Tuesday, June 07, 2016
There are also very strong showrunners who perform extensive rewrites on every script that comes across his or her desk.
If you get a script assignment from one of these writers good luck seeing any of your words make it to the screen.
Not only because they rewrite everything but because you will probably turn in a bad draft.
Because instead of thinking “what would the characters say?” you’ll more likely be thinking, “what would the showrunner have the characters say?” Hey, it’s human nature. You’re trying to please your boss.
But in so doing you are falling into a terrible trap. Because trust me, you will always guess wrong.
You can not get into the mind of Aaron Sorkin. Or Matt Weiner. Or even me.
There’s a big difference between writing someone else’s characters and copying someone else’s writing style. For your script to be any good at all you have to bring something of YOU to it. What can YOU add?
Don’t be a mimic. As James L. Brooks says, “At some point you’ve got to be a writer.” Trust YOURSELF and maybe someday people will be second-guessing you.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM