I'm getting really frustrated

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  • I'm getting really frustrated

    Hello to you all, hope you're doing ok!

    A year ago i travelled to another country for a 4 month job in a company.
    During that experience and after i come back that i thought "well why not writing a tv show about it? Can be worth it and it can be original"

    The truth is that i've been trying to develop something in my head and i have lots of situations, some of the characters personality, written in word, but i cant even come up with a complete story for the pilot. I dont even know the logline and i think that's says it all, i'm really frustrated lol. Sometimes i can't even sleep. Yes i know it's stupid, and it's also stupid that my idea was to do it as a sitcom, but not entirely, also with drama included in some episodes.

    I ask to myself "What is happening? Is it because there's no way that this idea can be done for many episodes? Can i have enough stories to tell for whole seasons? Should i just sit, write and see where it takes me?". I just feel i'm lost, but at the same time i'm almost sure this could work.

    I'm sorry guys, i was in need to just get this off of my chest and try to clear my head a little bit. Anyway, that's all.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Re: I'm getting really frustrated

    I would say that you need to develop an attitude toward the experience. Was it funny? Was it weird? Were the people goofy? Were they threatening? Were they both? Did the experience surprise you in any way? Did it depress you? Did it make you feel better about yourself? Or did it fill you with puzzlement?

    Pick out a few of the more interesting or disgusting people and write about them. It is all right to lie. Art is a lie wrapped around a core of truth.

    "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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    • #3
      Re: I'm getting really frustrated

      Hello ComicBent. I really appreciate your words, thank you.

      I was indeed a very different experience, something new to me. In that job i met funny, goofy and weird people yes, some of them were all of that together lol. I dont think it depress me.

      You're right about the fact that i need to think about those more interesting ones and write about them. I also believe that having a logline also can help a lot with the process.

      That how it's supposed to work better right? First thinking about the logline, because that's really the plot and what's the story about, and then start the pre-writing process.

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      • #4
        Re: I'm getting really frustrated

        Alternatively, not every idea is necessarily a TV show. If the situation and the characters don't lend themselves to endlessly repeatable stories, maybe it's a feature? Or a short-story?

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        • #5
          Re: I'm getting really frustrated

          Try applying your characters and world to a bunch of "What if" questions and see if that generates stories for you. What if a giant storm forces everyone to stay in the office together? What if the old, cool boss gets fired and a new, mean boss comes in? What if they find out someone has to get fired today, but nobody knows who? What if the power goes out?

          Workplace comedies can have even more simple premises than that. How do they handle mandatory sexual harassment training? How do they decide where to go for group lunch? Who refills the water cooler? What happens if someone gets the flu and keeps coming in to work? Take a relatively common workplace problem and put it into your world, and see what your people do with it.

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          • #6
            Re: I'm getting really frustrated

            I've found for myself and in talking with other sitcom writers that the best and most common way to attack a sitcom pilot is to start with designing the series. So instead of starting with figuring out what the pilot will be, start by figuring out the hook of the show, what makes it funny, unique, culturally relevant; design the characters and figure out their relationships with each other; and come up with the conventions of your show, meaning will you have flashbacks, fantasies, voice over, realistic or broad comedy, etc.

            I wrote a post a while ago about figuring out if your idea is better suited as a feature or TV series.

            HTH.
            Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

            -Steve Trautmann
            3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I'm getting really frustrated

              I wrote a post a while ago about figuring out if your idea is better suited as a feature or TV series.
              I just read it. Very nice, Steve.

              "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I'm getting really frustrated

                Hello all. Thanks for your replies.

                @JoeBanks, yes i've thought about that and i really think it can be done as a TV series, i just dont know yet the core of the story, i have to think first in the logline and then go from there.

                @omjs, that can really be a great help, appreciate the tips!

                @KitchonaSteve, i've read your article and it's very interesting and it makes a lot of sense. And as you mentioned, i've also read that the pilot should be written like it was the 7th episode, so a regular one.

                Do you guys agree that a tv comedy writer doesn't necessarily need to be good at writing jokes and that the laughs will come naturally from the characters and situations?

                Thanks!
                Last edited by Rijuti; 02-23-2017, 02:27 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I'm getting really frustrated

                  Originally posted by Rijuti View Post
                  Do you guys agree that a tv comedy writer doesn't necessarily need to be good at writing jokes and that the laughs will come naturally from the characters and situations?
                  That's the preferred method for many people these days. Brent Forrester talks about Judd Apatow's theory of Behavioral Comedy in episode 19 of 3rd & Fairfax. The idea is that the comedy comes from the character's behavior as opposed to quips and banter. But ultimately you have to be able to write funny stuff.

                  HTH,
                  Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

                  -Steve Trautmann
                  3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I'm getting really frustrated

                    I think you might be losing your origins. It happened to me sometimes.

                    I have this brilliant idea, the best idea ever. Then I start writing, working on the structure, my characters, everything.

                    I finish my first draft, leave for it for a few days. In my head is fantastic. Now I read it... all bullshit. I don't like it. But why? it was such a good idea! Then I read again and I see that many of the things I added was because I got hooked on the story and forgot my origins. My story begun as a simple science fiction that turned into an epic.

                    And then I remembered that what I really liked about my story was the simplicity that somehow, I lost in the way. With that in mind, the rewrite was much better and powerful.

                    What about you? try to remember that moment when you thought "this is a brilliant idea, the best idea ever", and then try to remember what made you think so. You are probably losing those ingredients in your story. As the guys in Matrix always said: "go to the source".

                    Good luck!
                    Check out my website with my productions: http://www.picturesplusproductions.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I'm getting really frustrated

                      Originally posted by Rijuti View Post
                      Hello to you all, hope you're doing ok!

                      A year ago i travelled to another country for a 4 month job in a company.
                      During that experience and after i come back that i thought "well why not writing a tv show about it? Can be worth it and it can be original"

                      The truth is that i've been trying to develop something in my head and i have lots of situations, some of the characters personality, written in word, but i cant even come up with a complete story for the pilot. I dont even know the logline and i think that's says it all, i'm really frustrated lol. Sometimes i can't even sleep. Yes i know it's stupid, and it's also stupid that my idea was to do it as a sitcom, but not entirely, also with drama included in some episodes.

                      I ask to myself "What is happening? Is it because there's no way that this idea can be done for many episodes? Can i have enough stories to tell for whole seasons? Should i just sit, write and see where it takes me?". I just feel i'm lost, but at the same time i'm almost sure this could work.

                      I'm sorry guys, i was in need to just get this off of my chest and try to clear my head a little bit. Anyway, that's all.

                      Thank you
                      If you get to this stage, walk away from it for a while, get a walk in, go out to a coffee bar, spend time with friends, certainly don't let it affect your sleeping patterns.

                      And then come back and write a letter to yourself perhaps: there's a professional writer who does this, David Morrell, it's his way of justifying to himself why he should spend months and months on writing up this story, putting hours and hours into it, or if.......... he's still not feeling it or seeing too many problems, he can at least see that or sort it out at this early stage and abandon it before it's too late.

                      All the same, clear out your head first, that is essential, this is early amateur writer stuff, a sort of syndrome we all get [or got....] at some point, remember.... it's just writing, you're supposed to enjoy it, and so it's not worth getting into that state over any idea.

                      Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I'm getting really frustrated

                        Thanks a lot for your replies!

                        Yes in fact this should be something enjoyable and not something that affects me my sleeping patterns
                        Anyway I tried not to think about it for a few days and do some other stuff I enjoy, and I feel better now. I've been also reading some of the tips on sitcom writing that Ken Levine wrote in his blogue and it's very interesting too.

                        Thanks!

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