Shortly before bed last night, I found myself scrolling mindlessly through articles on the cell when I came across a headline that stopped me in my tracks.
30 lessons in screenwriting from Rod Serling? DO tell!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no screenwriter. But the essence of writing, the craft of giving life to words on paper, is an art that Rod Serling was a master of, and that I count him as one of my own significant influences? All the better.
The article is well done, as you can see for yourself right here.
But pay attention to the last word in the third, or final introductory paragraph. It’s a link that will bring you to a collection of videos on You Tube with Rod Serling in conversation with a group of young people, presumably students, discussing the craft and where his quotes in the article were derived from.
You need not write screenplays, nor do you have to work in the suspense/mystery/horror genres at all. If you write, there is something of value for you in this article and the accompanying videos.
It’s that simple.
As an added treat for my fellow TZ fans, remember how his introductions always sounded so carefully written, scripted with care and delivered as one would expect from an observer with amazing attention to detail?
Well, scrap that notion. As you’ll see in the videos, listening to his off-the-cuff conversations with these young people, it’s just the way the man thinks, the way he speaks naturally. His choice of words and the inflection with which he delivers them is exactly what we’re used to in his episode introductions!
As you read or listen to his thoughts on character, on dialog, you’ll see how he brought life to his own words on paper, how the viewer bought into the plot and story because of those characterizations. Lessons like this are worth their weight in gold, no matter what one writes.
Enough babbling. I need coffee, and YOU need to go read the article and watch the videos.