Home Contact Biography Works Media News

Jane Recommends
Who Hates Whom / Bob Harris

Who Hates Whom: Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up A Woefully Incomplete Guide by Bob Harris

"The geopolitical equivalent of scorecards that get hawked at ball games. Only Bob could make a user’s guide to our increasingly hostile world this absorbing, this breezy, and—ultimately—this hopeful."
~ Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac


Jane in Print
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe, edited by Jane Espenson

Flirting with Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece, edited by Jennifer Crusie and including Jane Espenson's short story, "Georgiana"

Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly, edited by Jane Espenson and Glenn Yeffeth

Jane in DVD

Jane in DVD

Now Available:
+Battlestar Galactica Season 3
+Dinosaurs Seasons 3 & 4
+Gilmore Girls Season 4
+Buffy: The Chosen Collection
+Tru Calling
+Angel: Limited Edition Collectors Set

Jane in Progress


Home » Archives » November 2007 » On Pencils and Previouslies
[Previous entry: "An Update on the Run..."] [Next entry: "...and have to trade places with a pencil prince"]

11/18/2007: On Pencils and Previouslies

I'm back! I hope you all noticed that while I was away, the amazing Pencils For Moguls project swung into motion. This is a chance for you guys to provide a measurable, visible symbol of the thing the striking writers couldn't readily rally or measure in 1988 -- fan support. Buy some pencils! I'm a fan as well as a writer, so I'm going to buy some, too.

Since it's been a while since I answered a question, I'm going to dig into the mailbag today. Dan in Pennsylvania writes in to ask about a technical difficulty that often occurs when you're writing a spec of a produced show with highly serialized story lines, like Desperate Housewives or Lost or Heroes. He's worried that his spec requires that the reader understand the point in the arc at which he's placing his spec. He asks, "Could one actually write in their spec a 'Previously on Desperate Housewives' sequence in order to take care of the exposition."

I've put off answering this question because I don't have a definitive answer. My instinct is against scripting a 'previously' because I'm afraid it'll look like you don't know that's not part of a standard script. It would be great if you didn't have to provide any set-up at all, actually, if you could make things clear enough in the script itself that even a less-than-informed reader could infer what they need to know from the script itself.

But if you really think the story requires set-up, I would recommend keeping it as brief as possible, a little header across the top of the first page (not the title page). Something like:

Note to readers: This episode follows these events... [list].

But that's just my instinct. The only people who really know the answer are the ones who read entries for the Disney and Warner's Brothers programs. The people who run those programs have my email address... so if they want to write in with their opinions, I will report them. In the meantime, good luck, Dan in Pennsylvania. I hope this helps. And buy pencils!

Lunch: nachos and a small Caesar salad at the Rainforest Cafe


Get Blog Updates Via Email

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
Jane recommends you also visit BobHarris.com



November 2007

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Powered By Greymatter
Greymatter Forums

Home | News | Works | Biography | Frequently Asked Questions

Site design Copyright © PM Carlson
This is a fan site owned and operated entirely by PM Carlson with the cooperation and assistance of Jane Espenson. This site is not affiliated in any way with Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox or ABC.