TV writing advice

Writing is hard work, no matter what your medium.  As the German novelist Thomas Mann once said, “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”  Journalist Gene Fowler joked, “Writing is easy.  All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Writing for television can be even more difficult, because you’re not just working with words.  So it never surprises me when excellent TV reporters say they’ve struggled with their writing, especially early in their careers.

Peter Rosen, who won the 2008 NPPA writing award, says writing for TV is about not writing; it’s about letting pictures and sound tell the story.  But the words still matter, and over the years Rosen has learned a few things about how to put them together.

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