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Television and Screen Writing, 4th Edition by Richard A Blum

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4

How to Write the Story

Where to Begin: Choosing the Story Area and Lead Characters

A story idea can be derived from any personal experience, relationship, observation, music, film, or article that intrigues you—any source that sparked your imagination. But the story area must be capable of standing on its own as the spine of the story, vital to the motivations of your lead characters.

The story area needs a hook—a unique premise that will set it apart and grip the audience. If the hook is strong, then the story will have marketing appeal and a much better chance of eventually reaching the screen. Here are a few workable story areas:

•   “FIERY METEOR NEARLY HITS U.S.”

•   “ASTRONAUTS MUST BE RESCUED BY MILITARY FORCES IN A HURRICANE”

•   “U.S. ...

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