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Pulling Your Hair Out: Conversations About The Writing Process

TV writer Richard Lowe talks with writers about how they write and what drives them to pull their hair out.
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Aug 16, 2017
Stephanie Coggins spent much of her early life writing stories. As an undergrad at the University of Michigan, Stephanie kept her creative juices flowing by contributing pop culture articles to several campus newspapers, and it wasn’t long before she was accepted into USC’s graduate film program at the School of Cinematic Arts.  Since then, Stephanie has participated in NBC’s Writers on the Verge program, has had her work featured in NBC’s annual Scene Showcase in Los Angeles and New York, and had a half-hour pilot place in 2016 Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest. Additionally, Stephanie has been selected as a Finalist for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Disney|ABC Writing Program. She is currently the Showrunner’s assistant on BET’s Being Mary Jane. In her free time, Stephanie watches old episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
 
"With drama, I feel like I do a lot of the same things that I did with comedy, I just leave out the jokes... The objective isn't to make you laugh. The objective is to make you feel something."
 
Stephanie Coggins on Twitter
Stephanie's podcast Cinemacraptaculus

 

 
 
 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
Jul 12, 2017
Ross Zimmerman is a TV writer who recently completed writing his second episode of the Disney XD live-action/animation-hybrid kids show ‘Kirby Buckets.’ He also wrote and produced the pilot for the online series ‘Geex’ and has pitched an animated series to multiple networks. He has worked on over 28 different film and television productions during the course of his career, including the final season of 'How I Met Your Mother,' as he worked his way up through the ranks from intern to PA to Script Coordinator to earning his first writing credits.
 
"Writers just go and they write and they do it. You can't not write."
 
Ross Zimmerman on Twitter
Kirby Buckets on Disney XD
The War of Art
Final Draft
Sticky Notes

 

  

 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
Jun 28, 2017
Mike Roe is a writer based in Los Angeles. His sitcom pilot “Student Government” made it to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Austin Film Festival screenplay competition. It also received a staged reading at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and a fully staged production at the Pack Theater. Mike writes and performs with Pack Theater house team Dandy and writes for topical sketch comedy show Top Story Weekly. He was also a finalist for NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop. By day, he works as a journalist for NPR affiliate KPCC, covering news and pop culture. His pop culture coverage earned him a nomination for a National Entertainment Journalism award.
 
"We locked ourselves in the hotel and just wrote for a weekend, to just go write somewhere else and not be distracted by our television or our books or being near stuff."
 
Mike Roe on Twitter
The Pack Theater
The sketch team Dandy
Top Story Weekly
Scrivener
KPCC

 

  

 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
Jun 14, 2017
Paul Ditty is a TV writer. His first writing “break” came in the form of a book when his satire of Nancy Drew books, “The Straight Shooter: A Nate Dainty Manhunt” was published in 2010. Most recently, Paul’s dramatic comedy “Thoroughly Mormon Millie” was a second rounder at Austin Film Festival and his “Mindy Project” spec was a top-three finalist in Final Draft’s Big Break Competition. Currently, Paul lives in Long Beach with his husband Eddie along with their cat, dog and drought tolerant yard.
 
"Four years ago I couldn't have [written an hour-long script]. I needed the practice of writing. But writing this half-hour about the weight loss left me really dissastisfied. It made me realize, "You know what, I want to tell longer stores." Not because I don't want to edit, but because I just feel like sometimes when I write something there's a lot more to tell about it. So the good thing about that script is that it did bring me to the decision to write "Millie" as an hour."
 
Paul Ditty on Twitter
Freedom app
The Pomodoro Technique

  

 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
May 31, 2017
April Shih is a comedy writer in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Southern California, April attended film school at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She wrote, directed, and produced the indie feature “You, Only Better,” and has produced several plays including the Ovation Award-winning revival of "Kiss of the Spiderwoman: The Musical." April spent two years playing professional poker in Las Vegas before completing her degree in English Creative Writing (Playwriting) at Cal State Northridge. April was a Top 3-finalist of the Final Draft Big Break contest, winner of the TV Academy Foundation comedy writing internship, and most recently was a fellow in the 2017 CAPE New Writers Fellowship.
 
"I ask my friends all the time, "What do you think my weaknesses are, what do you think my strengths are?" And it is interesting to me when I check in every six months or every year and it starts changing. That's when it's interesting to me, because it's like, "Oh, I can get better at something.""
 
April Shih on Twitter
Script Anatomy Writing Workshop
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Old Fashioned
 
 
 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
May 17, 2017
Kiyong Kim was born in Korea and grew up in Los Angeles before going to art school in Boston. He studied Illustration at the Massachusetts College of Art, and took creative writing classes at Emerson College where he first discovered what a script was. After graduating, he moved back to Los Angeles and focused on writing and directing. His first script, “Brobot”, placed 4th in the Slamdance Screenwriting Competition. Since then, he’s written and directed short films that have won contests, played at festivals, and have been licensed for distribution. Kiyong decided to focus on television writing, and was chosen for the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship, the NBC Writers on the Verge program, and the CAAM Fellowship, where Kourtney Kang was his mentor.
 
He works full time as a Graphic Designer pushing pixels around by day, and works on scripts and an animated web series on nights and weekends.
 
“I need to see the small wins for me. And make it an achievable thing to aim for. Otherwise it's so overwhelming, this thing that we're trying to do.”
 
Kiyong Kim on Twitter and his blog
Nickelodeon Writing Program
NBC Writers on the Verge
Center for Asian-American Media
 
 
 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
 
May 3, 2017
Melynda Bissmeyer is a grad of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has developed and managed projects and productions in film, theater and new media for MTV Networks, Blue Man Group and Fox and worked as a freelance journalist for Premiere, Spin, Rolling Stone, Conde Nast Travel and The Village Voice. Her television scripts have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Scriptapalooza, the Page Screenwriting Awards and Final Draft’s Big Break. She currently has a feature in development with producer Emily Ting of Unbound Feet Productions.
 
The biggest thing for me is I will be very open to notes about plot and structure and characters. But the one thing I do know is I know my voice as a writer and I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m not as good at.
 
Melynda Bissmeyer on Twitter
 
 
 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
Apr 19, 2017
Joanne Lee is a comedy writer whose pilot, "Unplanned," finished in the top ten of the 2017 Final Draft Big Break contest. She studied improvisation and sketch writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and performed stand up in New York City. She is repped by APA.
 
"I believe ideas are living energies and they come to you. If you don't foster them and you don't commit to them, they'll go to somebody else. I do think it's a magical thing from the other side that you're trying to bring to life."
 
Script Anatomy Writing Workshop
The WGA Library
The Den Meditation Studio
"Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert
Fleabag on Amazon Prime
 
 
 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
Apr 5, 2017
Nihar Patel has been a writer/producer on comedy variety shows and pilots for ABC, AMC, Nickelodeon, Current, and created scripted series’ for YouTube Channels Awesomeness TV, Rhett & Link, and yomyomf. He has written humor pieces for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Splitsider, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vice.com, and had a feature film script optioned in 2010. He has also worked as a director of TV sketch and field comedy, most recently for TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
 
He began his career working as a producer/reporter for NPR. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where he spent most of his time working at his parents’ video store.
 
“This is something now that I’ve been able to look at over maybe 15 years of writing... I feel like if [the piece] was ultimately driven a little bit by what I was feeling rather than what I was thinking, I tend to think I am investing more in it.”
 
Nihar Patel on Twitter
"Yes, I Have Seen Master of None" on McSweeney's
 
 
 
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Pulling Your Hair Out is produced and hosted by Richard Lowe. Music by Joshua Moshier.
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