This week I worked on several half-hour TV shows.
In each case, the writer had a good story but no outstanding feature to get the work sold.
It’s hard to find a hook for a story because there are so many successful shows to compete against. The writer has to be willing to plow through many good stories. One project I was working on this week was a sitcom with a fascinating backstory, but the writer couldn’t find a current situation that would sell it. I suggested that he change the location of where the story was set, and skew the format more to dramedy that straight comedy. My suggestions were taken and it looks good for him to get the job!
There are a couple of ways to find a hook, and one of them is research. Research for writers can be very pleasant as it involves reading and watching TV and movies. Study all the successful shows or movies in the arena you want to find a home in, and analyze the concept that made them successful. Also, check out the demographics for that show to see who watched it and if those are the people you want to reach.
Here are two ways to find a “hook:”
1.What you’re looking for is an idea that gets you excited. By asking what your version of this idea would be, you can frequently generate some very good material.
2. An effective method that some might consider “woo- woo” is to go to sleep imagining that you have discovered a terrific and original concept. See yourself waking up with the concept and writing it down. Then imagine pitching, selling, and writing it. The key is to imagine how it would feel if you succeeded and feel that feeling for a few minutes when you wake up and go to sleep.
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I’m thrilled to announce Joksonastick episode #43. I voiced two of the characters, and it was a lot of fun! Please watch, subscribe, and share!
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz