Monday, May 23, 2016

Everybody Loves—get inspired

How do the professional writers, the ones making money, the ones writing for television—how do they come up with their material? They mine it from everyday life.

The other day I was eating lunch and listening to a podcast and the person being interviewed, a writer for a couple popular TV sitcoms talked about the Monday morning writers meeting. This was when he was working on Everybody Loves Raymond. First thing the head writer would say was: What happened this weekend?

So the men and women around the table would talk about family matters, misunderstandings, household chaos—the mundane. And, it worked. It fired scripts, kept a show running for 8 seasons.

Surely from your crazy/boring life comes a tidbit/germ you can render into a story or incorporate into a longer narrative. Often I will draft half-done stories, knowing there is something missing. A piece to the puzzle that I must wait on. This seldom comes as true inspiration as much as paying attention. If I think what’s missing is some suspense or a moment of discomfort I have to mull this over and look for real life examples.

It’s Monday. Write a first draft—and leave it to finish on Friday and see if in between you come up with the unique twist or element it lacks.
Writers Room, 30 Rock

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