes helps readers relate to the story you’re telling, which is important if you want them to come back for each volume of your series. Make sure there’s an inciting incident in act one, and plenty of conflict in each beat. ... Television reviews focus on a range of TV shows, such as nail-biting dramas or situation comedies, but they all provide a critical perspective that entices readers to watch the show. Think about what your character wants, and what progression of increasingly-difficult obstacles (and people) he or she will organically attract. Master the art of visual storytelling with our FREE video series on directing and filmmaking techniques. There aren’t many publicly available examples of long outlines like this to share, however WikiHow hosts a script treatment example that is shows the gist (albeit at only 11 pages). These will form the individual books. It’s important to note, however, that these kinds of series (literary especially) don’t generally follow the typical conventions of a series. Consider George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, for example. It’s something hinted at in the smog-soaked London of Holmes’s cases, and in the country houses of Allingham and Christie.”. Have you tried to outline your own series and felt some major overwhelm? Familiarise yourself with your story’s sense of place as much as possible before you start writing in earnest. Whether or not they get what they want, decide how your protagonist changes throughout their journey. Do they have enough potential for development that can be sustained across multiple books? Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly how things will end at this stage; some writers like to let the story guide them rather than knowing everything from the outset. Download FREE outline bundle to get your story on the right track. Once you have all of your scenes together in your script outline, think about how you would explain them to someone. premise. Let’s finish off this guide with a few general hints, tips and tricks. Its very simple formula breaks your plot into eight distinct “beats.”  Each beat has suggested page counts for when they need to happen. They’re two sides of the same coin! Also, I have been mindlessly working on a specific series for some time now. 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