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Home » Archives » October 2006 » And He Was Slow With the Check
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10/12/2006: And He Was Slow With the Check

I had a very spec-writer-y experience today, gentle readers. I was writing my pilot in a deli, when the waiter asked what I writing. "A TV script." "Oh? What show?" "It's a pilot." He instantly looked deflated-slash-encouraging and lost interest. Sigh. I know you guys face this all the time. Interestingly, it tends not to get better. Buffy writers were routinely asked if the show was animated, or if it was a kid's show, or even just told "never heard of it." And that was pretty much the MOST well-known show I've worked for. When I mentioned Battlestar Galactica recently, I actually got a, "Oh, is that a magazine?" So... I guess... chin up, it doesn't get much better.

Anyway, here's a thought that might actually be helpful!

You know how I'm always talking about the most common spec-writing mistake? Namely, centering a spec around a guest character? Well, you know when this is even more important? When what you're writing is a spec pilot.

And it would be really easy to make this mistake, too, since in a pilot EVERYONE feels like a guest character. The detective's client has been known to the reader just as long as the detective, after all. But resist! You've got to establish new characters here, make the reader/viewer fall in love with them and want to see that next case. And you've got limited room to do it in.

So get 'em in, make 'em interesting, and then get 'em the heck off the stage. Let your fine new regulars get down to work. They've got readers to seduce. They're gonna need room.

Lunch: corned beef hash and poached eggs. Yum!


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