LB: A Quick Writing Lesson from D.C. Fontana (& an addendum by yours truly)

by LB

Dorothy Fontana, of justly deserved original Star Trek fame, taught me the basics of storytelling thusly:

Ask yourself what your protagonist needs and wants and then take them through hell to obtain it.

Actually, she said “him,” not “them” because way back in the late ’60s when we met the automatic assumption was that the protagonist would be male. But that’s not my point here.

My point is that over my writing years I’ve learned that wants and needs aren’t limited to protagonists and plots. Storytelling of any kind works best when every character has their own personal (and often very private) agenda, and not just the overall plot but each scene presents it one way or another.

It’s been my experience that bad writers have problems handling this, but good writers love it. And great writers? Well, they don’t even need to think about this situation. They just create automatically. #tvwriting #screenwriting #writingtips #writerslife

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

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