Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pushing Daisies and stuff

I'm having fun with Pushing Daisies. I think the hardest part so far is trying to fit in the narrator. I'm a big fan of subtle, but Pushing Daisies is kind of the opposite of subtle, given that you have a narrator telling you what everybody's feeling every thirty seconds. At first I was having trouble figuring out where to put him, but I started the second act this morning and I'm starting to get into the flow so my narrator's voice is improving.

I've been watching episodes on and learning a few things. For one thing, the show is in six acts. Not a teaser and five acts, but six official acts. It says so in the pilot. I haven't yet seen official scripts for other episodes but I'm on the lookout, if anybody has one.

Anyway, every episode begins with Young Ned learning some lesson that applies to the episode at large. Then we learn about today's victim, then we solve it. And at the core of everything is Ned and Chuck and their inability to touch, so every episode must be in some way about people who distance themselves from each other.

That's kind of right up my alley so this is turning fun. Plus I'm writing about something I've researched a great deal in the past, which makes the plot flow easily. I forgot how much fun writing a spec TV episode was.

In unrelated news, today's topic sucks because I couldn't think of anything more exciting to write about. Anybody got any suggestions? I'm not a pro writer or anything, but I am good at Taboo. And drinking people under the table. And straight kicks. And cooking chicken parmesian, which Firefox says is spelled wrong but won't give me an alternative spelling and I am too lazy to go to my dictionary and look up.

You're reading this for some reason, so what do you want me to talk about? Also, say hi or something because most of you never say anything and I'd like to know who you are.


  1. Anonymous7:06 PM

    Talk about exclamation points and their role in conversation.

    Oh, and... hi!


  2. Personally, I thought today's topic was great. Especially your thoughts on the structure of a PD episode. Then again, I would say that because the next spec *I'm* tackling is a PD!

    I haven't gotten them yet, but I ordered two PD scripts from Script Fly the other day. I hate paying for scripts, but I haven't seen any other copies out there, either.

  3. Hi Emily.

    I am a computer programmer. I also have one idea for a movie. I have had the idea for 3 to 4 years now and actually tried to write a screenplay. I realized that just like a computer program screenplays have their own language and structure so I read a bunch of books on the topic and discovered that I don't have enough experience. After reading your blog and others I discovered that even if by chance I actually could produce a gem of a screenplay nobody is going to read it anyway. So I read about your experiences and wait to see your name in credits and on IMDb.

  4. It's Parmesan.

    Bookmark an online dictionary...

    Or do what I do and Google the word. If you get it wrong Google will ask, Did you mean "Albuquerque?".

    Sometimes I'll type "renaissance meaning" & it'll give me several reliable sources.

    Fucking Wikipedia makes me spell the word correctly or it won't cough up the page. Dickheads.

  5. Any ideas for a TV pilot? I know the thing is to have a spec in addition to a possible pilot these days.

    Films/TV Shows that made you (or us) want to write/become filmmakers?

    Who would in a fight between Batman and Superman?

    And HI! I pop in from time to time and check out the blog, great stuff!

  6. Hi there. I enjoy just reading about someone else trying to break in. Just keep up the good work. Your blog is very honest and clean (in a writing sense). I like that. The only thing different I can think of is when you are done with post production that you maybe throw the script for the short up on the web, or at least exceprts from it along with the short. It would be great to see the differences. I know the short I did was something like what I wrote, but due to time and such it wasn't quite what I had expected.

  7. Hi!

    How's Game Night coming along?

  8. Anonymous8:21 AM

    I read this in the morning when I'm still groggy and unwilling to work and so I rarely have anything to say. And if I find something to say, it's rarely anything worthwhile. Speaking of which, I like how "plot flow" sounds.


  9. Parmesan!

    Hi, Emily. I follow your blog pretty consistently, and only occasionally add my two cents. I think it's a fantastic blog, though -- just the right balance of thoughtful writing stuff, and hilarious (mostly) tales from your working/dating life.

    Liked today's post too. I had a similar experience earlier this year -- took a break from feature writing to work on a new TV spec, and it just felt like such a relief... the hard work of world/tone/character/voice creating is already done, and you can have some fun and even show off a little within the existing format.

    Grey's Anatomy (not my most recent spec, but I did write one 2 years ago) also has 6 official acts. Seems to be in vogue!

    Cheers from Vancouver...


    Hi! :)

  11. I'd like to know more about your writing process. How long did it take to outline Not Dead Yet?

    How many rewrites? Did you ask for feedback after you completed the first draft, or was it after the second?

    Did you receive feedback from a writer's group?

    How long did it take you to write and rewrite until you felt satisfied enough to send the script to the Nicholl?

    Blog about your experiences writing Not Dead Yet. You're a full-time teacher. Did you bounce the intial idea off your students (considering they're the average film-goer) to see if it interested them? And so on..

    What are your writing habits?

    That's all I can think of for now. =)

  12. i actually just started reading your blog. the sheer volume of material that you manage to consistantly post is impressive to me, but then again i've never been prone to that sort of personal exposition. good luck out there in la la land, you seem to have to head on pretty straight.


  13. Just thought I'd say hi. It's been busy at work and I haven't gotten much sleep due to late nights at the New Beverly. As far as the drinking thing goes, Tiki Ti in Silverlake is open again, so you should go there sometime. And it's spelled parmesan, but I'm sure it tastes good anyway. That's about it, so in closing I'll once again say hi.

  14. Taboo? Here you go.

    Now, there is a follow-up story on this, but I can't currently find the link.

  15. We've got some Daisies, but they're hard copies.

  16. Woohoo! Thanks for all the comments, guys. Now I have some ideas of what people want to hear about, so I'll start addressing the questions today.

  17. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Hi, Emily.

    I'm Eddie. I don't comment very often but check in pretty regularly. I "at least somewhat disagree with" 67% of the things you say. That number's pretty low as I am a disagreeable person. As far as the strike-stricken scribosphere goes, at least you're still doing shit and not saying the same thing as everybody else.


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