Kendra: I share a publisher with Lee, and we both belong to a small unauthorized author group where we share or vent about our experiences. We haven’t met in person unless you count last year at BEA. I was chatting with a group from our publisher when Lee walked by and was greeted by some of the group. My husband immediately geeked out. “That was Lee Goldberg!” Thank you for being here today, Lee!
I am a TV writer and novelist, but for most of my career, the majority of my work has been done in episodic television where collaboration is the norm.
In TV, you work for the Executive Producer, who is often the creator of the show, and with a room full of other writers. Your job is to tell a story the way the EP does, to establish and maintain a shared vision of the show and voice for the characters. You plot stories with other writers and often rewrite each other or just an scene or act of someone else’s script. (This is even true when you are the EP — you may be in charge, but you need to run the writers room, guide the plotting of stories, and usually have to do a polish on every script). Working this way gives you a real objectivity about your work and a willingness to accept feedback and other points-of-view without your ego getting bruised. It’s all about the show, not you.