nbc writers on the verge – cross program mixer 3/12/13

we had a mixer with writers from the various network writing programs, including cbs, wb, disney, the new fox program, and us from nbc wotv. there were maybe 40 writers plus the people who run the programs. it was really crowded, and a lot of fun.

here’s something you might not have known: many writers go through multiple programs. this is my second program, and i met others who went through 2, 3, and even 4 programs. people who are good enough to get into one often times get into another. but why would a writer do multiple programs? because getting into a writing program is no guarantee. it’s not like winning the lottery. obviously, the ideal situation is you get into a writing program, and then you get an agent and get staffed immediately after. that doesn’t always happen though. the programs are a chance to meet other writers, work on writing samples, and meet execs, but yeah, there are no guarantees of getting staffed.

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reader question: spec stuff

fellowship deadlines are around the corner, and someone had a few questions about specs.

Hi Kiyong,

I’m currently on my 3rd draft for my Happy Endings spec and have a few questions about it.

1.) I have a main character drifting aimlessly through the B & C plots and not really contributing anything to the story should I even bother including them? Outside of a few lines in the cold open.

I feel like these programs want you to demonstrate your understanding of the show’s voice, which means incorporating every main character into an A-B-C storyline. Shows like Community have characters barely appear in an episode and it works. I’m also not Dan Harmon though.

2.) I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to introduce new characters into a spec. I understand not creating new characters where the entire episode revolves around them, but what about a minor character that serves the plot? For instance I included Penny’s boss, a character never mentioned before, but fits into the show’s universe.

3.)Is it ok to introduce new locations? I’ve only been using established sets so far.

4.) What do judges want more in a sitcom spec? One bursting with jokes or funny plots that are tightly constructed? I guess this depends on the sitcom as well.

good questions. here are my thoughts:

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nbc writers on the verge – my pilot is done

after struggling for weeks, i finally finished my pilot, and i’m happy with how it came out!

i had a lot to think about after the last round of notes and the feedback from the table read. at times, i wondered if i should give up on it completely, throw it away, and just write a new pilot from scratch. instead, i let the script sit for a couple weeks, and i let the notes sink in.

around this time, i had a meeting with my wotv mentor, who works in comedy development at nbc. he was nice enough to read my script and he gave me some very insightful notes, and that’s when things started to click.

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