TEN TIPS FOR WRITING A WEB SERIES SCENE
Want to write a compelling scene, but not sure how to begin?
No worries…below are ten tips for writing to help you get started. And although I’m a screenwriter and the below is catered to “shooting the scene,” these tips apply to any form of writing. Enjoy!
1. First, What’s the Genre? Now, I’m assuming you know the difference between Comedy and Drama, Horror and Fantasy, but if you don’t, click here.
2. Second, keep your Tone aligned with the Genre…if you’re not sure what tone is, click here.
3. What’s the scene about? Okay, this is not brain surgery. Far too many writers over think this. Keep it simple. Example…this is a scene about the lead character getting a phone call from a suitor about a potential date. Let’s say they met at a party a few days before. (These roles are interchangeable but for now lets say the lead character is female and the potential date is male.)
4. Who’s in it? Who are the characters? In mine we have our Lead Character, Dina, and the Suitor, Rick.
5. What does the lead character want? Well, let’s say she definitely wants to go on the date…
6. Conflict, conflict, conflict. Okay, every good scene needs a conflict. Something that get’s in the way of the Lead Character getting what she wants. So let’s say on the same day Rick is asking her out for, Dina has something already booked with her best friend. How will she handle that? Will Dina agree to the date anyway, turn Rick down, or try and do both?
Now, before we actually write the scene, let’s get into some specifics about shooting it…
7. Where does it take place? Remember what I said about keeping it simple? Very important. Try to keep the scene down to one or two locations, tops, if possible. So let’s say the lead character is sleeping at the top of the scene, and her cell phone rings and wakes her up.
a. So, the first location is Dina’s bedroom. And lets say it’s early morning
b. The second location could be where the date/Rick is located talking on his cell phone. Let’s say its in his car, but really this could be anywhere that you have free locations – your garage, kitchen, front yard. The audience will never know you shot both scenes at your home.
c. Or you could keep it really simple and just have the lead talking and put in a “Voice Over” for the other character/location. But this can get very boring quickly so if you can get a second person in the scene, I recommend it
8. Now, just for fun before you write it, try it out a few different ways. Of course the Genre you chose will help with this. I chose RomCom for mine so the bedroom is perfect, but you could certainly have her doing something else like:
a. In the bathroom cleaning a toilet. (Dina has cleaning gloves on and has to fight to get them off as the phone is ringing…)
b. Or washing her car (when Dina answers her cell phone, it could slip out of her hands and she has to scramble to answer it.
c. If it’s a Drama, Dina could be in the garage going through old boxes (she gets a little melancholy going through old photos of her ex)
You get the picture. The possibilities are endless… same with where Rick is.
9. Now, Try to visualize the scene in your head…give yourself the freedom and permission here to go from normal to wacky. (if it’s comedy, of course)
But even if it’s drama or horror, try and go for a surprise somewhere in there if you can. Example…what if Rick slips out a detail about Dina that he couldn’t possibly know (like where she eats lunch everyday) and even though it sends up a red flag (is he stalking her?) she sets up a date anyway.
10. Okay let’s take these Ten Tips for Writing a Web Series and write our own scene. Try and keep it no longer than three to four pages if possible. That (normally) translates into three to four minutes of screen time.
For those of you who would like to see my scene, you can request a copy of the scene I’ve written in the comment section below, and I’ll send you a PDF copy of “Two To Tango.”
I’m going to assume you (screenwriters) have Final Draft, but if not click below to get your copy.
I’d like to know how these Ten Tips for writing a web series helped you. Or if you have other tips as well. Be sure to comment below…
Devin (Rogue Cowgirl)