Exploring Different Genres in TV Writing: Which One is Right for You?

Are you passionate about writing for television but feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of genres to choose from? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Whether you’re an aspiring writer or an experienced pro, selecting the right genre can be a daunting task. It’s not just about picking what’s popular or trendy; it’s about finding the genre that best suits your writing style and interests.

In this article, we’ll explore three of the most popular genres in TV writing: procedural dramas, sitcoms, and serialized dramas. We’ll take a closer look at the unique characteristics of each genre, including the essential skills and techniques required for success.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of which genre resonates with you and your writing goals, and how to develop the essential skills needed to excel in your chosen genre.

So, let’s dive in and find out which genre is right for you!

Procedural Dramas: Crafting Intriguing Plots and Characters

Are you ready to dive into the world of procedural dramas, where you’ll craft captivating characters and intricate plots that will keep your audience on the edge of their seats?

Procedural dramas are a popular genre in television writing that focuses on solving crimes and delivering justice. They’re formulaic and follow a structured pattern of introducing a crime, investigating it, and finally, resolving it.

As a writer of procedural dramas, you’ll have to create complex characters, both the detectives and the suspects, who have unique personalities and backgrounds. You’ll also have to craft intriguing plots that keep the audience guessing until the end.

Writing a procedural drama requires attention to detail, research, and organization to ensure that everything falls into place, and the story is believable. If you’re up for the challenge, then procedural dramas might be the right genre for you to explore.

Sitcoms: Crafting Witty Dialogue and Memorable Characters

Crafting witty dialogue and memorable characters is crucial for a successful sitcom, as it immerses the audience into the humorous world of the show and makes them fall in love with the characters. Sitcoms are all about creating relatable characters that the audience can connect with and laugh along with.

The dialogue should feel natural, yet clever, and the characters should be unique and quirky, with distinct personalities that stand out. One of the keys to crafting memorable characters in a sitcom is to give them flaws and quirks that make them stand out. Whether it’s a neurotic, germaphobic neighbor or a bumbling, lovable loser, these quirks make the characters more relatable and endearing to the audience.

Additionally, the dialogue should be witty and fast-paced, with quick one-liners and clever wordplay that keeps the audience engaged and laughing. By creating characters that the audience cares about and giving them dialogue that is both clever and hilarious, sitcom writers can create a show that is both entertaining and memorable.

Serialized Dramas: Crafting Compelling Story Arcs and Character Development

To create a successful serialized drama, you must immerse your audience in compelling story arcs and character development, allowing them to become invested in the lives of the characters and their journeys. This means crafting a well-thought-out plot with twists and turns that keep the audience engaged and eager to see what happens next.

It also means creating complex, multi-dimensional characters with flaws, motivations, and backstories that the audience can relate to and root for. One of the key elements of a serialized drama is the ability to sustain an overarching storyline across multiple episodes or even seasons.

This requires careful planning and execution to ensure that each episode builds on the previous one and moves the story forward in a meaningful way. It also requires a deep understanding of your characters and their goals, so that you can create subplots and conflicts that are both compelling and relevant to the main story.

Ultimately, a successful serialized drama is one that keeps the audience hooked from beginning to end, leaving them satisfied with the journey they have taken alongside the characters.

Choosing the Right Genre for Your Writing Style and Interests

Choosing the genre that best matches your writing style and interests is crucial in capturing the attention of your audience and keeping them engaged throughout your serialized drama.

It’s important to identify what type of stories you enjoy writing and what resonates with you as a writer. Are you drawn to stories that are more character-driven or plot-driven? Do you enjoy exploring complex relationships or delving into the unknown?

These are all important factors to consider when choosing a genre.

Additionally, it’s important to consider what your audience may be looking for in a particular genre. While it’s important to write for yourself and stay true to your own style, you also want to make sure your work is appealing to your target audience.

Do some research on what types of stories are currently popular in your chosen genre and see if you can put your own unique spin on it.

Ultimately, choosing the right genre can make all the difference in creating a successful and engaging serialized drama.

Developing Essential Skills and Techniques for TV Writing Success

You can hone your skills as a TV writer by studying successful shows, analyzing their structure and character development, and practicing your own writing consistently.

Understanding the structure of a TV show is essential for creating compelling stories that keep audiences engaged. Take the time to analyze your favorite shows and notice how the writers build tension, create subplots, and tie everything together in the end.

Additionally, character development is another crucial aspect of successful TV writing. Viewers become invested in characters they care about, so it’s important to create well-rounded and relatable characters. Develop backstories, motivations, and personalities that make your characters stand out and feel authentic.

With dedication and practice, you can develop the essential skills and techniques needed for TV writing success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common mistakes that beginning TV writers make?

You often make the mistake of not understanding your audience. You may also struggle with creating compelling characters and failing to generate enough conflict in your story. Remember to do your research and keep practicing.

How important is networking in the TV writing industry?

Networking is crucial in the TV writing industry. You need to make connections with people in the industry to get your foot in the door. Attend events, reach out to people on social media, and be persistent. It’s all about who you know.

Can a writer be successful in multiple TV genres, or is it better to specialize in one?

You can be successful in multiple TV genres if you’re talented and versatile. However, specializing in one genre can also make you stand out and be known as an expert in that field. It ultimately depends on your goals and strengths.

What are some ways to stay motivated and avoid writer’s block?

To stay motivated and avoid writer’s block, set achievable goals, take breaks, and find inspiration in your personal life. Don’t be afraid to try new things or seek feedback from others. Remember, writing is a process and progress takes time.

How do TV writing opportunities differ between traditional network TV and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu?

TV writing opportunities differ between traditional networks and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. You’ll find more creative freedom and niche audiences with streaming, while network shows have larger audiences and more stringent guidelines.


So, which TV writing genre is right for you? It ultimately comes down to your personal style and interests.

If you enjoy crafting intricate plots and characters, a procedural drama may be your calling. If you have a knack for witty dialogue and creating memorable characters, a sitcom may be right up your alley. And if you thrive on developing compelling story arcs and character development, a serialized drama may be the perfect fit.

No matter which genre you choose, developing essential skills and techniques for TV writing success is crucial. This includes understanding story structure, pacing, character development, and dialogue. It also means being able to take constructive criticism and constantly improving your craft.

With hard work and dedication, you can become a successful TV writer in any genre you choose.