Arc of Darkness: Piloting Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Mr. Robot OnDemand Webinar

Arc of Darkness: Piloting Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Mr. Robot OnDemand Webinar

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Three fan-favorite series have emerged in recent years to redefine their respective genres on the small screen, garnering awards, high ratings and rabid followings. GAME OF THRONES, THE WALKING DEAD and MR. ROBOT are brilliant takes on the fantasy, horror and cyber-thriller genres that have brought new levels of intensity to worldwide audiences hungry for smart, dark, complex storytelling that respects the archetypes of their genres.

A fantasy world of swords and dragons...a dystopian America overrun with zombies...a modern cyber-web of hackers and corporate overlords...these are the fascinating and convincing worlds that we love to explore. In this webinar, you will discover why the dramatic characteristics of these worlds have been so attractive to viewers and how they function to support solid storytelling. But a world is nothing without the people that populate it, so it is imperative that the writer assemble a unique ensemble of voices and then pit them against incredible odds. And it all must be done in the industry-standard structure of the one-hour drama, which shall be broken down in detail as a roadmap you can follow to success.

These three shows share certain characteristics but they are also very different in many ways, and it is important to compare and contrast their most crucial dramatic elements. GAME OF THRONES is a true multi-protagonist saga, jumping from story thread to story thread with ease, launching and paying off character arcs as sub-plots are woven together to climax in thrilling battles. THE WALKING DEAD (the highest-rated show on television) tells a more focused story, finding new ways to dramatize a consistent theme and repetitive threat. MR. ROBOT may still be early in its run, but it has won awards because of its unique style, compelling cast of characters and fascinating technology, led by a schizophrenic, drug addicted computer genius.

Because the writers of these shows have been unafraid to embrace the darkness at the heart of their characters' struggles, their efforts have paid off in huge numbers.

Daniel Calvisi, professional story analyst and author of "Story Maps: TV Drama: The Structure of the One-Hour Television Pilot," will lead you through an exploration of the three dark sagas that currently rule cable television. Calvisi's webinars are consistently some of the most popular and highly-rated webinars at The Writers Store.


  • How to structure a one-hour television pilot, using these three shows as case studies of three very different, yet effective, types of storytelling.
  • A deeper understanding of how to build a dramatic world that is anchored by heroes struggling under life-and-death stakes.
  • How and why a dark tone, fascinating details, multiple character arcs, meta-themes and sub-themes can be implemented to create a compelling series that can compete in the crowded television market.
  • What commercial considerations went into the greenlighting of these series.


  • Writers who aspire to create a smart, intense, compelling genre series.
  • Writers who want to learn the industry standard, one-hour dramatic structure that nine out of ten great pilots adhere to.
  • Writers interested in building a sprawling world of danger, adventure and suspense for the small screen.
  • Fans of GAME OF THRONES, THE WALKING DEAD and MR. ROBOT who'd like to learn more about what makes their favorite shows tick.

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