Saturday, April 10, 2010


Anyone interested in writing should go subscribe to Jane Espenson's blog right now. Until a few days ago it had been dormant for over a year, so I'm very pleased she has started it back up again. If you're not familiar with Espenson, she is a highly experienced TV writer and producer. I first encountered her work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (where she wrote series highlights like "Band Candy" and "A New Man"), but she has a pretty amazing range of credits from Gilmore Girls to Battlestar Galactica.

Her blog is aimed at aspiring TV writers, but anyone who writes anything--especially comedy--could benefit from her advice. Her current post is about how when movies transitioned into sound, a huge number of new writers were needed to provide dialogue and that many of them were either novelists or journalists. I think her conclusions are basically sound, though I couldn't help but think of The Wire, which included novelists George Pelecanos, Richard Price, and Dennis Lehane on its writing staff. Of course, series creator David Simon is famously a journalist, but I think this combination is what made the show so special. Simon's journalist past (not to mention the journalistic tendencies of this particular group of novelists) informed the show's naturalism, while the novelists' scope and foresight helped the show develop the rich depth over five seasons that has secured its current place as the consensus choice for greatest TV series thus far.

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