You may have what it takes to write comedy scripts for television as a TV comedy writer if you're full of witty repartee and you have a great ability to write. Do you dream of helping to create a comedy show for TV? Provided that you have a clever way with words, plus the requisite command of the language, you could be a scriptwriter for comedy TV. You can use this guide as a resource to help you on your way to writing for TV comedies.
Realize what factors make a successful TV comedy. You need to become informed as to how the entire process works before you proceed with writing a TV comedy. Make sure you become familiar with the various roles of the producer, executive producer as well as the show runner. You should find out how many acts are in the structure of the TV show that you would like to write scripts for. You should be able to see if the show is written from an A story line alone or if it also has a B side. You should seek out the advice of someone who can help teach you about script writing and the particular style that your show uses. You should want to learn as much as you can about runners. Each of these terms will be there in your new job as a television comedy writer.
A `spec' is a good place to begin. It will be extremely difficult to gain employment as a TV comedy writer if you have never written such a script before. You need to have samples of your best and most recent work to show prospective employers. A speculative script, or 'spec', will illustrate to a potential employer that you have what it takes to write a successful TV comedy script. This is certainly the easiest, and most sought after way to get into the business is to write a 'spec' for a well known TV comedy. Of course, as the show already exists, this will save you from having to explain the premise and characters of the show to your audience. They will be very comfortable and familiar with this. (If you do decide to pursue a career in TV comedy writing, your task will be writing scripting for shows that already exist anyway.) To let your employers know that you can be creative you could consider writing a pilot script for a new TV show.
Ask others to give you an evaluation of your spec script. Prior to providing your rough draft to your boss, make certain you let several others proofread it. Ask them to check your work and suggest things which will improve your ability to write comedy for TV. (Be sure not to get too emotionally involved with your work. Listen to the critical remarks, accept them, and make the appropriate changes. Your first piece of writing is never the most polished.) After you have made the changes necessary, submit your spec to anyone who will accept it.
Making the transition to living in Los Angeles. If you expect to find a job writing comedy for television you should live in or near Los Angeles. If you are serious about getting into TV writing, you need to at least move out to California.
Get your name known. Begin seeking employment. There is much to be gained by networking with numerous network professionals. When trying to get into the TV writing business, it really is all about who you know. To gain more experience be sure to attend writer's events, take classes, join groups and get involved in even small television writing jobs. Taking a job as an assistant to a writer will enable you to make some valuable connections in addition to an opportunity to learn what is demanded of a TV comedy writer. If you aren't having much luck with landing a job writing for television, you should think about getting an agent to help.
As job searches go, trying to locate one as a comedy writer for television will be both protracted and hectic. You must be very patient. If you continue to grow and improve your writing skills, it will make obtaining a permanent position as a comedy TV writer more obtainable.
By Tiffany Provost