Okay, first a disclaimer: no one method of creating a story is
intrinsically better or worse than any other...it depends on what works
for you. Telling someone how to make their story is like telling someone
how to have sex; sometimes the suggestion is well received, but generally
you just piss the other person off.
To the heart of your question now....
As you note, the ST shows use a process called "breaking" a story;
in which you get everybody in a room, they all begin kicking around ideas,
picking at the story, while someone writes down on a board what the group
comes up with.
I don't use that, and frankly, I hate it. What happens, I feel, is
that a group dynamic comes into the picture and you get something that
has been committee-ized, and there's no longer any one distinctive
voice. It goes through so many diverse hands that by the end all of the
corners have been knocked off. When I look at most committee-ized
stories, regardless of show, my usual reaction is, "It took TEN of you to
I sit down, I come up with a story I like, I pull it apart to make
sure it makes sense, and I write it. When a freelancer works with me, I
assign the notion, or listen to the pitch, and then send the writer away
to work up the story into an outline. Then we discuss it, one on one.
Then it gets written, and sometimes I rewrite it afterwards if needed.
There are no creative committees in B5; that's why you never see more than
one name on a script. Whether it's a freelancer or an in-house script,
we respect the original voice of the individual writer.