Friday, September 14, 2007

Writer's Room Tutorial For "Baby" Writers

Pearls of wisdom passed on to me from working, successful writers. Upon getting their first gig, this was the advice a pair of "baby" or staff writers were given about "the room."

1. No stinky cheese face - no matter how awful you think an idea is, do not let your body language reflect your thoughts.
2. Don't pitch problems, pitch solutions - Unless someone asks you specifically whether you think something in the story is working or not, never call attention to things just to say that they aren't working. If you DO think something is a major problem, find some way to make it work (i.e. use a band aid).
3. Think ideas through before you pitch them - Don't just blurt out every idea you have. Write it out and see if you still think it's valid (and good) before putting it out there.
4. Work forward, not backward - You had an idea while everyone was working on scene 5 and did the smart thing in writing it down to make sure you were comfortable pitching it. Unfortunately, while you were writing it down, the room moved on to scene 7. Don't try pitching the idea now. Get over it and move on to the current scene.
5. Relax, because not much is expected of you - As a baby writer, your job is to produce two scripts during the season and show up to work. That's it. Don't feel pressure to say a lot during story meetings, because no one is expecting you to do that. If you speak once or twice a week, you're golden.

At my current rate of posting, join me in another two weeks for my next pearl of wisdom and/or bitch session.

Thought of the day: Breaking the story is kind of like breaking a wild horse. Especially when you consider that most writers don't really have much horse experience.

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