I took a seminar on pilot writing yesterday. It’s the first class on writing I’ve taken in seven years. The last time I did, I left those courses with an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. It was taught by a couple of dramatic and comedic writers, and I mean “couple” in every sense. They’re engaged to be married next year.
They really knew their stuff. I picked up a few personal pointers for attacking problematic pilots. Most of the content I knew - root your plot in your character, applying the “Story Circle” technique, avoid writing about writers. But what you don’t know - and maybe the most valuable information you can get - is how and why some writers do things they way they do.
As an artform, one of the toughest things to embrace about writing is that every time you do it, something about it changes. Some have found an assembly-line way of doing it that works for them. But for the most part, an individual project will have individual needs. Some you have the life experience to tell a relatable story as soon as you sit down at your keyboard. Others require weeks, months, years of research just to wrap your head around let alone crafting into a narrative.
I was looking for a fresh take on tackling a new concept and I got that. Now, I have to apply it. Here we go....