Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tips for working at the Writing Table

Over the last year or so, I've been involved in semi-regular get-togethers to brainstorm ideas for TV shows. Here's a few things I've learned from that, about working as part of a creative team:

Like the people you're working with.

Listen. Plotting is like jazz; you have to listen to everyone's contribution. Make sure you (and hopefully everyone else at the table) is committed to the principle that it's not about getting your ideas across, but making everyone else's shine.

Accept that it doesn't have to go your way; other ways are just as good. The end result won't be like you thought, and that's fine. However, you do need to buy in to what the idea's become.

Assume everyone's adult and friendly - you can raise objections and alternatives in a mature and reasonable way.

Proceed carefully when disagreeing with people. If you think an idea is lame, wrong or stupid, DON'T SAY THAT. Ask what's behind their suggestion. Seek to understand and keep trying, until you either buy in to it or get what their goal is. Asking them to explain is better than saying ' No '.

Play with the idea and the characters. Have fun.

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