Questions for Jane

Okay, Jane Espenson will be here tomorrow, so now’s the time to post some questions so she knows what you want to talk about. (Can you tell this is my first guest blogger? Not organized here.)

What do you want to know?

20 thoughts on “Questions for Jane

  1. Jane, what do you like to read? Do you read for pleasure or do you find it hard to turn off the internal analyzer? If you were going to recommend a tv series for writers to watch for great plotting and character development, what would it be?

    What’s your favorite Buffy episode?

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  2. Hi Jane,

    Are you still doing any writing for Battlestar Galactica?
    Among those anxiously awaiting Razor and Season 4…..

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  3. I am a huge fan of Buffy, Firefly, Serenity. I have always wondered why Inara left her companion house? and ended up working around the outer planets. Also if Shepherd Book used to be an Operative

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  4. Coming from a place where American TV shows arrive a) with a time lag, b) dubbed in German and c) only in reduced quantity (never heard of ‘Pushing Daisies’, for example), I have a few rather basic questions.

    Such as: how far do producers/ writers do research on the viewer’s taste before they get started? (I know that they enlarge characters or let them disappear, depending on the reactions, but how much do they let you experiment in the first place?)

    Do you think there is a ‘typically American’ taste? (I think there is, at least in humor.)

    Would you sometimes like to show a character in more detail but feel fenced in by the time frame?

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  5. Not a question, just…total worship. Jane Espenson was responsible for some of my favorite Buffy moments.

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  6. I often see what looks and sounds like film comedy or television comedy in novels, and it falls short on the page as if the author is trying too hard to be funny. (Or at least for me but I’ve got a weird sense of humor.) I love when an author can write a totally unexpected line that makes me laugh out loud, are there big differences in writing comedy for a script as opposed to a novel?

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  7. Jane –

    In the last few years I am more often turning to cable for well written television shows. Is it my imagination, or are networks are less inclined these days to stand behind good programs that aren’t instant hits? And do you think that well written shows still have a chance on network television?

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  8. Jane,

    If you could wave a magic wand and write a sequel to any film or TV series, what would it be and who would be in it?

    And thank you for Buffy, Firefly and Serenity. You are indeed a big damn hero.

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  9. As a television writer what impresses you in an episode that the rest of us might not notice? When was the last time you watched tv and thought “gee, I wish I’d written that.” Why did the episode impress you?

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  10. A lot of shows on your resume are ensemble casts with one or two breakout characters (Buffy, Lorelei, Starbuck – three of my absolute faves, anyway). How do you balance giving “secondary” characters enough screen/page time, getting readers or viewers to connect to those characters even though they are maybe not the main “draw” to the show?

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  11. Is a talent for dialogue a prerequisite for writing screenplays? If you’re good at writing dialogue, does that mean screenplays will be easier to write than novels? Or does it matter?

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  12. Oh, and one more. Jenny’s taught a lot about how to handle exposition. I read one of your blog posts about exposition — about “hiding the pipe.” Could you elaborate on that some? I thought it was brilliant. (Love your blog.)

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  13. Will she adopt me and let me live in her garage?

    Barring that- do you think screenwriting courses such as McKee’s workshop are useful for novelists hoping to try out the screenwriting world as well?

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  14. I’m a huge fan of Battlestar Galactica, and there are moments after a particularly well executed episode that I want to run to my computer and write before I run out of the energy from the contact high.

    Are there any tv series/movies/books that give you a kick-start or inspiration rush to write?

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  15. Hi Jane,
    What comes first in writing graphic novels? Does the text follow the graphic or vice versa?
    And also in a graphic novel do you simply play with the dialogue and leave the rest up to the graphics? A very fun idea by the way.
    Oh, and I liked your blog.

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