Marnie Dickens

Jed Mercurio's advice for screenwriters

Line of Duty (Credit: BBC)

Now's a great time to get into writing for TV. There have never been more opportunities for scripted programming. To stand out from the crowd, an idea should seem original and distinctive.

While the breadth of programming has increased, the traditional formats have remained dominant. Your writing should fit the standard models for a mini-series, a serial or an episodic series; 30 minutes for comedy, 60 minutes for drama.

What's next for Thirteen writer Marnie Dickens?

Dickens is the writer behind BBC Three drama Thirteen, the channel’s flagship programme following its move online

The show follows 26-year old Ivy Moxam (Jodie Comer) who finds her way home 13 years after she was abducted on her way from school.

“There [were] several other projects in development around the same time of someone being captured and escaping,” recalls Dickens. “But most of them were told that way: captured and escaping.”

“We basically started where a show might end and tried [to] be as forward-looking as possible.”