Saturday, October 31, 2009

RT @CapricaSeven: Remember. No one is born a good writer. Babies can't write.

Unlike many, I haven't gotten into Twitter that much.  I follow about 40 people and I allow about 12 people that I personally know to follow me.   I regularly forget to even look at my Twitter account for days at a time.  And when I do look at it I realize that I haven't missed much.

Except every once in a while when I catch a recent tweet by Jane Espenson.

It is no secret that Jane Espenson is one of my favorite television writers.   She's working on a new show right now called Caprica Seven (which seems to be some kind of sequel/prequel to Battlestar Galactica) and she tweets under the name CapricaSeven.  A couple of television blogs that I follow re-posted some of her initial tweets a few months ago and I was intrigued because she was, among other things, giving writing tips.  So I began following her. 

After a while she became a more "normal" twitterer, tweeting about what she was having for lunch and what books she is reading.

She can be very funny:

Current book on tape has a character saying: "Age is a matter of massive noses." Realized later it was "mass hypnosis."

Or how about this:

Looks like I'm probably going to co-write the last two season one Caprica eps! Yay!This is especially cool because those are the ones where


But the reason I continue to follow is because still, interspersed among tweets about lunch and other mundane things, are tweets about writing:

I love the delicate employment of bad grammar in dialogue to suggest informality and quickness of speech, not necessarily lack of knowledge

Even in really broad comedy, ask "how would someone really react if this happened?" Events can be crazy, but people need to be people.

When creating characters, try switching the gender of a character _after_ writing them -- it'll break you out of bad unconscious habits.

"And why, pray tell, would I do that?" <-- script don't! You've heard people say this on TV, but not in real life. So don't write it.

And I love that she answers people's questions:

@DHStom Depends -- major characters need contradictions to make them compelling. Minor characters need to be precise but not too familiar.

Of course, she also recently tweeted this:

Another general rule: 140 characters may not be ideal for conveying substantive writing advice.

I don't know, I'm not a writer.  But I certainly am enjoying those 140 character bits of writing wisdom. So, if you're interested in the script-writing process you might want to consider following her. (And, by the way, you don't have to join twitter - there is also an RSS feed.)   CapricaSeven