Writer Type People

We'll try to not be annoying. No promises.

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Too busy writing ALL OF THE THINGS. So instead of Very Important Writing Talk, have a Very Important Discussion About The Danger Zone.
Susan: HIIIIIIGHWAAAAAY TO. THE. DANGER ZONE.
Jeffrey: highway to the danger zone?Susan: just listening to my music like you doJeffrey: huh. my whole life until this very moment I thought it was “I went to the danger zone”. ENUNCIATE, Kenny Loggins!Susan: lolJeffrey: well in one of the lines he even says “I’ll take you right into the danger zone” so it only makes sense that the line directly preceding was that he WENT there! it’s a shitty song with crap lyrics is what I’m saying. IT IS ABOUT FIGHTER JETS WHY ARE YOU MENTIONING HIGHWAYSSusan: IT’S A METAPHORJeffrey: the highways are a metaphor. for fighter jets. which the rest of the song has LITERALLY been talking about. yes.Susan: lolol this is the best
Jeffrey: BLOG POSTSusan: This could be an ongoing series. TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE 80SJeffrey: Don’t. You can’t.
Actually, it’s too late! If you missed it, read the accidental first entry in our TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE 80S blogs by learning that Billy Ocean wants you to pop his glove box.

Too busy writing ALL OF THE THINGS. So instead of Very Important Writing Talk, have a Very Important Discussion About The Danger Zone.

Susan: HIIIIIIGHWAAAAAY TO. THE. DANGER ZONE.

Jeffrey: highway to the danger zone?

Susan: just listening to my music like you do

Jeffrey: huh. my whole life until this very moment I thought it was “I went to the danger zone”. ENUNCIATE, Kenny Loggins!

Susan:
lol

Jeffrey: well in one of the lines he even says “I’ll take you right into the danger zone” so it only makes sense that the line directly preceding was that he WENT there! it’s a shitty song with crap lyrics is what I’m saying. IT IS ABOUT FIGHTER JETS WHY ARE YOU MENTIONING HIGHWAYS

Susan: IT’S A METAPHOR

Jeffrey: the highways are a metaphor. for fighter jets. which the rest of the song has LITERALLY been talking about. yes.

Susan: lolol this is the best

Jeffrey: BLOG POST

Susan: This could be an ongoing series. TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE 80S

Jeffrey: Don’t. You can’t.

Actually, it’s too late! If you missed it, read the accidental first entry in our TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE 80S blogs by learning that Billy Ocean wants you to pop his glove box.

Filed under wtp conversations kenny loggins danger zone

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*Susan yawns*
J: You tired?
S: Not really, no.
J: Then why are you yawning?
S: It’s what I do. I’m a yawner.
J: Well, that’s true. Whenever anyone asks me to describe you in three words, it’s “yawner”, “bitch”, “bitch”.
S: *dies*

*Susan yawns*

J: You tired?

S: Not really, no.

J: Then why are you yawning?

S: It’s what I do. I’m a yawner.

J: Well, that’s true. Whenever anyone asks me to describe you in three words, it’s “yawner”, “bitch”, “bitch”.

S: *dies*

Filed under wtp conversations wtp at home yawn

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#MyWritingProcess blog tour
Our good friend, the lovely Miss Darian Lindle, has tagged us in what is an apparent tour of writing blogs wherein writers discuss their writing processes. Stop by and check out her blog (and her own writing process) at the link above.
Our process is probably different from most, as it seems much more common for people to write solo than as a team (and married writing teams are even less common).
We write screenplays, teleplays, audio drama, comic books… just about anything that comes in script form. Hey prose, we love you, really, but you’re just not our thing.
We prefer to write sci-fi/action, though certainly also write in other areas. But we do our best when we’re having the most fun (true for all of us, we think), and we have the most fun when writing crazy blow-your-mind sci-fi action stories.
No matter the format or intended medium though, our process stays the same. It always begins with the idea, which almost invariably is when we’re not actively trying to come up with one.
Can’t tell you how many of them came from just talking to each other on car rides in the dark or that sprang out of something weird we heard on television.
Trufax: our most recent blockbuster action sci-fi screenplay sprang out of ONE WORD we heard on an old Brady Bunch rerun. We weren’t familiar with it, though we could guess what it meant. We thought it would make a great title, and then said… okay, well, what would a movie with that title be about?
Not two minutes later we had the basic concept down.
This won’t be the last time you hear us say how great it is to have a writing partner, and how sometimes it’s like cheating because you’ve got someone else to do half the work for you. You’ve got a constant sounding board telling you which of your ideas are stupid and which smell like bacon on a Saturday morning. But of course, that’s just where things START to get interesting.
If the concept is strong enough we’ll figure out the characters first, and what their arcs are, and how they relate to each other, and what their goals are, and then we’ll figure out the story, how the characters interrelate and sort of talk through everything, taking copious notes. We’re not too strict through that stage — sometimes you find a character needs serious changes, and sometimes you find the story does too. But eventually we do up a draft outline, and then we revise it until it makes sense to Susan (Susan does not put up with too much vagueness and hand-waving. Susan needs facts. Susan is fine with this and so is Jeffrey SO THERE).
Jeffrey will do some super-vague outlines when he’s not sure about a story idea, or when he wants to convince Susan of a thing. This often happens after Jeffrey tells Susan an idea and Susan does not like it. So he’ll do a really rough outline just so we have something to talk about, which almost never resembles the final product at all. Basically it’s just trying to get down a bunch of our ideas about plot and character, and toss them together if only to see what DOESN’T work and give us ideas on the right direction to go in.
After that, usually, we can then proceed to the character step and then walk them through the story (as mentioned above) and then get to outlining.
Our outlines generally don’t go scene by scene (though sometimes they do, or for some portions, usually near the end where it becomes more vital to tie up loose threads), but more just give us a general idea of where we’re going.
It does get more specific as it goes through revisions, though. We’ve written both with and without outlines, but it’s been a VERY long time since we’ve done the latter. We find outlining saves us time later, as in revising the outline we can see the entire story at a glance, and find places to better set up that turning point at the end of act 2, or we can see that we’ll need to beef up a weak character arc. Or, we find after we’ve outlined the whole thing that there’s really nothing good there.
We definitely remember the first time we outlined an entire screenplay and then said “yeah, I don’t really like it.” WE SAVED MONTHS OF WORK. No joke.
So then one of us will usually write the more specific outline, then the other will review and revise, then the first will review and revise the revision, and on and on until we’re both happy (and have argued until we’re out of breath multiple times, hence the image that goes with this post).
To be clear, there’s no animosity, but we are both creative, passionate people, so we do get into it when hashing things out. But this is another way in which having a writing partner who you trust and who won’t get their feelings hurt when you tell them something sucks is an amazing thing. It puts every idea, every character, every line of dialogue through the fire. What comes out the other side is, we believe, far stronger than anything either of us would have done on our own.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, and we’re very well set up in that we’re each stronger at what the other is weaker at. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement for both of us. With lots of yelling.
Okay, no, there is rarely yelling. But sometimes. :)
From there, scripting basically works the same as outlining. One of us will write the always shitty first draft (it’s what first drafts are for, which is why they suck so much… you gotta force yourself to keep writing, even if it sucks, just so you can finish it and then go back and make it awesome).
Despite our outlining, we will also still find new ways to improve it, beats that were missed, a new way to tie a character to the plot, etc. There’s no getting around that, but outlining DOES save us from getting to the end and not knowing what in the hell to do about a subplot that doesn’t relate to anything or a character that seems entirely ancillary.
Sometimes we’ll split scenes or pages on the first draft, but lately there’s been less of that. Especially at the beginning, when the character voices aren’t quite set in both our heads yet, that can lead to a bit of disjointedness and almost makes the first draft more work to revise. It’s worked well for us, for the past several scripts, for one of us to do the entire first draft, then the other edit and revise.
Then we discuss the revisions, and the scenes and characters and plot, and revise again. And again. And again. Each time tossing the chaff and only keeping the best stuff.
Once we get to the point where we think it’s in decent shape but our brains are fried, we’ll get outside feedback on it and step away from it for a week or so to let our brains rest and come back to it with a fresh perspective.
Depending on the comments we get back, we’ll edit and revise again, somewhere in there deciding on calling some version a draft final.
We try not to go back to scripts once we’re done with them entirely, but sometimes it happens when a new piece of outside feedback catches something we find important, or gives us an idea for a change that would make it stronger still. But that’s rare.
It’s important to always be willing to edit and change in service of making the work stronger, but you also can’t dwell on the same project forever. At some point you have to let it be and move on to the next thing.
ALWAYS have a next thing. Take a rest between projects, sure, but always have a new one ready to go. Keep that brain going, keep it working, keep thinking. We’re always scanning everything and everyone we encounter every day, learning new bits about how people behave and react, filing away bits of news that we could mold a story around, etc.
Incidentally, this very post you’re reading was done in draft form by one of us, and then the other went through and cut out redundancy and added bits and trimmed others, and then we talked about it, and argued, and when we were both happy we had a pretty good blog post on how we write.
Having a partner teaches you the extremely valuable art of compromise. You will need this skill in all of your professional dealings. It also teaches you how to fight for your viewpoint without belittling or destroying the other person.
Many people will caution you against entering into partnerships. They’re right. Partnerships are not for everyone, and it all depends on finding the right partner, but it works for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

#MyWritingProcess blog tour

Our good friend, the lovely Miss Darian Lindle, has tagged us in what is an apparent tour of writing blogs wherein writers discuss their writing processes. Stop by and check out her blog (and her own writing process) at the link above.

Our process is probably different from most, as it seems much more common for people to write solo than as a team (and married writing teams are even less common).

We write screenplays, teleplays, audio drama, comic books… just about anything that comes in script form. Hey prose, we love you, really, but you’re just not our thing.

We prefer to write sci-fi/action, though certainly also write in other areas. But we do our best when we’re having the most fun (true for all of us, we think), and we have the most fun when writing crazy blow-your-mind sci-fi action stories.

No matter the format or intended medium though, our process stays the same. It always begins with the idea, which almost invariably is when we’re not actively trying to come up with one.

Can’t tell you how many of them came from just talking to each other on car rides in the dark or that sprang out of something weird we heard on television.

Trufax: our most recent blockbuster action sci-fi screenplay sprang out of ONE WORD we heard on an old Brady Bunch rerun. We weren’t familiar with it, though we could guess what it meant. We thought it would make a great title, and then said… okay, well, what would a movie with that title be about?

Not two minutes later we had the basic concept down.

This won’t be the last time you hear us say how great it is to have a writing partner, and how sometimes it’s like cheating because you’ve got someone else to do half the work for you. You’ve got a constant sounding board telling you which of your ideas are stupid and which smell like bacon on a Saturday morning. But of course, that’s just where things START to get interesting.

If the concept is strong enough we’ll figure out the characters first, and what their arcs are, and how they relate to each other, and what their goals are, and then we’ll figure out the story, how the characters interrelate and sort of talk through everything, taking copious notes. We’re not too strict through that stage — sometimes you find a character needs serious changes, and sometimes you find the story does too. But eventually we do up a draft outline, and then we revise it until it makes sense to Susan (Susan does not put up with too much vagueness and hand-waving. Susan needs facts. Susan is fine with this and so is Jeffrey SO THERE).

Jeffrey will do some super-vague outlines when he’s not sure about a story idea, or when he wants to convince Susan of a thing. This often happens after Jeffrey tells Susan an idea and Susan does not like it. So he’ll do a really rough outline just so we have something to talk about, which almost never resembles the final product at all. Basically it’s just trying to get down a bunch of our ideas about plot and character, and toss them together if only to see what DOESN’T work and give us ideas on the right direction to go in.

After that, usually, we can then proceed to the character step and then walk them through the story (as mentioned above) and then get to outlining.

Our outlines generally don’t go scene by scene (though sometimes they do, or for some portions, usually near the end where it becomes more vital to tie up loose threads), but more just give us a general idea of where we’re going.

It does get more specific as it goes through revisions, though. We’ve written both with and without outlines, but it’s been a VERY long time since we’ve done the latter. We find outlining saves us time later, as in revising the outline we can see the entire story at a glance, and find places to better set up that turning point at the end of act 2, or we can see that we’ll need to beef up a weak character arc. Or, we find after we’ve outlined the whole thing that there’s really nothing good there.

We definitely remember the first time we outlined an entire screenplay and then said “yeah, I don’t really like it.” WE SAVED MONTHS OF WORK. No joke.

So then one of us will usually write the more specific outline, then the other will review and revise, then the first will review and revise the revision, and on and on until we’re both happy (and have argued until we’re out of breath multiple times, hence the image that goes with this post).

To be clear, there’s no animosity, but we are both creative, passionate people, so we do get into it when hashing things out. But this is another way in which having a writing partner who you trust and who won’t get their feelings hurt when you tell them something sucks is an amazing thing. It puts every idea, every character, every line of dialogue through the fire. What comes out the other side is, we believe, far stronger than anything either of us would have done on our own.

We all have strengths and weaknesses, and we’re very well set up in that we’re each stronger at what the other is weaker at. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement for both of us. With lots of yelling.

Okay, no, there is rarely yelling. But sometimes. :)

From there, scripting basically works the same as outlining. One of us will write the always shitty first draft (it’s what first drafts are for, which is why they suck so much… you gotta force yourself to keep writing, even if it sucks, just so you can finish it and then go back and make it awesome).

Despite our outlining, we will also still find new ways to improve it, beats that were missed, a new way to tie a character to the plot, etc. There’s no getting around that, but outlining DOES save us from getting to the end and not knowing what in the hell to do about a subplot that doesn’t relate to anything or a character that seems entirely ancillary.

Sometimes we’ll split scenes or pages on the first draft, but lately there’s been less of that. Especially at the beginning, when the character voices aren’t quite set in both our heads yet, that can lead to a bit of disjointedness and almost makes the first draft more work to revise. It’s worked well for us, for the past several scripts, for one of us to do the entire first draft, then the other edit and revise.

Then we discuss the revisions, and the scenes and characters and plot, and revise again. And again. And again. Each time tossing the chaff and only keeping the best stuff.

Once we get to the point where we think it’s in decent shape but our brains are fried, we’ll get outside feedback on it and step away from it for a week or so to let our brains rest and come back to it with a fresh perspective.

Depending on the comments we get back, we’ll edit and revise again, somewhere in there deciding on calling some version a draft final.

We try not to go back to scripts once we’re done with them entirely, but sometimes it happens when a new piece of outside feedback catches something we find important, or gives us an idea for a change that would make it stronger still. But that’s rare.

It’s important to always be willing to edit and change in service of making the work stronger, but you also can’t dwell on the same project forever. At some point you have to let it be and move on to the next thing.

ALWAYS have a next thing. Take a rest between projects, sure, but always have a new one ready to go. Keep that brain going, keep it working, keep thinking. We’re always scanning everything and everyone we encounter every day, learning new bits about how people behave and react, filing away bits of news that we could mold a story around, etc.

Incidentally, this very post you’re reading was done in draft form by one of us, and then the other went through and cut out redundancy and added bits and trimmed others, and then we talked about it, and argued, and when we were both happy we had a pretty good blog post on how we write.

Having a partner teaches you the extremely valuable art of compromise. You will need this skill in all of your professional dealings. It also teaches you how to fight for your viewpoint without belittling or destroying the other person.

Many people will caution you against entering into partnerships. They’re right. Partnerships are not for everyone, and it all depends on finding the right partner, but it works for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Filed under wtp life writing wtp writing screenplays screenwriting teleplays audio drama comics comic script my writing process scriptchat

322,530 notes

goldstarprivilege:

muchymozzarella:

afunnyfeminist:

ghastderp:

i love sir patrick stewart more with each passing day.

See, guys. This is how you do it. Notice the words “Not all men are like that” are never spoken.

He knows men are like that

his father was like that to his mother

he has experienced the pain firsthand, of what it’s like when men are like that

and he never wants men to be like that again and he fights tooth and nail against the men who are still like that

And moreover, he acknowledges his privilege [as an older white male who is famous/well known] and uses it to speak up. He knows what he is, and he never has to say he’s not like those men he fights against—he never says it, his actions speak loud enough for everyone else to see it. 

Sir Patrick Stewart, everyone.

(Source: vastderp-placeholder, via fanboycomicsnet)

3 notes

WHAT THE BECHDEL TEST IS AND ISN’T
Recently I got into a discussion with someone online over the usefulness of the Bechdel Test, specifically my belief that it’s the lowest possible barometer any story/script/movie/book/comic/etc should meet in terms of gender equality. It is the first stepping stone along the path.
His stance was that not every story calls for it, and that plenty of really great books and movies fail the test.
And that is absolutely true. Even movies that have a great female lead, like “Gravity”, fail the Bechdel Test. This does not in any way mean the movie isn’t good, it means it simply doesn’t feature two women talking to each other about anything other than men.
And let’s be clear, that’s ALL it means. Plenty of great stuff fails the test, just like plenty of subpar stories pass it. The Bechdel Test is not an arbiter of quality. 
His stance was also that a great lead character, like Ryan Stone in “Gravity”, is more important than whether or not two women talk to each other about something other than men.
I don’t think we want to get into which is more important, and I have no intention of diminishing the importance of a character like Ryan Stone in an action thriller like “Gravity”. But the Bechdel Test is also not an arbiter of equality.
It doesn’t mean a story is free from sexism and is egalitarian among the genders. It is, again, just the first, most basic step any story should take on its way to equality and being free from sexism.
And it doesn’t have to be either/or. It’s not like you can have Ryan Stone OR have it pass the Bechdel Test. Why can’t you have… both?
Sticking with the “Gravity” example, why couldn’t Matt Kowalski have been Mary Kowalski? I can already hear the whining… TWO FEMALE LEADS WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
But flip it around. In how many movies like “Gravity” would few people have batted an eye at Ryan Stone being a man? TWO MALE LEADS WHY I NEVER ALWAYS.
And that’s the very point I was trying to get at. We strive for a lot MORE than just passing Bechdel in our writing, but it’s the very least you can do. As a writer, I WANT to keep it in mind and be thinking about it.
We don’t live in a world that’s 85% men, so why should our writing and popular culture be?
Initially I thought perhaps there were some situations where the story would make it difficult, for example something like “Cool Hand Luke”, set in a men’s prison.
But then look at “Orange is the New Black”, set in a women’s prison, and with the largest and most diverse cast of women a television show has likely ever seen. It still has four major male roles.
The person who sparked this discussion with me said he had a really great, complex, deep woman character who was awesome and real. But she was surrounded entirely by men.
I freely admit there may be story specifics that require a setup like that, but he said nothing to indicate that was the case. My response to him was… that’s great! But why can’t there be more than one?
I’m not even saying you have to have an even 50/50 split numerically, but keep it all in mind and realize you can, in fact, have more than one woman who is a deep, flawed, real, rounded character in her own right, and who doesn’t just revolve around the men.
There’s just no excuse.

WHAT THE BECHDEL TEST IS AND ISN’T

Recently I got into a discussion with someone online over the usefulness of the Bechdel Test, specifically my belief that it’s the lowest possible barometer any story/script/movie/book/comic/etc should meet in terms of gender equality. It is the first stepping stone along the path.

His stance was that not every story calls for it, and that plenty of really great books and movies fail the test.

And that is absolutely true. Even movies that have a great female lead, like “Gravity”, fail the Bechdel Test. This does not in any way mean the movie isn’t good, it means it simply doesn’t feature two women talking to each other about anything other than men.

And let’s be clear, that’s ALL it means. Plenty of great stuff fails the test, just like plenty of subpar stories pass it. The Bechdel Test is not an arbiter of quality. 

His stance was also that a great lead character, like Ryan Stone in “Gravity”, is more important than whether or not two women talk to each other about something other than men.

I don’t think we want to get into which is more important, and I have no intention of diminishing the importance of a character like Ryan Stone in an action thriller like “Gravity”. But the Bechdel Test is also not an arbiter of equality.

It doesn’t mean a story is free from sexism and is egalitarian among the genders. It is, again, just the first, most basic step any story should take on its way to equality and being free from sexism.

And it doesn’t have to be either/or. It’s not like you can have Ryan Stone OR have it pass the Bechdel Test. Why can’t you have… both?

Sticking with the “Gravity” example, why couldn’t Matt Kowalski have been Mary Kowalski? I can already hear the whining… TWO FEMALE LEADS WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

But flip it around. In how many movies like “Gravity” would few people have batted an eye at Ryan Stone being a man? TWO MALE LEADS WHY I NEVER ALWAYS.

And that’s the very point I was trying to get at. We strive for a lot MORE than just passing Bechdel in our writing, but it’s the very least you can do. As a writer, I WANT to keep it in mind and be thinking about it.

We don’t live in a world that’s 85% men, so why should our writing and popular culture be?

Initially I thought perhaps there were some situations where the story would make it difficult, for example something like “Cool Hand Luke”, set in a men’s prison.

But then look at “Orange is the New Black”, set in a women’s prison, and with the largest and most diverse cast of women a television show has likely ever seen. It still has four major male roles.

The person who sparked this discussion with me said he had a really great, complex, deep woman character who was awesome and real. But she was surrounded entirely by men.

I freely admit there may be story specifics that require a setup like that, but he said nothing to indicate that was the case. My response to him was… that’s great! But why can’t there be more than one?

I’m not even saying you have to have an even 50/50 split numerically, but keep it all in mind and realize you can, in fact, have more than one woman who is a deep, flawed, real, rounded character in her own right, and who doesn’t just revolve around the men.

There’s just no excuse.

Filed under writing scripts wtp writing bechdel test sexsim cool hand luke orange is the new black gravity scriptchat

1 note

We’re short on time due to ALL THE WRITING, which we’ll talk about specifically later on, but wanted to quickly mention the importance of positivity.
Yesterday the first photo of Ben Affleck as Batman was released by Zack Snyder, and the internet exploded, as the internet does.
This sparked a lot of sudden general Zack Snyder hate, which baffles us. He doesn’t need us to defend him, mind you, he can dry his tears with his millions of dollars.
We do happen to enjoy many of his movies, and think the Batman costume looks interesting. You may prefer a different costume, or want to compare to past live action flying mouse costumes or discuss movie costuming in general or have no opinion at all.
And that is OKAY.
But why does it upset you if others enjoy what you don’t?
Spend your time uplifting and promoting the things you DO love. Spread the word and tell people about it. Tell a creative person that you enjoy their work and that it’s meant something to you. Tell your friends about that awesome comic book you read. Share a video of a song you love. And find other people who are POSITIVE.
Share what makes you feel GOOD. Share what’s AWESOME. And it will help more people find awesome stuff in a world crowded with so much new entertainment it’s impossible to see it all.
Give it a shot, it’ll make the world a better place.

We’re short on time due to ALL THE WRITING, which we’ll talk about specifically later on, but wanted to quickly mention the importance of positivity.

Yesterday the first photo of Ben Affleck as Batman was released by Zack Snyder, and the internet exploded, as the internet does.

This sparked a lot of sudden general Zack Snyder hate, which baffles us. He doesn’t need us to defend him, mind you, he can dry his tears with his millions of dollars.

We do happen to enjoy many of his movies, and think the Batman costume looks interesting. You may prefer a different costume, or want to compare to past live action flying mouse costumes or discuss movie costuming in general or have no opinion at all.

And that is OKAY.

But why does it upset you if others enjoy what you don’t?

Spend your time uplifting and promoting the things you DO love. Spread the word and tell people about it. Tell a creative person that you enjoy their work and that it’s meant something to you. Tell your friends about that awesome comic book you read. Share a video of a song you love. And find other people who are POSITIVE.

Share what makes you feel GOOD. Share what’s AWESOME. And it will help more people find awesome stuff in a world crowded with so much new entertainment it’s impossible to see it all.

Give it a shot, it’ll make the world a better place.

Filed under wtp life ben affleck batman zack snyder batman vs superman man of steel writing positivity sad batman

1 note

J: *cutting onions*
S: Stop, wait, look, you gotta take off this outer part, it won’t cook right!
J: Fine! I don’t even know why I help! Maybe you should just do it! You’re never satisfied, you’re always saying everything I do is wrong and it’s not good enough and you hate it!
S: …that’s also pretty much our entire writing dynamic.

J: *cutting onions*

S: Stop, wait, look, you gotta take off this outer part, it won’t cook right!

J: Fine! I don’t even know why I help! Maybe you should just do it! You’re never satisfied, you’re always saying everything I do is wrong and it’s not good enough and you hate it!

S: …that’s also pretty much our entire writing dynamic.

Filed under wtp conversations wtp at home wtp life gordon ramsay cooking

3 notes

What hasn’t been done?
Recently a friend asked for advice on creating an artificial intelligence character in a story. With the prevalence of Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation), every Cylon ever (Battlestar Galactica), Agent Smith (The Matrix), EDI (Mass Effect), Wall-E and Eve (Wall-E) and on and on, he was searching for an original take on the concept.
But I think he’s looking at it the wrong way. An AI character is, at heart, still a character. Mostly we write about human characters, and hasn’t every human been done before?
You can tweak and change and add detail to characters, and you should, but some version of every character has been done before. Archetypes exist for a reason.
All those paths are already trodden. But it’s not necessarily just which path you take, it’s what you do along it and how you navigate it that matters.
It’s not whether a character is a human, an AI, an alien, a car, a bug, a plastic toy, a fish, a monster, or a robot that matters (Pixar has done this a lot is what I’m saying).
And just as you would build any character, it’s probably more relevant to look at the story you want to tell, and the role you want the AI to play, in relation to the other characters you’re building. How should the AI interact with the people who surround it? Do you want it to get along with everyone? Is the AI going to have a starring role (Her)? A pleasant background character (Star Trek)? Does it experience a slow descent into madness (HAL)?
Just like humans, they can be adorably friendly, want to eradicate all organic life, posses childlike wonder, be completely full of themselves or be passive-aggressively snarky.
But they’re still just characters. And it’s what you do with them that matters.

What hasn’t been done?

Recently a friend asked for advice on creating an artificial intelligence character in a story. With the prevalence of Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation), every Cylon ever (Battlestar Galactica), Agent Smith (The Matrix), EDI (Mass Effect), Wall-E and Eve (Wall-E) and on and on, he was searching for an original take on the concept.

But I think he’s looking at it the wrong way. An AI character is, at heart, still a character. Mostly we write about human characters, and hasn’t every human been done before?

You can tweak and change and add detail to characters, and you should, but some version of every character has been done before. Archetypes exist for a reason.

All those paths are already trodden. But it’s not necessarily just which path you take, it’s what you do along it and how you navigate it that matters.

It’s not whether a character is a human, an AI, an alien, a car, a bug, a plastic toy, a fish, a monster, or a robot that matters (Pixar has done this a lot is what I’m saying).

And just as you would build any character, it’s probably more relevant to look at the story you want to tell, and the role you want the AI to play, in relation to the other characters you’re building. How should the AI interact with the people who surround it? Do you want it to get along with everyone? Is the AI going to have a starring role (Her)? A pleasant background character (Star Trek)? Does it experience a slow descent into madness (HAL)?

Just like humans, they can be adorably friendly, want to eradicate all organic life, posses childlike wonder, be completely full of themselves or be passive-aggressively snarky.

But they’re still just characters. And it’s what you do with them that matters.

Filed under wtp writing characters writing screenwriting scripts ai artificial intelligence

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White people problems

Susan:
I was at a restaurant, and I asked the waiter to bring oil and vinegar but not balsamic. after i explained many times the difference, he brought balsamic.
Friend:
Dude, I'm sure the word balsamic was right on the bottle, how could he bring that anyway??
S:
i have no effing idea
S:
he acted like there was no such thing in the kitchen as non-balsamic vinegar
F:
waaaat the kitchen had no white vinegar or rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar?
F:
I hate vinegar with a passion and even I know that shit
S:
and they are all PRETTY OBVIOUSLY NOT BALSAMIC
S:
this is a white people conversation
S:
lol
F:
#whitepeopleproblems
S:
hahaha
F:
OH MY GOD I HAVE FIFTY SHADES OF FOUNDATION TO CHOOSE FROM HOW CAN I DECIDE
S:
RIGHT HOW CAN THEY NOT GO LIGHT ENOUGH
S:
AND ONE IS TOO YELLOW AND ONE IS TOO PINK IS MY SKIN THAT WEIRD
F:
AND THEN I HAVE A WHOLE AISLE OF HAIR CARE PRODUCTS TO CHOOSE FROM IT'S SO HARD BEING ME
S:
it's really more like four aisles

5 notes

In researching specs that sold last year, some very obvious trends in their loglines. Combining them into one, this is your 2013 spec:
A small-town sheriff with a dark past joins an elite military strike team to rescue his raped/kidnapped wife before traveling back in time to stop his daughter dying in a terrible shopping mall terrorist attack.
That’s free, by the way. You can have it. Enjoy?

In researching specs that sold last year, some very obvious trends in their loglines. Combining them into one, this is your 2013 spec:

A small-town sheriff with a dark past joins an elite military strike team to rescue his raped/kidnapped wife before traveling back in time to stop his daughter dying in a terrible shopping mall terrorist attack.

That’s free, by the way. You can have it. Enjoy?

Filed under wtp photos writing screenwriting scripts screenplays Spec Scripts wtp writing