All good things, and all good stories, must come to an end. After five illuminating days of panels, workshops, and connections that went beyond the screen, we’re excited to get back to work and put all the tips and tricks we learned into practice. To make the parting a little easier, we’re leaving you with a few highlights from conversations with our incredible speakers and storytellers.
Here are 5 insights from a few of the writers and creators who joined us virtually for the 2020 Writers Conference:
1.DON’T TRY TO APPEAL TO EVERYONE
“The more specific something that your writing becomes, the more universal it becomes. Because you’re getting specific about telling the truth.”
Prentice Penny (showrunner/executive producer Insecure; writer/director Uncorked)
2. PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED
“Being a writer is a little like being a parent. You prepare for all the things that are not the things that you wish you’d prepared for.”
Tanya Barfield (playwright; writer Mrs. America, Raising Dion, The Americans)
3. GIVE YOUR IDEAS TIME TO GROW AND DEVELOP
“We set up so many false expectations about what inspiration is. The best ideas come out of the gradual growth of an idea. Unrealistic ideas of passion and inspiration make you unavailable for the actual good ideas. Just be curious. Just be interested.”
Ed Solomon (writer HBO’s Mosaic, Men in Black, No Sudden Move; co-writer Bill & Ted Face the Music, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey)
4. LET YOUR CHARACTERS TAKE ON A LIFE OF THEIR OWN
“A lot of people rub off the crazy edges of their characters to try and make it more like a movie. We’re like, those crazy edges, that’s the good stuff!”
Larry Karaszewski (writer Dolemite Is My Name, Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flint, Man on the Moon, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson)
5.JUST KEEP WRITING
“You have to concentrate on the things you can control, and the only thing you can control is what you choose to write and how you write it.”
Rodrigo Garcia (writer/director Nine Lives, Last Days in the Desert)
We can’t wait for the stories that you’ll write, and we’ll see you next year!
Interested in hearing more from this year’s Writers Conference? Stay tuned for the premiere of On Story Season 11 featuring conversations with many of our 2019 panelists.