TV Characters 101 (PT46)

TV Characters 101 (PT46)

Update: PT46 transcript available here

Alex and Nick discuss one of the most important parts of television writing: creating compelling characters.

Why are characters so vital to television shows? What are some key elements to watch out for when writing characters in a TV script? Why are character introductions so important in screenwriting? How can you create interesting people that fit your TV show?

The Paper Team explores their existence…



A special announcement (00:46)
1 – Television is a character’s medium (01:41)
2 – Describing characters: introductions, archetypes, and traits (02:42)
3 – Character voices, filler characters, and empathy (17:38)
4 – Characters in the story: goals and arcs (23:43)
Takeaways and Resources (28:25)


House, M.D.
Hugh Laurie
“The Hero’s Journey” – Joseph Campbell
“The Writer’s Journey” – Christopher Vogler
Michael Clayton (Film)
Sam Seaborn
“Pilot” (1×01 – The West Wing)
“Pilot” (1×01-02 – Lost)
“Pilot” (1×01 – Community)
Legion (TV Series)
Anton Chigurh
“Assisting TV Comedy Writers ft. Gary Sundt” (PT43)
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs


“The Art Of Dramatic Writing” – Lajos Egri
“The Emotion Thesaurus” – Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

This episode brought to you by Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Writing Competitions

Use code PAPERTEAM to get $15 OFF when you enter a Launch Pad Competition

Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

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Hi there!

Alex Freedman

I'm Alex Freedman, the writer behind TV Calling.

I started this site in 2008 to chronicle my own journey in television writing.

693 posts and 9 years later, TV Calling has also become a comprehensive resource dedicated to the full TV writing industry — from spec to success.

Everything here is written by yours truly (unless otherwise credited), so feel free to blame me for any missed deadlines.

I hope you'll answer your television calling, and join me in this creative journey.

Write on.

P.S.: New around? You should start here.

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