The Brothers Goldberg on Writing

The first part of an interview my brother Tod and I conducted with each other has been posted on, a popular lit-blog.  It’s a (mostly) serious discussion about breaking-in, the craft of writing, our work habits,  and sustaining a career as a novelist and/or screenwriter. Here’s an excerpt from one of my replies to one of Tod’s probing questions:

"For the last twenty
years (My God, am I actually old enough to start a sentence with
that?), I have made my living as a TV writer/producer. I spent most of
that time…okay, all of it…working on shows that other people created.
That’s true of most TV writers. You are hired, for the most part, for
your ability to articulate someone else’s vision and, at the same time,
bring your own unique voice to the writing. So I am quite comfortable
writing about characters and worlds created by others. I look at my
tie-in novels as the publishing equivalent of working on an episodic
television series."

UPDATE 11-18-05:  Part Two of the interview is now up. Here’s an excerpt:

"Given a choice between
reading a literary novel or a thriller, I’ll choose the thriller most
of the time. You’ll choose the literary fiction. That’s not to say I
don’t read non-crime/non-genre novels…I do. We share some of the same
favorite authors. But I love thrillers, mysteries, and
westerns—basically, escapist fiction—with a passion that you clearly do

Maybe it has to do with TV. I was a voracious reader as a kid, but I
also grew up watching a lot more TV than you did and developing a true
love of the four-act structure. Maybe watching all that TV shaped what
I expect from a story…a kind of narrative engine, conflict, and
personal stakes that aren’t always found in literary fiction. Or I’m
just superficial."

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