DAN: “Hello and welcome to my Creator Up course: Writing the Sci-Fi Web Series. My name is Dan Williams. I’m a writer and producer, and the creator of the series Asylum, which you can watch on Hulu. I’ve also written a book called Web TV Series: How To Make and Market Them, available on Amazon.Serialized storytelling – whether it’s on television or online or, like a growing number of projects, both – is very different than feature film writing. As a writer, you are able to spend more time with your characters, explore diverse types of narratives, and fine tune your series as it grows.I first fell in love with the format watching The X-Files, still one of my all time favorites. It was a show that asked you to look at the world in a different way. Mulder and Scully could experience the same thing, but interpret it in two separate ways – it was up to the audience whom you wanted to believe.From Quantum Leap to Star Trek to Lost, my favorite shows have been of the sci-fi variety. They all create their own worlds, their own rules – but by stripping away the familiar, they are able to expose real human truths.You may not recognize a distant planet or a darkened spaceship – but you recognize fear of the unknown. You recognize friendship. Love. Revenge. Forgiveness. Hope. The benchmarks of dramatic storytelling, uniquely made available by the endless creativity allowed in science fiction. That’s what excites me about the genre.
And what’s also exciting is the increasing number of quality sci-fi web series. In this course, we’ll be talking about The Booth at the End, Black Box TV, Pioneer One, and H+ among others. You don’t need to be familiar with these series in order to understand this course, but they’re all certainly worth checking out – especially to illustrate some of the concepts we’ll discuss.
This course is divided up into four chapters. Chapter 1: Developing the Concept. We’ll go from inspiration to world building to characters to story arcs. Sci-Fi concepts can be complex, but we’ll also work at making them compelling. At the end of this chapter, you’ll have a well-defined pitch for your project and be ready to jump into Chapter 2: Writing the Script.
From outline to script, we’ll talk about storytelling tricks that are unique to the sci-fi genre. After this chapter, you’ll have a first draft of your script, ready for Chapter 3: Re-Writing.
Or, when the real writing happens. I’ll teach you how to critique and edit your script, so it’s efficient and exciting – including some narrative formats that work especially well in sci-fi. Once you have a polished script, you’ll be ready for Chapter 4: Additional Content.
Web series, of course, can include extra videos not included in your “season”. I’ll tell you how to write bonus content to help market your series, develop characters’ back stories, explore alternate storylines, and increase audience engagement.
Along the way, as you’ve seen so far, important concepts will be highlighted on screen, to help if you’re taking notes at home. I’ll use plenty of examples to reinforce these concepts. And I’ll be developing a sci-fi script right along with you to illustrate the process.
Each chapter is divided into sections, and each section concludes with a writing assignment. Hopefully these won’t feel like homework. They’re designed to put into practice the day’s lesson and to prepare you for the next section. So I encourage you to take the time to complete those before moving on.
And I’d love to hear how you’re doing. Let me know what you think of the course. And, of course, if you have any questions. You can find me on Twitter @bydanwilliams. Enjoy!”
HOW TO WRITE A SCI-FI WEB SERIES
Ep 0-1: Introducing the Sci-Fi Writing Course ( 3:02 )
SCI-FI STORY FOUNDATIONS
Ep 1-1: What Inspires Your Story? ( 4:30 )
Ep 1-2: How to Approach a Sci-Fi Web Series? ( 9:12 )
Ep 1-3: How to Shape a Sci-Fi Series World? ( 6:15 )
Ep 1-4: How to Write Memorable Characters? ( 6:05 )
Ep 1-5: How to Make Your Sci-Fi Web Series Special? ( 5:24 )
Ep 2-1: How to Create an Outline for Your Series? ( 7:03 )
Ep 2-2: How to Create Effective Stakes for Your Story? ( 7:42 )
Ep 2-3: How to Format Your Series for the Web? ( 5:58 )
Ep 2-4: How to Write Your First Draft? ( 5:34 )
RE-WRITING YOUR SCRIPT
Ep 3-1: How to Re-read Your Script to Re-write it? ( 5:36 )
Ep 3-2: How to Tell Your Story Efficiently? ( 4:23 )
Ep 3-3: How to Experiment with the Form of Your Series? ( 10:01 )
Ep 3-4: How to Use Feedback Effectively to Focus Your Series? ( 6:43 )
ADDITIONAL WEB CONTENT
Ep 4-1: How to Create Extra Content to Engage Your Online Audience? ( 5:23 )
Ep 4-2: How to Create Bonus Content to Reward Your Online Audience? ( 5:30 )s