chapter  2
The write approach
WithDavid Landau, David Bennett Carren
Pages 7

In this chapter, we will study how a writer can decide on a style; an approach, tone, or point of view that defines the nature of a story that is consistent, motivated, and distinctive. The style of a story can be as important as the story itself. Whether it’s the emotional methodology which integrated the musical numbers into the lead character’s experience in the musical feature Chicago or the psychological tension that permeates every scene in A Beautiful Mind, style can matter as much as substance. However, while a screenwriter has unlimited freedom to develop any conceivable style in any original project they decide to create, the situation is radically different in television where the show runner and/or creator of a series establishes the tone or approach. In television, the writer must mimic the showrunner’s style as it pertains to the series’ premise, world, story choices and characters, as well as the specific voices of those characters. We will analyze how the pilots for The Walking Dead and Billions establish a motivated and consistent style that not only serves their respective series but is also suitable to their distinct genres.