Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thinking of a new question to answer

My writing group is starting back up again next week, which means it's time for me to write a new pilot.

I have no idea what I'm going to write.

But rather than approach something by saying "I want this element" or "wouldn't it be fun if..." I'm trying to think of an overall question or theme to address with the story.

The last one hour pilot I wrote addressed the theme of identity in an online anonymous world. It was about self-discovery. The reason the fun story elements worked is that they were built from that foundation.

So now I'm trying to think of a question or theme that I really want to address. I'm pondering the things I rant about all the time, and trying to evaluate what's really important to me.

For example, one idea that I've been kicking around has to do with the nature of freedom. By following rules and expectations we don't have the ability to make any real choices on our own, so in a way the only way to be free is to do something completely unexpected and reckless. For me that was moving to LA. I don't want to write a pilot about that though. Rather, I might want to turn that question towards something else that relates to the theme but also makes good TV. I also don't want to get bogged down with research. I much prefer being able to make everything up, so that's why I don't want to write a show right now set in some real environment, i.e. an ad agency in the 1960's or a school in Texas or the NSA. I could set it in a fantasy type kingdom, that way there's a world that is understandable and accessible but I still have license to do whatever I want with it.

It's still all up in the air though. I'll update once I know more.

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