It is that time of year when writers from all over the country apply to the studio and network writing programs. I am the Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC and have been for the last eight years.
I'm trying to explain to my Taiwanese grandparents what I do for a living. "I'm a writer," I keep saying, as I vigorously pantomime typing, since all intergenerational conversations must include charades. My grandparents look confused.
The potential of storytelling in the digital age to change the world is incredible. The ability to make people believe anything is at our fingertips. Make them believe the right thing, pull them into the experience, and you can do exceptional things.
This many years later, whenever I'm beginning to write anything new, whether it's an episode of a television series, or a new play, I'll often re-read one of Elmore's novels. For inspiration, and as a reminder of how it's done right.
Despite the potential frustration of its jigsaw puzzle plot, the fourth season of Arrested Development demands a non-chronological appreciation of the narrative, and introduces the function of parallax, a staple of modern and early postmodern thought.
The dreams you had when you were a kid are still alive in you, and that it's never to late to live them. Okay, maybe you're never going to be a major league pitcher, but you can still coach a baseball team or play baseball.
I have this idea I love. It's totally getable but it's also sort of... out there. That's why I thought of you guys first. I shouldn't say this, but this is something I could only do here on HBO (Showtime/FX/Starz/AMC/Netflix/Disney XD).
Because writing for TV is not science, anyone who tells you anything about the quality or the potential for your written material's success -- no matter how confident they sound, successful they are or if they have J. Woww on speed dial -- is just taking a guess.
A huge part of being a successful screenwriter is the ability to win over people. You do this by selling your ideas to your colleagues in a writers room or persuading studio executives to buy your pilot or feature film concept.
I've come to realize that managers and producers aren't just looking to read spec episodes of shows already on the air. They want to read original content in which the writer's most passionate voice really shines through.