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The TV Showrunner's Roadmap by Neil Landau

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10Get to the Heart of your Story

Television, unlike films, lets us live with a group of characters over many seasons. That’s part of the attraction. We invite these same people into our living rooms every week for years and years. And, the best shows can have a hundred or more hours of story to tell. Great television writing is, therefore, all about the characters.

Certainly, the best television writing has an external dimension. In other words, we have to know what a character wants in a series, a season, a story, a subplot, and a scene. But we also need to understand who they are, what they fear, what they hope for—the subtext, the emotional challenge, the dimension of their internal struggles. We need to care.

This is what great dramatic television ...

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