Episode Plans (in case of drawing blanks)

Welcome to another blog! This one may be a little different to my other ones, as there aren’t actually steps for you to follow.

As I’ve mentioned in one of my other blogs, when you’re writing out episodes, the best way to do it is through planning an outline so you know where you’re going with it. Sometimes it’s not that easy. This is an alternative starting point if you can’t find the heart of the story for the outline. I know that a lot of writers don’t stay in one area of writing, whether it’s novels or scripts or poems, it differs. For me, it’s mainly scripts and novels. Recently, I have been trying to plan a Police Drama eight part TV series. I have come across the issue where I don’t know what should be in each episode. So what did I do to get round it?

I wrote short stories per episode. This may seem like a waste of time, but this is a great chance for you to get a feel for the World you’re putting your characters into and you can find the relationships are stronger than you ever imagined just from the profiles. This method also helps you to find their speaking patterns and what you need to go over in detail for the outlines when you get to that stage. The stories don’t have to be long, but they also need to be long enough you can get a story from them. I thought it may not work for me, but I thought I’d give it a go and I’m finding my episodes have more of a plan than they did on their own without the short stories. They are able to give more depth into everything and it has helped me to figure out what the heart of my story is. If you don’t have that, you need to find it.

I’d needed a tutorial with one of my lecturers on my course about it, because I was unsure whether it was pulling me towards a Continuing Drama, such as THE BILL, HOLBY CITY and the various soaps or if it was pulling me down the character driven Series route. After we discussed what I had at that point, I was able to figure out it was a Series of eight episodes. Once I had that I needed to find my start point and my end point, so I could figure out what went on in the middle. As soon as I got that, I found I had a proper TV Series I could try and write. I noticed the biggest influence over me on crime dramas, THE BILL, started creeping in. I guess I’m hardly going to escape it, but the one thing I can say about it is that it’s a nod to THE BILL that it was an incredible show. I just hope it matches how incredible it was and still is.


I hope this helps you to figure out what your next steps will be if you get stuck on writing your own outlines. It doesn’t have to just be for TV you do this technique. I’ve found I will be using this for many projects to come to get what I REALLY want to do with them. I wish you luck on your writing endeavours.



Abbie Allen


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