Conventional wisdom says not to introduce new characters in a spec script. Or does it? Barring the obvious "long lost brother comes for a visit" or "high-school reunion" standbys, and also assuming we're not writing a "murder of the week" show, is it a bad idea to create a new character for a spec script? This is assuming that the character in question actually adds something to the existing story of another character, rather than hijacking the story and making it entirely about the guest star.
So long as the story isn't about them. Even in character-based shows, you will often have to introduce new minor characters to keep your story moving along. Just don't let them hijack the episode. It's about the core cast, and then the recurring characters, and your new day players are just there to pump the gas.
Labels: Crafty TV Writing
except on corner gas where daily players are there to have their gas pumped. Geez, that doesn't sound very good.
I've been told by agents and other types who read tons o' specs that there are a few really successful specs running around that do introduce new major characters like a sister. If you've gor a great story idea and are following the conventions of the series and are copping the voices of the regular characters, I don't see why you shouldn't.
When I read someone's spec, I'm just looking for their ability to write, to reproduce the elements of a series and to get those voices. The really important rule about introducing new characters is not to do it on a script for hire on an existing series.
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