TV Script writing as a career – If you are lured by the TV show characters and the fictional world more than the real world, you can opt for screenwriting as a career.
Do you find yourself glued to the small screen and fantasize the story characters to be real and living? You may be best suited for a career in script writing for TV shows.
Your storytelling abilities, writing skills and your attraction to what goes on in the idiot box are certainly not a waste as creative writers are much valued in the job market today – be it in the production houses, advertisement agencies, marketing groups, PR firms or film promotion agencies. Writers are much in demand in a 24X 7 entertaining and educating medium like the television.
A screenwriter is required to write character sketches and build ‘character arcs’ for a fiction show, before they venture out to write the script within a fixed deadline.
If you are passionate and creative enough, you will easily be able to jot down four scripts within a week and having flexible working hours is always a plus. You need to submit your scripts on time and make necessary changes, if any, but have the complete liberty to work from anywhere in the country and at your convenience. Also, writers who are good at writing dialogues in specific Indian dialects are much searched for in the small screen world. The daily fiction shows are worked upon by three different writers usually, for the screenplay, story and dialogues.
With experience, a scriptwriter can also deliver stories for two shows (fiction or non-fiction) at a time. The more you are experienced, the more you know about how the producer or director would want you to write the script. You would know the enhancements and modifications that might be required at every stage of your work. You may have to be prepared for several re-writes if you are working in a channel production house. You will also have to adapt to a different writing style or unconvincing episodes at times but, nonetheless, your work will get its due recognition and appreciation at the end of it, not only in the eyes of the producer and the crew and cast of the show, but also in monetary terms. If your work speaks volumes about your creativity and innovative ideas, you can be one of the most pampered lots in the industry, earning attractive pay packages.
However, if you suffer from the blues and fatigue of working on a project for months together, you may take your little vacations often and clear your mind off all the troubles, thus returning fresh with newer ideas and brighter moods each time.
The first step towards becoming a script-writer is to take specialised courses in creative writing, screenwriting, film studies or the liberal arts. Some universities that offer courses in screenwriting strengthen your foundation of writing for television and films and also let you understand how being organized, collaborative and critical in your thinking and writing process can be helpful to you in the longer run. You may also get a hint of the historical background to screenplay writing and develop a fair idea of the nitty-gritties of communication between the screenwriters, directors, producers, actors et al.
Graduating in Film Studies may enable you to understand how scripts are useful for the directors to portray a certain storyline on screen. Your scripts should ooze out some value and give meaning to the context and you can get the guidance for writing such scripts through film studies that teach you the formatting of texts and other skills needed for the specific style of writing.
Watching your favourite TV shows and films repeatedly and becoming an avid book reader can go a long way in bolstering your natural ability to write. Learn from writers and films that inspire you so that you can be well-informed and well-read, enough to bring more audience to a show scripted by you. You can also work as an apprentice to well-known writers of literature, visual arts, plays and films.
There are also diploma courses in screenwriting in acclaimed universities that you may choose to learn from such as Zee Institute of Media Arts, Mumbai and The Film and Television Institute of Pune. But, the best way to test your calibre is learning on the job and gulping all what the industry has to provide you. While the fiction shows would want you to work on your characters and the script, non-fiction shows might want you to help more in the production tasks.
So, have you decided on the perfect storyline or chalked out your favourite characters yet?