Been swapping the first ten pages of my RPP entry with various scribes, getting and giving feedback. It's fascinating to see the mixture of subjects, genres, styles and stories people are prepping. But the one area where everybody seems to be struggling? Not the story, not the script, not coming up with exciting and entertaining characters, eye-catching openings or breath-taking page ten turning points. That's what we do every day, we're writers.
No, it's the single page outline that is baking everyone's noodle. How much plot to include, or how little? How long will your episodes be? Are they continuing or returning drama? Drama with some humour or actual, proper comedy drama? Can you identify who's story it is if you're writing a big ensemble piece? Should you name-check series that offer a guide to your creation's style, tone or content? Can you fit all this in one page?
I've already rewritten my outline document more times than I care to remember, honing and refining - but it needs another draft or three. For example, I got myself mixed up with a mixed up kind of kid. Their name is precinct drama, and nobody seems to agree on who or what that means. According to the dictionary, a precinct is an enclosed area or building marked by a fixed boundary. So a precinct drama should be set all in one building or environment, right?
Maybe, maybe not. According to others a precinct drama revolves solely around the working lives of your cast. The Bill is all about coppers in the Sun Hill district, so does that make it a precinct drama? Or a workplace drama? What's the difference between the two? Shameless all takes place on the one housing estate, does that make it a precinct drama? What about Holby City? Benidorm? Like I said, there doesn't seem to be one accepted definition.
So, here's a question for writers reading this blog: what do you understand by the term precinct drama? What does it mean to you?