Screenwriting : Hello fellow struggling writers by Désirée Nordlund

Désirée Nordlund

Hello fellow struggling writers

I have five feature scripts that I admit I am pretty proud of. They are the result of five times as many (at least) scripts ranging from bad to horrible. Twice I have written features on commission, though none of them have reached the light as films (yet). There are at least nine short films out in the world based on my writings, which makes me extremely humble because a script may be vital but it is just one piece in a puzzle.

Right now I am struggling to learn how to write for TV. When I started writing, TV shows were crap. Now there are fantastic series out there. But I can't really wrap my head around the idea of not having an end to the story, but an ongoing concept, evolving. I have written one pilot + pitch deck so far, and I have a few more ideas I want to explore. I hope it doesn't take just as long for me to get the concept of TV as it took me to learn to write a decent feature. I hope older and wiser do the trick to speed things up.

Michael LaVoie

Désirée Nordlund It will take far longer to "get the concept of TV" than to write a feature. There's a series logline, episode loglines, series arc, episode arc. You won't write all the episodes but you should conceive of them and how they all shape the story over the season. You should know the beginning, middle and end of the season and where it's going. Is it limited or is a second season possible? etc.

I highly recommend Save the Cat Writes for TV from Jaimie Nash. He has some excellent Youtube talks on this subject. The book is a deep dive into pitching TV and how to go about building a world of characters, episodes, seasons etc. You need all of that at least conceived and plotted out before you write the pilot and you also need to be able to tell that story to an exec because a pilot alone, can't sell the show. The pilot is it's own thing but it's just one aspect to the show which you are pitching. That is a much bigger project that's harder to pitch cause there's way more ground to cover.

Monica Mansy

Hi, Désirée Nordlund congrats on going for it and forging ahead! I would definitely read as many scripts as you can and continue to write, write, write! Also, if you check out the "Education" tab here on Stage 32, you can most definitely find classes and webinars that can help you in your pursuit. If you're looking for some specific direction, Jason Mirch (, the Director of Script Services, is an excellent go-to for all things! Happy writing!

Désirée Nordlund

Michael LaVoie Thank you for your kind advice. I think you misunderstood me concerning time though. I compared the time it took me to learn to write a feature people are actually interested in (10-15 years), with the time it might take to learn the same for TV. I know it will take longer to write for TV than write a feature - I mean, just the amount of time filmed says it all. I have thumbed on Save the Cat for TV but got diverted advice on it, so thank you for tipping the scale.

Désirée Nordlund

Monica Mansy Thank you. Yes, Stage 32 has some great stuff. That was where I started.

Jason Mirch

Hey Désirée Nordlund! Thanks so much for being a part of the community! It is great to have you here. With five features and pretty soon some TV pilots you're going to be in great shape to catch the eye of some great executives, producers, and reps. As always, if you ever need help or advice please reach out to me at I am excited we're connected!

Désirée Nordlund

Jason Mirch So am I. Please, please, do a wosh with your famous magic wand, sir. No, seriously, just kidding. I hope my features hold up to standard and match someone's needs at the same time.

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