"How hard can that be?" you ask. That's what I thought, too. The movie's done, the characters are there, nicely developed, all their agendas and greatest fears addressed - what's to struggle with? For me, it's been two things:
First, there will be thirteen or twenty-six, or some number of episodes, toward the end of which, some number of conflicts and crises will have to first peak and then resolve themselves (or cliff-hang themselves). I have been reading "The Showrunner's Roadmap" by Neil Landau, professor at UCLA School of Film and it is both a good read and a good resource. The book features a significant number of interviews with A-list showrunners and one of Neil's common questions is, "How much of the season is plotted out before any episodes are written?" These experienced people are comfortable (to a greater or lesser degree) with the story developing rather organically. That is, what happens in episode twenty-one will be and should be impacted by events in episode seven and nine and maybe fourteen. There always seems to be some vision of where the story will go by season's end, but almost all of the interviewees accept the uncertainties of input by various directors and especially of the actors who are bringing the characters to life week after week.
So the challenge is how, in the sixty or so pages of the pilot, does one set up those key events if one has not conceived those events. I know the basic premise of "Andy" and have an idea of the structure of the episodes but I find myself stymied by the scope of the upcoming task. By scope I mean, "Holy cow, is this a lot of work!"
Maybe that's enough blogging for today. Tomorrow, creating a story in a format which of necessity does not wrap up, does not have a crisis and a climax and a return with the elixir. . .