Give the people what they want. If you don’t know what they want, figure it out.
The best villains are passionate about their goals. Like protagonists, their passion is what allows them to change the rules of the game in surprising ways.
A script without real emotional moments will ultimately feel hollow. Remember to slow down every now and then to let your protagonist feel something.
Be aware of tonal mismatches, especially with regards to violence. You can’t establish that conflict in your story world is funny and harmless, then have a character brutally killed off.
Motivation is not the “why” of your protagonist. It’s the “who”.
Action is great, but remember to give us the human perspective. Try to put us “inside” a character; make us feel what they feel. If we can’t project ourselves onto a character during an action scene, the action will feel hollow and pointless.
The more fun your villain appears to be having, the more the audience will hate her (and love her at the same time).
Like flashbacks, romantic subplots are best used comprehensively or not at all. It’s difficult to create a believable romantic subplot using only a few scenes.
Your pilot will be seen as a microcosm of your entire series. This means that the locations, characters and themes which feature prominently in your pilot will be seen as the core locations, characters and themes of the series. Make sure you choose the right ones.
Ask yourself: why do your protagonist’s friends like her? What good qualities do they see in her that she’s unable to see for herself? This might give you a clue as to her character arc.
The first thing your protagonist says is at least ten times more important than how they look. Write accordingly.
Drama demands that any problems, fears or insecurities your protagonist is concealing must eventually come to the surface.
Expectations of page length change with genre. 115 pages is probably too long for a comedy or contained thriller. 90 pages is probably too short for a historical drama or biopic.
Does your protagonist have an emotional anchor — a person or memory that grounds her and gives her hope during her darkest moments? Then you should be plotting to take it away.
Everybody learns by copying and imitating writers they admire. Don’t feel bad about it, but do try to do it subtly.