No TV Writing for Me

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a TV nut. I have several shows that I follow, and as much as I try to limit myself, I seem to pick up a new one or two every year. Though there is a significant amount of material on TV that is total crap, more and more I find shows that demonstrate a much higher degree of character and story development than movies, which seem to focus more and more on providing cheap thrills and flashy entertainment just to fill a couple hours.

Partly due to my love of TV, friends have suggested before that someday I should write scripts. I’ve considered the idea before, but I realized last week that TV writing is definitely not for me. This is for one very important reason: budgets.

After the Castle finale last week, I was reading an article on TV Guide‘s website (spoiler alert) where executive producer Andrew Marlowe stated that part of the reason why the episode didn’t show the massive wedding of Richard Castle and Kate Beckett was because they had almost completely exhausted their budget for the season. Now, the finale was incredibly satisfying from a story standpoint, but having read this statement I can’t help but wonder what the show’s writers would’ve done if they didn’t have to worry about money. Would we have seen the wedding, and then the finale’s fiery conclusion afterward? Would the story have gone in an entirely different direction?

My issue here is that, when I write, I focus on what’s best for the story, and where things will go naturally based on my understanding of my characters. With a TV series, your imagination is hampered by the restriction of having to produce something more than just words on a page, and so you can’t necessarily build the story the way it’s meant to be – unless you work on a show like Game of Thrones, which must have an insane budget. Those restrictions don’t occur in the world of novels and short stories, which I imagine makes it so much more fun. So that’s where I’m going to stay.

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