Key Plotting Skills


Holly has a head for story. As Script Producer on Home and Away, she was required to generate 5 x 30min episodes a week. She is most famous for the top rating ‘mushroom risotto’ storyline that resulted in Summer Bay favourite, Alf hospitalised. In this episode of ScriptTeaser, she will run a similar plotting workshop to one she has presented in multiple forums including Screenworks regional writers and AFTRS students.

Step One:

  • Analyse the three act structure. What can your protagonist do at the end of the story they couldn’t do at the start?
  • Discuss the concept of DEPARTURE, INITIATION INTO THE UNKNOWN AND THE RETURN. Develop this idea with a relevant exercise.
  • Examine a television plotting template Holly has devised.
  • Clarify your character is active – make sure they drive their own story.


Using an existing ten minute television series, be guided through the steps of how to plot an episode. Using a plotting template, ensure your episode idea has unique reversals and escalations.

Step Three – HOMEWORK: Implement and apply these key plotting skills:

Each participant will use these plotting techniques to craft their own beat outline, for the selected television series. The challenge is to echo the tone and style of the series. Participants will deliver their beat outlines for one on one feedback over zoom.

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