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October 21 2010

Jane Espenson tells fellow writers "Write what you want to see." Jane Espenson, who wrote for Buffy and Angel, gives genre writing advice to fellow writers...

I'm not sure why that should be considered "contentious" advice (much less a "whoops"). Everyone I know who makes a living as a writer (myself included) lives by it ...

Anyway, she clearly knows what she's talking about :)

[ edited by Ghalev on 2010-10-21 04:06 ]
Jane Espenson, who wrote for Buffy and Angel

and Firefly and Dollhouse....
Its always fun to hear, or watch, something from Jane Espenson.
"... and it was at that moment that ex-St Mirren player Archie Gemmill returned from a long retirement to deftly weave around the English defence and with a cocky back-heel slide Scotland's World Cup winning goal into the back of the net.

And Saje lived happily ever after.

The End"


OK, OK, it doesn't have to be England ;).

I'm not sure why that should be considered "contentious" advice...

Yeah, i'm in no way a writer (see above ;) and even i'm aware that "Write what you know and write for yourself" are like Creative Writing 101. Although in fairness, they don't actually say it's contentious, they just say "Work backwards" is less contentious. Maybe "Work backwards" is actually minus contentious, the very utterance of it sucking contentiousness out of any situation. As a test, we should broadcast "Work backwards" all over the middle east. Peace by early next week, betcha.

(or maybe they just mean that taken literally and to an extreme, it reduces your chances of a sale - even Jane's said in the past that you should also try to be aware of what's currently on and popular)
I would say the implied 'contentiousness' is concerning this bit:

AMERICAN TV writer Jane Espenson was in Australia recently to teach the local creatives how to write genre television - specifically science fiction but more broadly anything created with a strong and unapologetic sense of its audience in mind.

At least, that's what Film Victoria, which paid her way, thought it was getting.


I assume the writer means that the (arguable) contentiousness occured because: Film Victoria hired her to teach a specific point of view (writing with a sense of audience in mind) and that Jane as good as 'refused' to teach that point of view and instead told the audience to basically "ignore all notions of the marketplace" according to the writer. By this I also assume the writer means that Film Victoria invited her to speak in an effort to help the audience land jobs writing for tv.

I have no idea if that's really what happened. The way it's written does makes it sound like Jane separated herself from some widely held common views and took an opposing stand. It also sounds a bit overly dramatic--like there should be a number of exclamation points dancing about somewhere. 'Contentious' is just such a strong word. Jane was picking a quarrel? *...tries to imagine...* Nope. Not happening. IMO the writer was using a bit of inappropriate and inaccurate hyperbole.

If I was to guess what happened (And isn't that like the number one qualification for posting here?), I would guess that: Jane got an invite and someone wrote up a nice bit of copy for the promo. But no one ran it past Jane. And then Jane said whatever she intended to say all along.

But you gotta admit, contentiousness is where it's at. Now all they need is for FOX News to pick it up and promote the hell out of the non-existent kerfuffle with screaming headlines. Except... I don't think FOX News knows where Australia is.

I just wish the writer had revealed more of what Jane actually taught. Did anyone here go and record it or take notes?

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