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Home » Archives » April 2007 » Start by Clenching Bits that No One Can See
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04/15/2007: Start by Clenching Bits that No One Can See

Writing on the actual staff of a television show is more about talking than it is about actual writing. After all, you only get to write somewhere between one and, at the outside, four episodes a year on any given show. What you do between those writing weeks (and often during them, too), is work as a group breaking and re-breaking the episodes that others will write. That means talking. Pretty much nothing but.

Those of you who are cloistered at home with your spec scripts might benefit from getting used to talking about writing, to discussing story and all the possible directions a story can take. You have to be able to articulate your idea and to listen to contradictory takes on a story without (visible) clenching. You can do this informally with other aspiring writers, or you can join a class or other group. If you have a writing partner then you already have this built in, of course.

If your inclination while working on a story is to grab your laptop and say, "no, no, I can work it out on my own, just give me forty pages and a couple days," then you're going to need to adjust to thinking about the creative process as something more open. Let the sunlight fall across those pages, even if your inclination is to gather them to your chest, screeching, "Don't look! They're not quite done yet!"

Lunch: hot dog at the Vegas airport. No jalapenos nor sauerkraut were offered, so I tried those dried hot-pepper flakes that one puts on pizza, but they were strangely undetectable.


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Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
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April 2007

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