The Importance of ‘Breaking Bad’ for Writers

Walter White could well be one of the most important characters in the history of television, and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan one of the medium’s most important writers.

Not so much because “they” invented anything new but because the popularity of the series has meant that its techniques have become indelibly stamped into the brains of new writers, leaving their imprint on just about every new show of TV’s current “Golden Age.”

Give that a think while you read on:

Our Favorite Lessons on Screenwriting from ‘Breaking Bad’
by Jason Hellerman

When Walter White stepped out in his whitey tighties he became part of the cultural lexicon. He and meth became household names as we watched him cook his way into oblivion. But the real takeaway from Breaking Bad was the excellent writing. It had an interesting structure, unexpected twists, and lots of well-developed characters.

Today, we’re going to go over the writing lessons in Breaking Bad. We’ll go through ten of the biggest ones, watch some clips from Breaking Bad, and relive our best days in the desert.

Come with me if you want to cook meth.

I meant…learn to write.

What writing lessons can we learn from Breaking Bad?

Watching a great television show can be intimidating. When the writing is *THAT* good, it can be daunting to start your own screenplay or to learn how to write a tv pilot. But even Breaking Bad was only an idea one. A joke kicked around by Vince Gilligan when he was out of work. It was a spark and he wrote the fire. So, when you get down or feel like you can’t make anything this good, finish a first draft. Rewrite. Then, see where it takes you.

And follow these lessons.

Hook them right away

The opening of Breaking Bad might be the best of any TV show ever. It grabs you right away. You HAVE TO know how this guy got in the desert with his pants flying in the air. That doesn’t mean you should start your pilot with a flash-forward. It just means you should be creative when introducing your characters and world. Make some noise and give us a scene that shakes us up.

Allow your characters to change

One of the things that drew Bryan Cranston to the show is that he was used to being in projects where characters stayed the same….

Read it all at