Diana Black: TV Writing Checklist Part 4

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you haven’t already read Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3, now would be a good time.


by Diana Black

Regardless of what type of project you’re writing, or whether you wrote a Treatment prior to this step (Storybook version of the narrative), the Scene Outline is mandatory.

IF this is a TV Pilot, Telemovie or Limited Series, the Outline must follow strict formatting guidelines. Regardless of whether, you plan to write up a story-book version (Treatment), I suggest you read LB’s article “Writing the Dreaded Outline” – not only is a great informative read, the GDD method really works, especially when you’re up against the clock.

But let’s assume you do have your potential novel/story-book Treatment in hand and you’re wanting to transform it into an Outline… all you need do is simply break the Treatment up into individual scenes. The ‘big-print’ for each scene, should only be a few sentences long and if it’s more than that, break it up into two (2) sentences per paragraph…. the more ‘white space’ on the page the better.

If you’re not having to submit an ‘industry-standard’ Scene Outline, because it’s not a TV project but a Feature instead, I’d advise you to create the following document… it’s a ‘multi-tasker’… why create more work when you can create a killer document that does so many things at once…

Create a Table (computer… ‘Landscape’). The number of columns depend on how many sub-plots you have besides your main plot (A). Let’s say you only one sub-plot (B)… create a table with five (5) columns… an Act # Colum (I, II and III, or if for TV -TEASER, I, II, III, IV, and TAG); Scene & Page #; A-plot Scene – containing the Slug Line and ‘Big print’ (description incl. action); Scene & Page# column for the B sub-plot, and the last one, the B sub-plot Scene details….

Fill the table in as you work through the Treatment and mark with a numbered asterisk e.g. *1, if it’s set-up #1 or mark with a numbered check e.g. ?3 if it’s paying off set-up #3 and so on… this way you’ll easily keep track of the set-ups and ensure you’ve paid them off correctly. The pay-offs are not likely to occur for a while, or if it’s a TV Pilot, the pay-off may not occur until the next episode, but you’ll know where they are in an instant and whether in the end, you’ve addressed them.

Outlining the entire narrative arc in this manner enables you to not only identify whether a scene is the main plot or a sub-plot, you’ll also be able to determine the timing and relationship between them. It lets you chart the energy dynamics and pacing of the narrative… cutting back and forth between A & B will likely quicken the pace.

You can also indicate whether it’s a Flashback (FB) scene… but most importantly, you can locate scenes a lot faster than flipping through an entire script. If you add or delete scenes (rows) on the Outline, be sure to re-number them. By numbering the scenes at this stage on both the Outline and the Script (a no-no on your spec submission), it makes it easier if you’re working in collaboration with multiple writers on a project or conducting a Table read. Having to say, “Let’s look at Sc.#30” is far easier than saying, “Let’s look at Hotel Room – Night er… page 53”, don’t you think?

Act
Sc/Pg
A – Main
Sc/Pg
B – Sub-plot
I
1/1
INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
The PROTAGONIST closes the curtains – watches the street. He turns to the POLICE OFFICER behind him – hands over the box. (*1)

2/1
EXT. ALLEYWAY – NIGHT
BEAGLE BOY ONE throws the gun to BEAGLE BOY TWO – he FIRES up at the hotel window.

3/2
INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
Glass shards spray the room – Protagonist and Police Officer hit the deck….

Doing your Outline this way, helps you restrict the big print down to the bare minimum; this should reduce ‘over-writing’ … leave that for the novel. And remember it’s, ‘show not tell’. Elaborate on the script itself, if you must.

Okay, you’re now finally onto the Script. Refer to that wad of rough scene notes that you’ve been scribbling – at 2:00 a.m., in the shower, walking along the beach, in the rest room at the restaurant on ‘date night’ etc.

Having done so much work in the foundation stage, you now know these characters intimately, they’ve been present for quite a while in your life and now they’re not only talking, but surprising you with the choices they make and events that are seemingly coming out of left field. Now sit back and enjoy the process of just simply writing.

Scenes should adhere to the principle, ‘arrive late and leave early’ in relation to the characters, as to what’s just happened prior to the scene, and they’re leaving long before the ‘welcome mat wears thin’ – don’t slow/labor the pace. The scene should clearly address the scene objective without being ‘on-the-nose’ description and/or dialogue.

Beats are a way to amp up the pace and explore subtext, there should be underlying conflict and tension between characters, and with only one of them winning by the scene’s end. This is indicated by the character via word or action; achieving their objective via the dialogue or the action. If none of this is making sense to you, read my article: “Actor-Writer? No! Writer… No…”

On a technical note, as you’re writing the Script, have you got something compelling on the bottom of every page so that it’s a ‘page turner’? Supposedly, J.K. Rowling’s strategy. Go and check out one of the Harry Potter books and the adapted screenplays – see if this holds true. If you’re writing a teleplay, have you got something amazing just prior to an act break in the form of a cliff-hanger?

Take a bow. You’ve worked hard!

See you in the next article… TV Checklist – Part 5


Diana Black is an optioned screenwriter who has placed in competitions with features and teleplays.  She’s also a professional actor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts – Drama, Film & TV and a regular contributor to TVWriter™.

Diana Black: TV Writing Checklist Part 3

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you haven’t already read Part 1 & Part 2, now would be a good time.


by Diana Black

We’re now ready to step into the story-world and start seriously playing, but we do have some decisions to make first…who said screenwriting was easy…

Determine the Design Principle – how will you tell the story and through whose lens? I suggest you refer to Jonathan Truby’s Anatomy of Story. He maintains that most stories, while they’re much in need, don’t have a Design Principle.

Having a modus operandi on a card in your daily line-of-sight, will ensure that the story stays ‘clean’ in terms of its execution. Your narrative doesn’t have to be linear to follow a Design Principle.

Whatever way you want to tell the story, it just needs to be consistent.

You could go straight into writing the Scene Outline, but I’d suggest you write the story-book version of the narrative first, in the form of a Treatment. Think of it as telling a ripping yarn around the campfire. It’s useful if you’re writing a feature; especially if you want to novelize it later (but it works for both features and teleplays).

A story-book version will free you up from getting tied up in formatting issues associated with the ‘big print’ (description/action) of the script. We’re not even thinking about the dialogue at this point and by doing this before you start writing the script, you’ll be free to just see the ‘film’ in your head and your job becomes one of simply noting down the details of what you see unfold.

If you know the ending, from the get-go, which is a great idea, you can ‘reverse engineer’ (work backwards – determining how the characters came to that end – be it sticky or not). Make sure the ending is climatic, stupendous and surprising in a big, out-of-the-box way. Think back to the lead-up and finale of Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008 – 2013).

If it’s a TV series you’re writing, not only will you be considered awesome when you can rattle off what going to go down in later episodes in the pitch meeting, whether they follow your lead or not, you’ll have clearly demonstrated that it’s a cohesive narrative and that you’ve thought about its longevity – this beastie is alive and rattling its cage!

Have you thought about generating buzz? As you’re writing the Treatment, especially as you get closer to the ‘back-end’, deliver one pay-off after another such that, assuming the series gets picked up and airs to plan, viewers – especially binge-watchers – will have multiple sets of clues and “surprises” to keep them glued to the screen.

Essentially, you’re attempting to, and, we hope, succeeding, in generating buzz, AKA marketing gold!

Once you’re done writing up the Treatment, then you can think about structure… if it’s a television series, determine where you think the Pilot is going to end in that narrative arc and for both formats, go back and identify the Act breaks and the structural components therein.

If you’re not sure what I mean by that, pick up a copy of Syd Field’s Screenplay and if its strictly television that your writing for, LB’s Television Writing from the Inside Out.

Identifying the structure (after the fact*) is always a good idea because you don’t know the background, quirks and modus operandi of the gate keepers and suits who might read this document.

*I would strongly suggest at the outset, you don’t impose stereotypical plot points associated with a specific genre onto the narrative, otherwise you may end up with a formula-laden, generic mess.

If it’s a TV show and you’re really on the ball, you’ll have a cliff-hanger at the end of each Act break and a humdinger at the end of the Pilot.

Word of caution, it’s a slightly different ball game for television procedurals wherein the characters have come to us from the beginning of the Pilot, as relatively fully-formed individuals – their Character arc in terms of growth, is minimal. At least in comparison to a Feature or a character like Walter White in Breaking Bad.

We see ‘character growth’ in dramedies as well, such as Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Bravo, 2014 – 2018) via the character Abby McCarthy (played by Lisa Edelstein). Yet we don’t see it so much in the character of Sheldon (Jim Parsons) in The Big Bang Theory (Warner Brothers, 2007 -).

Having fully-fledged individuals in a procedural is a marketing decision. The police procedural, NCIS (CBS, 2003 -) has stood the test of time and has fully developed characters who’ve changed very little across the narrative arc, but we do see new characters arriving and some established characters leaving. But being a procedural, it means we can just focus on a new plot each week AND viewers can be recruited at any time within the season and not be lost/confused.

Now that you have your Treatment done, ask yourself, is it a fast read? Get industrial-level coverage if you can’t tell. Your aim is to create a fast, fluent organic read, rather than something that is stereotypical, cliché shlock.

See you in the next article… TV Checklist – Part 4


Diana Black is an optioned screenwriter who has placed in competitions with features and teleplays.  She’s also a professional actor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts – Drama, Film & TV and a regular contributor to TVWriter™.

Diana Black: TV Writing Checklist Part 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you haven’t already read Part 1, now would be a good time.


by Diana Black

Let’s say you now have a motley crew with which to flesh out the story world… the latter can be achieved via the seemingly almost magical ‘What If’ – an outline/description of all the aspects of the story world you’re creating.

If you have a singular lead (not an ensemble cast) then the narrative will be seen through his/her lens, but regardless, it remains a work in progress as things come to mind. Do your homework on this from the get-go. It’s far easier if you set up a solid foundation, even if most of it is never used, than having to scramble to come up with something out of the box when the suit/s say, “Let’s talk.”

List every aspect you can think of via bullet points – the rules a.k.a. the modus operandi, including the geographical, social, and chronological parameters that govern or exist in this fictitious world. Work through the ‘5 W’s’ – the where, when, what, who and why for each of the major characters.

If you’re working on a TV series, you’ll get lucky with some of this material providing valuable insight into the ‘Legs’. If it’s a Feature; this effort could provide resource material for the ‘B’ & ‘C’ sub-plots.

Don’t hold back, be outrageous – you never know what ‘nuggets of gold’ you’re likely to unearth. You can then use a polished version of the ‘What If’ to help create ‘The Bible’ for the series.

For an extreme example of ‘outrageousness’ look at the television series, Shameless (Showtime, 2011 – 2018); what’s even more outrageous is the thought that this level of dysfunctionality could indeed be a ‘slice of life’ for some hapless people, here on American soil.

The antics of Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) would make Homer Simpson blush.

For both the characters and the story world, they need to be larger than life. While the plot might be ‘slice of life’, the characters and their world can’t be – your creation isn’t a documentary (possibly a mockumentary).

Regardless, all three components cannot be the same – you either have ordinary characters in an extraordinary world where the weirdest stuff happens, or it’s larger than life characters, struggling to deal with an excruciatingly ‘ordinary’ world and failing.

Okay, now we’re about to enter the work in progress phase by entering this amazing world and giving ourselves permission to play… but just prior to closing the door completely on the outside and stepping ‘in’, I suggest you do the following…

This next step is onerous and time-consuming, but it’s an investment in the future – for the series and for you as the writer – you’ll look so awesome if you already have in place a detailed document for each substantial character, the In-depth Character Profile.

I’m currently writing a Telemovie/ Limited Series and for most of the leads (an ensemble piece) each profile is around 8 – 10 pages. Suffice to say, these documents take ‘forever’ to write, but once done, there’s LOTS of things you know about your character, which you can then draw upon, as need be.

I’d advise you to do this on computer – draw up a table with the following sections:

  • Character Logline
  • Narrative Arc (from their POV)
  • Specific ‘issues’ (they contend with)
  • Character arc (do they grow/change?)
  • Subtext logline (their essential character e.g. ‘damaged goods’)
  • Subtext (what’s really going on, are they cognizant about it or not)
  • Subtext identity (what drives them subconsciously)
  • Potential drivers to their subtext, that include intimate relationships – past & present, relationships with other characters, backstory of the character, world view, belief system/s, attitudes/convictions, source of passion -what do they care about
  • Attitude towards the natural environment
  • ‘Life metaphor’ (code of ethics or lack thereof)
  • Rules they obey (or not )
  • Strategies they use to get what they want
  • Justification for the way they feel and act)
  • Character traits – physical and psychological
  • Special skills
  • Conscious desires
  • Conflicting desires
  • Subconscious need
  • Character flaw (and why)
  • Guarded secret
  • Paradoxes – personality and behavior
  • Internal wound
  • Source of vulnerability
  • Meaningful and difficult Choices including rising Challenges across the narrative arc
  • Dilemma.
  • Know that in each category, you need to answer the above in relation to the premise, theme and story-world you have set up – just don’t make shit up – it must resonate with the narrative, and the other characters.

Now go a step further and develop a Character Web, as in how are the Characters and the incidents occurring in their respective back stories related?

This is mind-bending stuff, but it serves two functions – the characters, if they’re ‘real’, will evolve on the page – you’ll learn things about them you never knew existed.

I know this sounds ‘loopy’ – just get on with it. I’ve come from a scientific background where being analytical and detail-oriented, ruled supreme and in my humble opinion, if you want a really, rich story world and 3-dimensional characters, you’ve just got to do this stuff.

Also, because the characters are so tightly integrated, the narrative will be a cohesive whole AND it will make each character much harder to cut or merge… the actor who lands the role will thank you.

You won’t have these documents set in stone at the outset, but the dynamics between the characters and their interrelationships (the Character Web) will have begun to evolve as you set them on their narrative journey.

Trust yourself as the writer and trust the characters. Don’t forget they’re relying on you to serve them well. Don’t cheat them of anything less than your undivided attention, or they may just bite you on the butt and ‘stop talking.’

P.S. I’d also advise you work on these character documents – an hour on/fifteen minutes off, and so on.

See you in the next article… TV Checklist – Part 2


Diana Black is an optioned screenwriter who has placed in competitions with features and teleplays.  She’s also a professional actor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts – Drama, Film & TV and a regular contributor to TVWriter™.

Diana Black: TV Writing Checklist Part 1

by Diana Black

There are a zillion ways to ‘get started’ in terms of writing your teleplay and if you’re ambitious, your television series.

If the steps outlined in this series of articles resonate with you – then go for ’em! If they don’t, do whatever does work, but DO IT!

The important thing is to be writing and working on your craft every single day. You’ll never take yourself seriously and neither will anyone else if you don’t start thinking and acting like a pro.

Ideally, at any one time you should be taking actionable steps every day with any or ideally, all the following:

Stories in creative development mode.

Stories that are a work in progress – either draft, re-write (after many drafts) or final polish.

Stories in pitch mode that you’re pitching, or about to pitch in some way.
Your daily work load will of course depend on how many stories you have in the ‘in-tray’ and what sort of ‘day-job’ is sapping your creative energy. How are you prioritizing this? Find a way.

Stories in creative development mode start with a fascinating, compelling, super-cool idea/concept in rough note form. No matter how outrageous or silly these scrappy notes might be, don’t discard them! Lock them up in a drawer somewhere.

People know you’re a writer and such is expected of writers and you are one, aren’t you? They’ll not suspect you of being a serial killer but mark it ‘fiction’ if you must. Always have a notebook on hand to jot down ideas, characters, events etc. for wherever you happen to be and whenever these sparks of genius present themselves.

You’ll think you’ll remember that stupendous idea that woke you up at 2:00 a.m. but chances are you won’t, so be prepared to slip out of bed or at least, have a note-pad by your nightstand and visualize the words on the page as you write them down, so they’re not totally illegible in the light of day.

Put a diver’s notepad along with a pencil in the shower rack – its reusable – the pencil marks can be gently removed with toothpaste.

Now let’s address each component, of which there are many…

The Log Line – also sometimes referred to as the one-line premise or synopsis statement.

Make this statement ‘High Concept’ from the get-go. Check out LB’s take on this in his article, “The Logline” and read the whole article – pure gold. Essentially your logline (LL) must be a brilliant, quirky, mind-blowing concept that the suit/s, especially the seasoned creative professionals, wish they’d written it and saved themselves a bunch of $$ by not having to acquire it from you.

And the other ‘suits’ – the non-creative bean counters? Don’t under-estimate them – they can smell $$ and a marketable ‘opportunity’ like a Ferengi and they’ve got a lot of clout these days.

Let there be no mistake or self-delusion about this, we’ re all in it to make $$, regardless of how artistically brilliant the project might be, or how much you perceive yourself as an artiste, this is a business.

Get busy and boil the LL down to one succinct, compelling sentence that involves character, conflict and the objective that we – as in everyone, can visualize and can’t wait to watch. Such fervor means the concept is deemed marketable. Yippee!

If you’re not sure how to state that LL, Google any film or TV show you’ve seen recently via IMDB and you’ll ‘get it’ by reading the blurb directly underneath the show’s title.

Having already seen the finished product, you’ll understand how this statement does indeed encapsulate the narrative in an enticing way…

…but now go one step further on the path of success, by making the LL succinct – as close as possible to twenty-four (24) words. This is painful, but it will also come in handy later, by helping you develop the ‘elevator pitch’.

Okay, we’re out of the gate, we’ve developed and polished the Log Line, with not a computer keyboard in sight.

However, in relation to the creative development mode, we’re not done yet…

I strongly suggest that before going any further, you write out on a separate piece of paper, all by itself, the rationale for writing this specific story – what is driving you to write this?

It should allude to the fascinating core – the thought/idea that compelled you to pick up the ‘pen’. When you’re at risk of losing your way, or are truly lost, like perhaps in the Act Two doldrums (if subscribing to the 3-Act structure), knowing the rationale for the project will help you find the path to move forward. It may not help with the characters quite so much.

The following should be clear by this point: – inciting incident, theme, and the underlying conflict that glues the narrative together. Even in a comedy, there needs to be a subtle but profound conflict, or you’re screwed.

You now have a decision to make as to which to tackle first – character or story-world.

I tend to go down the Character path, especially when trying to discover the key players, but whatever works best for you.

Regardless, do not put the brakes on anything you write down, no matter how crazy/outrageous – forget about the budget for the moment…it’s far easier to trash later than fill in serious holes when you’re under pressure.

You know at least two of the characters already – the protagonist and the antagonist… they’ve likely made themselves known to you via the LL, but who are they going to play with? And how well do you know them?

Don’t stress, if they’re ‘not talking’ yet. Respect each character by giving them an entire scrap page of their own so that you won’t be scribbling about them over the top of another character. Those pages will fill up soon enough!

Catch you next time with…TV Checklist Part 2


Diana Black is an optioned screenwriter who has placed in competitions with features and teleplays.  She’s also a professional actor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts – Drama, Film & TV and a regular contributor to TVWriter™.

Diana Black: Character Chemistry

by Diana Black

While we writers  often feel like the unsung heroes of Hollywood, we do keep the Hollywood planet rotating on its crazy axis. As storytellers, we’re the Master Chefs in the Creativity Kitchen. Without a rippin’ good yarn and characters bursting with vitality, they’ve got nothin’!

For our Pilot to be green-lit, for the first season to have a ‘brother’ and then a sister, there must be dynamic ‘character interaction’ lighting up every page, within every episode and across seasons.

While the individual actor will be a vital ingredient by adding their own unique flavor to the magical brew you’re concocting, there’s only so much an actor can do with on-the-nose dialogue, ‘pedestrian’ action, and lack of ‘character chemistry’.

A-listers are picky about their next project and with good reason, it’s their butt on the line because they’re ‘in frame’, which means they’re also picky about who they’re going to ‘play with’.

While we don’t have much input into the casting process, which is largely the Producer’s job, if there’s palpable chemistry between the actors AND the characters they’re portraying via the dialogue and action, the room will light up.

But what if you’ve pitched your project successfully, it’s been green-lit, and the auditioning process is underway and OMG, the room doesn’t light up, what if the gleam in the suits’ eyes begin to pale… someone’s gotta go.

So how can we ensure our creation provides better-than-great material for actors to work with?

Know before we pitch, rather than vaguely hope, that our material is awesome and from page one and every page thereafter. Conduct a Table read of your work before pitching and use real actors you’ve auditioned beforehand… if you’ve got the chemistry right, you’ll see sparks fly.

An actor eager for a chance to play is one thing, but how do we know our material will stack up under rigorous, if not vicious scrutiny?

For starters, ‘pixie dust’ in the form of great writing is a given and as the humble writer in the room, that’s about all we can deliver.

Our two-cents-worth in the casting process will be just that – minimal, so we must rely on our writing. If we’re a staff writer, there’ll be plenty of other writers in the room only too willing to outshine us and impress the showrunner with their brilliant, pithy dialogue and hip action… no end to pressure – we’re only as good as our last performance.

But what if we’re spec writers without that vicious sounding board?

The writer’s group who meet every third Tuesday may not be a good choice.

There’s sure to be more than one of us out there who’ve received feedback, which calls into question what planet or drugs was the reader on when they ‘read’ it?

Because it’s clear they didn’t; they merely perused it; if that. Most of us are honest, but some struggle with the demons of insecurity, jealousy and downright laziness.

Once you written the entire narrative, run multiple passes on each component of the script: the dialogue – one character at a time and for every scene they’re in; their action; character ‘voice’; mannerisms and style.

Is there consistency across the narrative arc? Does the dialogue ‘flow’? Critique without mercy!

Think about how an actor might play a specific character and deal with the scene, how the characters interact on the page and what’s in it for them.

The actor that’s cast will get under the character’s skin and take on that persona, which means there’s a duality going on in their heads, and you’d be wise to take that into account.

Once you’ve done the aforementioned passes, work through the script scene-by-scene, and do a scene analysis for both characters.

Examine one character at a time. Determine the following: Scene objective, Beats and for each of those, the Beat objective, action, the emotional state of the character/actor coming into that beat and the accompanying Subtext.

This may sound like gobbledygook to you, but actors that are properly trained, go through this process, scene-by-scene in preparation; it’s not a matter of just ‘winging it’ with raw talent and memorized lines.

Let’s gaze into our crystal ball… the project has been green-lit and auditions are underway… if the professional actor has prepared properly, they’ll be able to take direction and make adjustment.

One way to do this is by having three (3) different ways to present the scene. For the Casting Director, this demonstrates flexibility and a willingness to work with the Director.

Have you, as the writer, provided them with the scope to do that? For your work to be true ‘actor bait’, it’s not just the rippin’ good yarn you’ve told and the compelling character/s you’ve created, but also, and especially for A-lists, how well the script is written.

Professional actors are reading scripts or excerpts from them, every day – they know a good script when they see one. If knowing the attached Director, they’ll already have some idea of the latter’s ‘signature style’ and the likely choices he/she will make to realize their vision.

Just quietly, you as the writer, need to set these people up. Make it an enticing, sugar-coated trap, that’s mutually beneficial for all concerned.

Back to the present… once you’re sure that you’ve got each scene as dynamic and polished to the nth degree, seek reputable, industry-standard coverage and/or take a class with LB… he’ll tell you straight.

A study of what’s currently out there – on screen and on the page via the script, will help you better understand the concept of character chemistry. Determine whether it’s happening in other TV shows, and ideally, how you can ‘deliver’ on that.

Select a program and do multiple viewings of the same episode, focusing on one actor at a time.

Does he/she (the actor) look comfortable? Does the banter between the actors match their body-language? It always cracks me up watching Actor A (in character) say, “I love you, sweetheart” to Actor B (also in character), while shaking their head in denial.

Look at their eyes – you’ll generally be able to tell if the actor is ‘in character, boots an all’ (or not). For the dialogue, listen to the banter (don’t watch) and get a sense the ease of interaction (or lack thereof).

If the program is now into subsequent seasons, they must be doing something right; at least in the eyes on the viewing audience, and that’s what matters most (to the suits).

Take for instance, Arrow (The CW, 2012 -) … Oliver (Stephen Arnell) & Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), are a classic example of opposites working together brilliantly.

Look at Lucifer (Fox, 2015 -) … the character Lucifer (Tom Ellis) & Chloe (Lauren German) are a couple flawlessly adept at weaving magic through their delightful witty banter and sexual tension; well done writers – namely, Tom Kapinos (and of course the actors).

If you can’t read the actual screenplay, study the dialogue across the seasons – for specific characters and think about how the actors (under direction), are maintaining energy, consistency and dynamism in the scene….

Remember, as “mere” writers, we don’t have much say as to which actor is cast, so we’re totally reliant on the script via the dialogue and action.

Get busy and be awesome!


Diana Black is an optioned screenwriter who has placed in competitions with features and teleplays.  She’s also a professional actor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts – Drama, Film & TV. She’s a ScreenwritingU Alumni and a regular contributor to TVWriter.com.