18 Sep NARRATIVE THREAD IN SERIES DRAMA
Narrative Thread is a phrase you may have heard bandied around screenwriting circles and I certainly use it a lot in my work with writers via my website www.scriptadvice.co.uk.
It’s a good visual to keep in your mind as you are shaping your television drama. The series arc, or trajectory of your characters can also be described as the thread along which they travel through each minute of your television episode.
You the writer, are in control of how quickly, or slowly, how smoothly or how disjointedly you pull that thread through each scene of your script.
This thread is the through line – the path that cuts through each moment, each scene of your script and by extension, the series as a whole.
There are many threads in an episode of television – each character will have one that you created and it is the way you chose to weave those threads together; the connections you chose to make between character’s threads and those cross over points that you highlight that will ultimately ensure you present a cohesive, coherent and engaging episode of drama.
Audience engagement is the total name of the game here – it is why you are writing in the first place. By applying a visual to the mind set you adopt when you are writing television drama will help you create a controlled narrative that delivers this engagement and make your script a successful one for the television market.
“Taking Yvonne’s course gave me both the tools and confidence to branch out from script-reading into editing – I’m now working with a production company on script-editing a Christmas movie and – thanks to the intensive edit session Yvonne arranged with Continuing Drama stalwart Jeff Povey – feel well-equipped to engage with the writer and find our way to the best version possible of the screenplay.”
Emma Morgan – writer and script editor.
I am running the second of my Script Editing for Television courses in London in November. Join me and learn how to control and handle the elements of a television pilot and work with professional writers.