More wisdom from an excellent writer who keeps on keeping on inspiring. (For reals. We mean it. Honest.)
Another writing secret to success
by Ken Levine
As if you’re not already bombarded with enough of them. But if you’re an aspiring writer, versatility could give you a big leg up.
The style of BIG BANG THEORY is very different from KIMMY SCHMIDT and VEEP is a different style from either of them. So is SHAMELESS. So is LOUIE, not to mention MODERN FAMILY (which I just did).
There are lots of comedy writers who are one trick ponies. They can write the shit out of BROOKLYN NINE NINE but would be buried trying to write THE MIDDLE. You might say, “well I like BROOKLYN NINE NINE better. It’s more my sensibility.” And that’s great except what if the only opening was on THE MIDDLE?
So can you write a good episode of 2 BROKE GIRLS (assuming that’s even possible) and a good episode of EPISODES?
In a very competitive field you do yourself a big favor by being able to answer yes.
What this unfortunately means is extra work on your part. Don’t just write your one spec pilot and wait for offers. It’s still helpful to write scripts for existing shows. It’s still a big plus to have both a single camera spec and a multi-camera spec.
Being a “funny person” is not enough. I would hope that aspiring comedy writers really study different shows. The tone and storytelling of NEW GIRL is miles apart from the tone and plotting of MOM. You’ll be miles ahead of “Mr. Funny Person” if you learn them….