Ready for the Staff Job

I got this email today from an aspiring writer who has just finished writing his first two episodic spec scripts:

Now, for
the first time, I begin the process of looking for an agent.  I have two spec
scripts that are great examples of what I can do on a TV

Here’s how I responded: Congratulations on finishing your specs. That’s a big step! However,
I’d aim your sights a little more realistically. The best you can hope for at
this stage (after landing an agent) is to be invited in for a freelance pitch
and possible writing assignment. In the mean time, start writing another script… perhaps an original feature,  if you don’t have one already.

5 thoughts on “Ready for the Staff Job”

  1. Excellent advise. I also recently completed my first two specs and — armed with your book — am attempting to find an agent!

  2. …which is the danger/pitfall of trying to spec a heavily “arced” show, and one that ended its previous season on a substantial cliffhanger on top of that.
    How did you enjoy (or not enjoy) the Writers University class? Was it helpful? Did you learn anything? What could be improved? We’re doing another session soon so any feedback would be helpful.

  3. Overall, I enjoyed the class. Although I can’t say I learned anything new–having read your book previously–I did find the feedback very helpful in confirming and clarifying my understanding of the material, and then properly applying that knowledge.
    I only wish there were more interactivity to simulate the experience of breaking a story with a staff (with you and Bill acting as showrunners, naturally). But I realize that I’m getting ahead of myself here since I need to find an agent first. And, given that the class has no prerequisite, I’m not sure how well the students would simulate a writing staff and/or take notes from a simulated staff. Not to mention that this would require a minimum enrollment of… I don’t know… five students?
    Maybe a Level 2 class in the future?
    My criticisms, if you’d like to pass them along, are really for the Writers University folks. First, it’s telling that you are asking for feedback here, while they have not. Second, were it not for the facts that a) you have an extensive resume, b) I’d already read your book and found it very helpful, and c) I already “knew” you and Bill from your online postings, I would’ve been hard-pressed to pay $250 for a 4-week, online class.
    But I do think you accomplished your stated goal of getting me to think more like a lawyer… err… writer.
    Thanks – Mark


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