The Spec Script

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Some writers have gotten into the television industry by writing a spec script — one written on speculation for no pay. Its sole purpose is to showcase your writing talents. Most spec scripts are written for a current TV show that is popular; one that you like and watch regularly. Your lawyer, agent, or an inside connection sends it to development execs who may be looking for new writers. A good spec script can be a major factor in their hiring decision. In writing a spec script, know the show inside and out. Study the characters, their histories, and how they speak. Watching at least a season of the show gives you the overall perspective as well as small pertinent details. You want to study the format of the show, including the number of acts and the script format (how do they show dialogue, action, headings, etc.). Create a plotline that has not been used before on the show. If you decide to send a spec script for a specific show to an exec who works on that show, they know their own show well, and will easily spot any flaws.

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