And here's the last one, number 10:
People have commented on the passion instalment how they were pleased to see it there as it's the kind of thing you don't usually get in script writing books etc. I think being yourself is just as important. Writersroom is primarily in the market for finding people to develop. If we find a great script that goes on to be made, then that's brilliant. And it can happen. But the most important thing is to find original voices and writers we believe can go on to great things. And the only way to do this is for you the writer to be yourself.
We want an individual voice. A distinct voice. A writer with something to say and an original, surprising, unique way of saying it. By this, I don't mean wacky and unconventional for the sake of it; I mean a writer whose passion for an idea, for characters, for a subject, for the need to write, whose understanding of the important of stories and storytelling, literally drips off the page.
It's hard to express and define precisely what this 'thing' actually is, but one way of describing it is a writer who has written a script that no other writer you know would have written the same way - has tackled an idea, imagined a world, voiced a character, engaged my attention in ways that no-one else would.
Crucial in this is to make sure you are not 'sub'-anybody. Of course, you will have writing heroes and heroines, people whose style you love, whose very individuality you wish to emulate in your way. But it's unfortunately far too frequent that I find myself reading a stage play that is sub-Beckett/Pinter/Kane, or a film that is sub-Charlie Kaufman, or a TV script that is sub-Paul Abbott etc etc etc. It can take a while and will certainly take a lot of hard work, but you need to learn how to follow your own instincts and forge your own path.
There are a great many writers out there. Some have more and less experience, and most are trying to break through. The last thing anyone in the industry wants is an automaton that simply churns out scripts. It may be that for a variety of reasons and circumstances, a finished production/episode can seem like it's emanated from the metallic hand of a robot. But it's almost certainly the case that at an early stage in the process a writer has been commissioned because someone somewhere is genuinely excited about them and believes they will deliver something special. At worst, they will commission someone they know can deliver on the evidence of their success in the past. At every stage, you commission an individual rather than a machine.
So, you need to invest time, energy, thought and work in what it is that's unique about you and what you have to offer. And then you need to make your scripts somehow express that you-ness. Because when all's said and done, when I've run through all the things - idea, world, characters, coherence, structure, dialogue, surprise etc etc etc - that figure in my thinking, I'm usually left with a gut instinct about whether any given writer simply makes me want to send that email or make that call and say: when can you come in for a chat?