‘How do you write as a threesome? Isn’t it a case of too many girls..?’
In the beginning it was tricky but after the wonderful teachings of Guy Meredith, we were armed with tricks and tools to ensure an easy writing process (writers block aside). It’s just like piecing together a comedy puzzle. Here’s a very quick overview of how we like to work…
First – we love stationery. Lots and lots of pretty stationery. We love a flip chart and a marker pen. Sometimes only big fat marker pens will do. Things can become clearer when they are giant sized. We then get tea… lots of tea… and sweets… only then can we begin…
ESTABLISH THE WORLD
Where are you? Where is the sitcom set? In space? In a cafe? In the Army? Make a choice.
Follow the rule of 7. Audiences can become overwhelmed if there are too many names to remember. Stick to a core group of no more than 7 characters. Guest characters may come and go as you please but the main focus is kept to a minimum.
A, B, C PLOTS
Now you have established your world and your characters, what are you going to do with them?
A – Main plot, focusing on the main characters of the episode.
B – Sub plot with your secondary characters of the episode.
C – A running joke or throw away gag with the remaining characters.
The A, B, C plots should intertwine throughout the episode and possibly meet up at the end. Working this way you can establish a full overview of your sitcom relatively quickly.
There are 11 story steps that each episode needs to hit to ensure a full and satisfying story.
You can read more about these in Guy’s book : SCRIPTWRITING: THE MECHANICS
Only after all the above steps have been carried out do we begin to write dialogue. We usually breakdown the story steps to divide up our work.
For example: Lucy may take the beginning (steps 1 – 3), Susie the middle (steps 4 – 7) and myself the end of the episode (steps 8 – 11).
We then meet to share our work, over cups of tea and too many sweets. Then we may swap round. That way we end with three different versions of the episode and are free to pick out what works and what doesn’t.
We then collate all our scripted story steps, picking out what works well, what flows nicely, our favourite parts, the funniest parts, throw in more jokes and blend them all together. Separately, we all have very different writing styles so working collaboratively at the end helps to ensure the episode reads smoothly.
Guy Meredith – “Scriptwriting Top Tips”
We studied writing with Guy Meredith at CityLit and we highly recommend his course. It was lots of fun and we continually put into practice elements he taught us. Thanks Guy!
Find out more about Guy’s course here: WRITING COMEDY SCRIPTS – CITYLIT
Posted by Carly – One of Those Three Girls