Joss Whedon Can't Write Until The Whole Idea Is Ready

Different writers deal with the question of how to get started in different ways. For legendary TV and film writer Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the time to start writing is after the entire idea has formed and been worked over in his head.

Picture by gageskidmore

I attended Whedon's talk at the Melbourne Writer's Festival last week and wrote up some of the more notable points for Gizmodo, but the remarks that struck me in a Lifehacker context were when Whedon discusses how he deals with the writing process:

Most of my writing is done on my feet, and then when it feels right I put it on the page. It doesn't mean somebody won't change it or I won't decide to change it but at that time it's the be-all and end-all . I don't like putting something on the page that I go 'I don't know, let's see if it works, let's see where it goes'. I have to know exactly where it's going, what I'm aiming for.

I write the moment that I'm dying to have and then the next moment I'm dying to have, so I always eat dessert first. I'll just write whatever I love and then I'll have enough done that I can do the expositional stuff, I can get there, I can do the boring work because I already have the big piece in place.

Whedon's longevity is testament to the success of that approach for him, but other writers get more done by having a large list of projects to work on or the right physical environment. One thing that's hard for any writer to escape is the conviction that a different project might satisfy them more. Asked what he wants to be doing in ten years' time, Whedon replied:

Let's see me taking a break, let's see me finishing that novel. I'd like to finish a book.


Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now