THE Basic Tip for New Writers in All Media

Gerald Sanford returns with a VIQ – Very Important Quickie:

by Gerald Sanford

Write to TELL a story…not SELL a story.


About LB

Larry Brody has been profiled in such national magazines and websites as Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Starlog, People, Electronic Media, IndieSlate, TechTV, io9, and of course TV Guide. A legendary figure in the television writing and production world, with a career going back to the late ’60s, Brody has written and produced literally thousands of hours of network and syndicated television. Brody has also been active in the TV animation world, writing, creating, consulting, and/or supervising the cult favorite STAR TREK animated TV series, the SILVER SURFER, SPAWN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED animated series, and was showrunner of the French animated series, DIABOLIK, as well as part of the team that developed and wrote the live-action/cgi animation sci-fi series Ace Lightning for the BBC. Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys.

5 thoughts on “THE Basic Tip for New Writers in All Media

  1. LB says:

    Or, to put it another way:

    Never be desperate.

    This isn’t an ethical/philosophical issue but a practical one because if you don’t feel it, the reader will always know.

    • geraldsanford says:

      No, I really meant that if you’re a writer, really a writer, then you should write to “Tell A Story, and not Sell A Story.” That’s one of the things that’s wrong with TV, and most movies. Mark my words, provided you have the talent, the insight, the love for the written word, the passion of truth… my way’s best. gs

  2. Jared says:

    Ah, godammit.

  3. rlmccullough says:

    Television writing isn’t like any other kind of writing. It requires the story–quite obviously–but it requires the skills to “tell” it in person to someone with “approval” so that you can advance to the point of getting paid for your efforts. As much as you need a compelling storyline, you need to be able to talk about it succinctly and engagingly in a room filled with doubters who think they’ve already heard it all.
    If you can’t tell your story in 90 seconds…you will simply be tuned out as eyes glaze over.
    Stephen J. Cannell was one of the best “pitch” guys in the business…and every single one of his pitches began with “What if…?” Asking a question of the listener immediately engages them and gets them to respond.
    The rest of it…character, act breaks, dialogue…those are the easy parts once you have their attention (and a contract to get paid).
    If you want to hear how some serious pros do it, take a listen at

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