TV Writing: Core Elements

Self-paced course

Create an outline for your episodic TV pilot idea in eight weeks with an accomplished TV writer as your guide. In this introductory level self-paced course, you will take this important first step for your original pilot script and learn a set of tools to help you ask the important questions of every scene and character that will get you past "stuck" when writing future episodes.


This is a self-paced course. Self-paced courses allow you to watch pre-recorded lectures at your own pace, while working on deadlines to get individualized feedback on your work.


Along the way you will:

  • find your most effective creative writing process.
  • develop and hone your characters.
  • learn how character drives plot.
  • be able to identify three-act structure and have it be the backbone of your pilot.
  • identify A/B/C stories and break story in your own pilot.
  • create the tableau and tone for your pilot.
  • write your beat sheet.
  • develop your beat sheet into an outline.
  • understand how to receive notes and approach a rewrite.
  • identify a longer story arc for your series.

This course is ideal for:

  • television writers with an idea for a series or pilot who could use help with structure, world building, character development, and deadlines.
  • creatives new to TV writing who want structured direction for crafting their project with a flexible schedule for completing weekly lectures and exercises.

You will submit your work to a Sundance Advisor for written feedback at two points throughout the 8-week course. For an additional fee, you may elect to meet with your advisor for a 60-minute one-on-one session during the course term.



Sundance Collab provides accommodations and support services to participants with disabilities. Accommodations and services are designed to meet the needs of each participant. Please email us at accessibility@sundance.org to arrange for services.