One good thing about all of the snow was that it felt great to stay inside and write. As I sat writing and watched the big white flakes fall, I marveled when I remembered that each snowflake is unique, in the same way that each of our stories is unique. One of the principles I use when developing a new TV series or screenplay is to encourage the writer to be as specific as possible. The more specific we are, the more universal we are. By embracing your personal past, ethnicity and race, the better the work gets, and the deeper the connection with the intended audience.
I met with my friend, Ken Atchity last week. Ken is a former professor turned producer, and is rare combination of erudite erudition, streetwise savvy and kindness. He has just written a new book, Sell Your Story To Hollywood: Writer’s Pocket Guide To The Business of Show Business.
There’s a lot of meaty information, but one thing that really spoke to me was his advice to writers when waiting for a meeting, for the deal to close, or production to happen. DON’T WAIT! Do something while you wait. Work on a new project. Every story has it’s own flow and it can take 10 minutes or ten years to set up a project. One of my colleagues just sold a project to Netflix that took ten years!
Ken quotes Ray Bradbury: “ Start writing more. It’ll get rid of those moods you’re having.”
I’m looking forward to speaking to FilmMakeHers, a dynamic group of women dedicated to furthering their careers in the business. I will be giving a talk about how to use The Four Magic Questions Of Screenwriting when structuring a film or TV pilot. I’m planning to have the attendees use the technique to either structure a new story, or review one they are currently working on during the three-hour class. It’s so exciting to work on new stories with new people!
Ask you write, consider how your personal history can successfully influence your work, and appreciate your own uniqueness.
Here’s to your successful writing!
Professor Marilyn Horowitz