The Gospel According to Amy Sherman-Palladino

Where Amy Sherman-Palladino leads, I will follow.

As a long-time groupie, short-time blogger I knew I wanted to cover advice from the one and only wickedly funny Sherman-Palladino. When I was younger, I used to watch Gilmore Girls with the subtitles on so I wouldn’t miss a single reference. I would then cross-reference said references with the Gilmore Girl’s season handbook explaining all of the things a typical 13 year old would miss. I was in awe back then and still now. So let’s dive in to advice from the creator of Gilmore Girls and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

  1. Fall in Love with Your Story“I don’t believe you should go into any project with a shot in hell of succeeding if you have a specific zeitgeist desire. It just can’t work. You have to fall in love with your story and what you want to tell people, and live in a world that you’re gonna enjoy for a while, and hope to drag some people along with you.” (Rolling Stones Interview)
  2. Start with Your Main Character – “You always start with your characters, like your main characters…who are these women, what are they to each other, what do they love…really it all starts from what’s your center and should go out from there.”
  3. Know the Subtext as Well as the Plot“Always make the big small and the small big. It’s not about the plot, it’s about the people… The truth of what the characters are feeling has to be the most important thing you put out there.” (Variety Interview)
  4. Create Diverse Characters – “Different is sometimes not the easiest thing to embrace but that’s true of life so if we want people to embrace more Melissa McCarthy’s and more complicated parts…we’ve gotta keep writing the parts, we’ve got to keep fighting the fights…anything worth doing is a fight.”
  5. Create Flawed Characters – “Sometimes people who have the biggest journey to take are the most interesting characters in the end.” (Rolling Stones Interview)
  6. Have a Plan for the Writing’s Future – “One thing Dan and I have always done, we’ve always made sure that anything we pitch, we can see at least five years in our heads. If you can’t, there’s nothing worse in life than, We have a great pilot and then it’s like, now what do we do? It’s very torturous. ” (WGA Interview)
  7. Write Engaging Dialogue – “If you know what your scene is and you really really know your characters and you really hear them, it just kind of happens and it’s a mysterious process.”
  8. Write the Story The Way You Want To Write It – “We really just set out to do stories the way we like them and the way we feel is the most impactful, so that there’s a satisfying journey and you never leave one without feeling like you’ve been through Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” (WGA Interview)
  9. Be a Fearless Writer “People make terrible mistakes in the fear of being fired. And it’s better to be fired than to compromise on something that is going to destroy what you had in the first place.” (BAFTA interview)
  10. Believe in Your Writing – “If someone comes to you and says, “Well, do it this way,” it’s not being a —- to say, “Well, I don’t wanna do it that way.” It’s literally like, “The journey is this way. So you’re telling me to write something I don’t see.” And writing is not like millwork. It’s not like putting a car together, where you know if you put the wheel on the thing, eventually it’ll go. It’s a different thing. You have to see it, otherwise you can’t do it.”

So there it is! 10 pieces of advice from a woman capable of making people feel something thanks to her writing.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all crave?

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