1. Remain true to the characters. The characters in your spec should sound like the characters and act like the characters in the show. Don't go changing them, because it'll sound like you don't know how to write. And it's best not to introduce new characters.

2. Characters should be active. Not necessarily "active" meaning that they should continually be moving, but that the characters should not be passive and reactive. The fun of watching a show is seeing a character get in trouble, and how they choose to get out of it. In other words, make the situations arise out of stuff the characters do instead of stuff that happens to them.

3. The best stories are usually character-driven. Yes, there's a funny situation, but the situation should be especially uncomfortable for the main character. One writing instructor explains it as follows: "If it's a situation you wouldn't want to be in, it's worth writing."

4. One way to generate stories is to make a list of the characters and their flaws. Then, choose a few flaws and find a story that highlights them comedically. For example, Niles and Frasier are both competitive. A story that highlights their competitive natures could be that they somehow get involved in a marathon and have to race each other. Come up with an A story for the lead character. And B and C (and even D stories, if the show usually has them) for the supporting characters.

5. No matter how tempting it is, don't change the basic premise of the show. You shouldn't write an episode where the lead character dies, permanently joins a convent, runs off to India, or gets married. Stick with the main characters and the types of problems they generally have.

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