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Writing A Treatment For Tv
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The growing popularity of TV shows has necessitated writing a treatment for TV before compiling a complete script for the TV episodes. The number of channels and types of TV programs has exploded in the recent past. Writers find writing for the small screen a lucrative business where the action is fast paced as compared to screenplay writing for movies. TV companies have to stay in step with the demand for newer programs and episodes every day. Most shows are at least aired once a week, calling for perennial churning out of scripts of excellent quality. Since writing a treatment precedes penning a script, writing a treatment for TV has won wide acclamation as an important step.
Treatments are a short version of the story of an episode, written in prose form with very little, if any, of the dialogues. It is a long synopsis of the intended program that contains all that is planned to occur in the show. Writing a treatment for TV saves many man hours of labor because it brings to light any flaws that might be present in the idea. The writer can make suitable amendments before proceeding to work on the main script.
Limited time is allocated to individual TV program and that too is studded with a few commercial breaks at fixed intervals. The writer has therefore, to take the breaks into account and write accordingly. Just before the beginning of a commercial break, ensure that the audience does not switch to another channel by introducing something exciting. The cliffhanger will lure the viewers to continue to watch and find out more. Similarly, the end of one episode must have enticement for the audience so that they are forced to tune in at the same time for the next episode.
• The opening scene should be very dramatic. It ignites the spectators' imaginations and gets them addicted to the show. Although there are very few rules to be followed while writing a treatment for TV, it is advisable for the writer to:
• Stick to present tense. The whole story should make an interesting read without roadblocks.
• The treatment should look presentable, with the title printed on the front cover and the name of the author. Use a font that is easy to decipher. Start the matter on the next page without any indents. Divide the work into paragraph and keep it as short as possible without skipping any important turning point.
• Write after ascertaining whether the show is a half an hour program or of an hour. Usually the first and third acts are shorter than the second one.
• Read the treatment aloud and check if the story makes sense.
• Re-write after making corrections and present the treatment with the confidence that it will be a sure hit.
TV treatments are used to sell ideas for the show and help develop the completed screenplay. Treatments are used as baits to lure producers to part with the money for funding the planned program. Writing a treatment for TV is slightly different from writing one for a movie, video game or a theatrical play.
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