Just like the recipe for a great pizza, a show’s story structure is a delicate and vital combination of drama, action, music and sparkle. The right amount of each element is essential to making a show that viewers won’t want to miss!
Nowadays, it’s hard for any tv show to make a compelling story. There are so many options out there, so how can you draw people in and keep them hooked? Well, drama is all about mystery and intrigue. It’s about withholding information because letting on too much would ruin the show.
1. Hitting the Primetime with Cliffhangers
What do tv shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Game of Thrones have in common?
It’s all about the unexpected.
The best tv shows captivate because the audience doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. Each episode begins with a person or the crew in some uncharted situation facing some adversity.
The resulting drama is excellent because it constantly creates suspense and keeps viewers engaged. The best dramas are those that give us something we haven’t seen before. It’s these little mysteries that keep viewers watching.
2. Designing a roller-coaster ride with the storyline
Don’t bore your audience. Overwhelm them.
The most compelling shows are those that stay with you; they leave you wanting more as the episodes progress. The drama in the shows is not about what happens next, but what happens next to follow the characters and feel invested in the arc.
The success of a show ultimately comes down to how well its plot meshes with its themes- what deals are struck, how the story evolves, and how well the actors portray emotional turmoil.
3. Checking and Double-checking Character Development
There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. Hannibal Lecter knows that. The protagonist in the franchise seems to walk this line but never entirely falls over the edge.
A tv show must have strong characters who jump from the screen, even if they’re not the centre of attention. But drama is all about building charm.
The character has a hidden quality that makes them unique and compelling, and this hidden quality can shine through in their dialogue and actions. Just as we treasure the details in a book because they reveal something about the characters’ personalities, we experience drama because we are compulsively involved in the premise.
4. Make a Compelling Story and a broadcast-worthy plot
TV shows incorporate several techniques to grab the audience’s attention. They change the format for each episode so you can’t get enough of it, and they also have great editing. Some tv shows have a unique editing style that make a compelling story.
TV editing is the finished product of all the footage and sound recorded during the taping session of a show. The editor creates the story out of the raw material and decides which material will be shown to begin, during, and end scenes. Editing is essential for making a show feel riveting.
5. Turning down the heat on cliches and stereotypes
“It’s not easy to find a fresh take on something that has been done so many times before. So, part of the fun is to remove the clichés to make it new.”
– Matthew Weiner, award-winning creator of Mad Men
Cliches and stereotypes creep into any story, considering how easy it is to repeat. They are the lazy writer’s way to get from A to B while keeping a story predictable. One of the hallmarks of a riveting story is that it doesn’t recycle these worn-out ideas.
Cliches make people yawn while stereotypes feel contrived and inauthentic. Both have the power to undermine your story.
Swing from a fizzle to a smash!!
As television’s move toward the small screen accelerates, it comes as no surprise that success metrics are changing. No longer are total viewers a deciding factor: content quality, popularity, and how much buzz a show generates take precedence. Understanding the bigger picture to make a compelling story is what matters the most!