Week 3 – Writing For Television with Shonda Rhimes

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Hi Lovies,

how to write for television by shonda rhimesThis week’s lessons are getting more involved with the rules of writing! So last week we worked on the study bible and fleshing it out. Now we are working on how to begin writing the script. Shonda explained her process for coming up with the details of her script and how to pitch it to network execs.

I can’t express how excited I was to learn that she was a nervous mess when she did her pitch for Grey’s Anatomy. From the story she shared, she was awful, but they purchased her story anyway because she did the work and made her pitch amazing. It gives me hope, because I know for sure I will be nervous when the time comes to make my pitch. Yes, I said when and not if. I am speaking this into existence baby! Yeeeeees!

I learned a lot about structuring your script. It was a real experience when she shared how she kicked around the idea of Scandal for a YEAR before she actually sat down to write it. She was creating the scenes, getting down to the core of the story and eliminating any bad ideas, before she wrote one word. It was unreal to hear that because I do something similar and I always thought I was taking too long to write my stories. Now, she did say she wrote the pilot in four days! That I am unsure if I can do. I need more time to write everything down and get it out of my head, but given her tools, it may be possible to cut my normal writing time in half.

Do you know what a beat sheet is? Well. I didn’t until Miss Rhimes kicked the knowledge. Now that I know better, I promise to do better. My beat sheet will be prepared to flesh out my ideas and beats of the story, then I will work on my outline making it detailed. Once that is complete I will be ready to write!

Well Lovies, as you can see I have a ton of homework to do. I’ll catch you on the flip side and fill you in on my progress next Sunday.

 

 

 

 

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Week 2 – Writing for Television with Shonda Rhimes

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how to write for television by shonda rhimesThis week picked up where last week left off. I am still finding the course very stimulating, which is rare for me. I usually lose interest after a bit, but this course is living up to my expectations so far. Shonda makes it easy using reference from her work on Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. It is a lot easier to follow the lessons when you are familiar with the case studies she is referencing.

This week we took the study bible from lesson 4 and extended the learning. We were tasked to writ bios for our characters, but only after she told us how to do so and provided reference for us as examples. Speaking of references, we were also taught that research is key. Shonda gave us her tips and tricks of doing the proper amount of research and to know when you are ready to start writing. My favorite lessons were about developing characters. This is the lessons I have been looking forward to the most and I enjoyed every minute of it. I am grateful that I can go back anytime and listen to the lessons all over again.  Of course I took notes, but sometimes things may be lost in translation. It is always good to have that original video for reference.

Well, that’s all for now! Week three will be exciting as we are learning to pitch our shows and how to start writing the script. Check back next Sunday for an update on how those lessons went.

 

Laters babes.

Shonda Rhimes Masterclass – Week 1

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how to write for television by shonda rhimesThis past week I shared with you all that I started my Masterclass for TV Writing instructed by the great Shonda Rhimes. I received some feedback asking that I keep you guys informed on my progress and how I like the course.

The course is designed to be taken over a seven week period. You can skip ahead of course, but it is recommended that you use the time allotted. I have chosen to follow the rules and be a good girl! The course is also designed for the students to interact with each other in chat rooms. Several students are putting together study groups in the city where they reside. The feedback from our peers is invaluable.

Since this is the end of week 1, I will give you a run down of what was covered, however it will be brief. If you want the details, you have to take the course, which at this point, I highly recommend.

The course is online and made up of videos of Shonda talking about everything writing. She is engaging and straight to the point. I am thankful that she doesn’t go off on tangents, like so other courses I have taken. This is setup to make you successful.

After a brief intro, we started lesson 2 – Teach Yourself TV Writing, where we learn tricks and tips from the queen on how to train your mind to write for TV and the difference between writing for film and TV. Lesson 3 – Finding An Idea covered how to find ideas and where to look. It is full of great advise on brainstorming. Lesson 4- Developing the Concept showed us the difference between an idea and a premise. It also introduced us to a Story Bible, complete with an example of the one she developed for Grey’s Anatomy.

The homework assignments are very hands on. I don’t think I have ever been this excited about doing homework ever in life. If the course continues in this manner, and I believe it will only get better, I am in for a treat.

At this point in the course, I have brainstormed about several different shows that I would like to write for TV. I have narrowed them down to three and have started writing a Story Bible for the one I like the most. That is a lot in one week’s time and I am looking forward to the next six weeks.