How to Write a TV Pilot
Writing a TV pilot is very different than writing any other screenplay. There are many different tips to keep in mind when considering how to write a TV pilot. The first thing you must do to write a TV pilot is come up with an excellent idea. The original idea must be concise and be able to be described in two sentences.
The next thing to do when writing a TV pilot is to develop the characters. Think of characters; think about their personalities, the attributes, even what you want them to look like. Write it down. Every good television writer can write a bio for each character. The plot is secondary to the characters in a pliot episode because if the audience fails to connect to the characters and enjoy spending an evening with them they won't tune in again and there goes your show.
After the characters are developed, the author must create a detailed plot. You must decide what the show will be about, what are the different lessons taught to the audience in each episode, where the irony will be, where the conflict will be, what the hook will be, and how dramatic it will be.
Keep in mind that the plot must be interesting, be able to be separated into either three acts, or six acts and be able to keep the audience watching the show. The key to that is to envision where the commercial breaks will be and make sure the scene leaves the audience hanging.
In a television show, the dialogue must be perfect. The key to writing great dialogue when considering how to write a TV pilot is to make sure that the character’s conversations flow together and seem very natural. It may help to visualize your pilot already on television or even ask some friends to act out the script. Television pilots are very visual things. That must be considered when writing your pilot. Television is a visual media and your script must make sense in a visual context.
Page count is one page per minute of television. So a half hour show that is really twenty-four minutes should be about twenty-four pages. Have several people read your pilot once it's fully written and listen to their feedback.
Writing is rewriting so expect to make changes. The best tip on how to write a TV pilot is to draft, draft, draft. You must edit your pilot several times, you should even send your pilot to your friends for editing.