Killing Your Biggest Darling

Sometimes it’s necessary to just go ahead and kill your biggest darling.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I’m ridiculously focused on The Vampire Diaries right now. I just finished a Vampire Diaries spec script (which I will probably never show anyone because it is not my best work) and I’ve been working hard trying to start a new spec script for the show.

But it just wasn’t working.

Besides which, the reasons I was writing a Vampire Diaries spec script are not as applicable anymore. I knew that you shouldn’t write a spec script for the show you want to work on. And I wasn’t. I actually want to work on The Originals. But the point I failed to recognize is that you shouldn’t write and submit a spec script to someone who writes the show you’re speccing. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals are essentially the same show in that way. But even after that, I was determined to write a good spec script for The Vampire Diaries. Probably because I felt I could do it the most justice because it (and The Originals) were my current obsession.

But that’s a flawed argument.

Yes, it’s good to know a lot about the show you’re speccing. But sometimes knowing and enjoying a show too much can become a hindrance to the writing process. Besides which, I was finding it near impossible to find a place to write a spec script in this highly serialized show.

So instead, I switched gears. I chose a similar show (supernatural themes; serialized, but somewhat less so; and even on the same network). I chose Supernatural.

This quickly became a brilliant idea. I was overflowing with inspiration and highly attracted to the fact that Supernatural often has self-contained episodes. In fact, the story I’ve begun outlining could theoretically fall into any season, though I’m specifically writing it as an episode that falls between two season-nine episodes. The main serialized theme here is emotional, but it’s an emotional story that has been present since season one and just never really goes away.

While I’m still working out some kinks, I’m happy to have moved on from The Vampire Diaries and into something that I love just as much and feel I can really do justice.

And since I’m insane, I’m now thinking I’m going to have my second spec script (Warner Bros. Workshop allows up to two submissions) be The Walking Dead. I think this will solve the two main problems I might encounter with Supernatural: it’s a show that’s been on for a long time (I’ve heard people say that’s not a great idea), and it’s a show that not everyone is familiar with (though I’d hope the people at WB are, especially since it’s included in their list of approved shows). However, The Walking Dead might end up being my strongest chance for the other fellowships.

With this tentative plan going into the second half of April, I’m more optimistic about having at least one, if not two, spec scripts written, workshopped, revised, and completed by May 30.

If my non-stop working since yesterday morning is anything to go by, I might be dead by the end of this, but I’ll have some kick-ass arsenal in my portfolio.


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