Advice from the Masters: Gene Roddenberry

Sep 7, 2016 | Better Writing

Gene Roddenberry is the fellow responsible for the original Star Trek television series It went on the air for the first time on September 8, 1966. Since then, the “franchise” has produced four more television series, thirteen movies, and all kinds of products. Trekkies have conventions where they exchange Star Trek memorabilia, information, and gossip. Phrases like “Beam me up, Scotty” have made their way into common conversation. Wow.

Roddenberry didn’t write all the shows. But he did write a marvelous manual called the “Star Trek Writers/Directors Guide.” The following bit of storytelling advice comes from that manual.

“Tell your story about people, not about science and gadgetry. Joe Friday doesn’t stop to explain the mechanics of his .38 before he uses it; Kildare never did a monologue about the theory of anesthetics; Matt Dillon never identifies and discusses the breed of his horse before he rides off on it.”

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts

If you want even more writing advice from writers, check out Jon Winokur’s blog, “AdvicetoWriters.”

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