My stop on the Susin Nielsen UK Blog Tour

Hello everyone,

And welcome to my stop on the Susin Nielsen tour.

Susin Nielsen blog tour graphic
Don’t forget to hop on the other stops on the tour!

You know what I love about this post?! The realisation that behind a TV show there is a script writer and maybe a team full of them. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that TV shows’backbone relied on a heavy amount of writing, but maybe the bookblogger in me only really associated writing with books only. Writing for TV or writing for a book may have different processes, but once you know how to write, the sky is the limit!

I hope you enjoy Susin’s experience of both worlds!

Susin Nielsen Writing for TV Versus Writing YA Novels

 Susin 1

Writing for TV is great fun largely because it is so collaborative. When I work on a TV show I tend to work with a group of writers, in a room, and the energy is high (as is the hilarity. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I have in a story room). And everything is very, very structured. You have to follow a pattern: Story idea, beat sheets, multiple outlines – before you go to draft. There are usually a lot of layers of people who need to approve what you’re doing (and some who try to water it down or change it dramatically). These steps are very necessary because a TV show is very structured; you’re writing to act breaks, they have to be a very specific length. Every beat needs to move the story forward.  And, very important, you have to know how to work fast, and meet pressing deadlines.

Click for blurb!

I think there are definitely transferable skills that I bring to my book writing. I love writing dialogue, and I think I’m reasonably good at it because of all my TV training. I like to think I’m decent at writing to chapter endings that make you want to keep reading, much like act breaks. I think I’m pretty good at cutting out flab, “dead zones” in a manuscript where energy flags.

Click for blurb!

What I had to work on, however, was layering in description – I had to remember that books aren’t a visual medium! And when I write my books, I take a very free-flowing approach. As in, I just sit down and start writing. I obviously have an idea, and a few more ideas about where the story might be headed. But then I just have to sit down and start writing, and see where things take me. Some days I’m taken in great directions, other days not so much. But I never outline, which I find very liberating. The books are definitely much harder to write because I’m alone in a room and it all has to come from me. But it’s also incredibly gratifying when it “works.” And I also love that I can slow things down once in a while (without causing a dead zone!) and spend more time with the internal thoughts of my characters. You can’t really do that in TV.

Thank you Susin



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s