Just in case you haven't noticed the posts on nearly every writing blog out there.... Red Planet Comp is back and Danny is running a helpful blog here.
I entered last year and got nowhere. Looking back I'm not at all surprised. A slow start, overwritten and continual change in tone. I'm better now. Honestly.
So the rules have changed this year. It's TV only this year and we have a bit longer. That's a big relief because last year I took the laptop with me on holiday to get it done in time.
My first thought was still yikes though. I've come up with TV 1hr pieces and half hour sitcoms series before but never thought about 1hr episodes in a series or serial. This means I'm not going to be tweaking something I've already got.
Initial panic passed and I got down to knocking ideas about and brainstorming. I briefly considered trying to second guess what they'd be looking for or checking where holes were in the current output. However I decided in the end to write what I would love to watch and that I'd be happy to add to my portfolio. I did add the extra condition that it had to be something that wasn't already out there.
So I've gone through my favourite series and looked at what I liked about them. My favourites all have two things in common.
1) They are ensemble pieces. Even if the series is named after a single character the other characters are just as strong. And they are all 3 dimensional. No stereotypes, even if they appear that way when you first meet them.
2) There is balance. The series have an overall story, discrete stories for each episode and development of relationships. But they don't let any one predominate.
Well I've come up with something. It's meant to be horror and chucking the ideas down late at night has made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end so I think I'm on track. Let's just say I'm not going out on my own when it's dark for a while.
There's time to bin it and start again if I find it isn't working out but this is going to be my project for the next few weeks I think. If my nerves can take it.