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    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: There is some connection, yes.
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 8/1/1993 10:55:00 AM  

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There is some connection, yes.

As to how I came up with the new characters, it was done the old
fashioned way: I thunk them up. This series doesn't work like many others;
this isn't done by committee, we don't bat stuff around on this kind of level.
(And, in fact, until recently adding Harlan, there *was* no one with whom to
bat stuff around, this has been a one-man writing and editing team.) I knew
the functions these characters had to fill, and tried to come up with what I
thought would be strong, interesting characters. People I'd be interested in
watching. And from that came the characters.

We've recently, as of this past week, added a story editor to the staff,
Larry DiTillio. Which now makes three. But there's an implicit understanding
that this is a story that I want to tell, and I generally need to have final
word on characters, stories and everything else that involves the scripts.
Both Harlan and Larry are willing to defer to the reality that this is my
universe. I don't mean that to sound like an ego thing, because it's not.
It's no different than writing a novel; I know where the story has to go when
it hits the end, and we have to be sure not to fall off the tracks. I didn't
fight six years to get this show on the air to turn it over to a committee.

I know already that that is going to be probably my biggest problem when
it comes to this series: turning over parts of it to other people. Letting
go. But it's necessary.

It's important, though, to clarify the difference between letting people
go where they want within a script, so that I can let Larry or Harlan or
others have their own head, as opposed to general changes that might affect
the story arc, which is a different category altogether. The two of them have
already had some great ideas on fleshing out some of the characters now that
they're established, have expanded the universe and clarified many of the
rules, the ideas, background stuff and so on.

I selected Larry as story editor because he's someone I've worked with
dozens of times over nearly ten years; we know how one another works, to the
point where we can shorthand a lot of stuff in meetings, which saves a lot of
time. He's an excellent script doctor when it comes to rewriting freelance
scripts. And he's one of the country's foremost role playing game designers;
he's great on campaigns and coming up with huge sagas, and I need someone who
can think on that kind of scale.

The other reason I had for selecting Harlan and Larry to work with, aside
from their skills as writers, is that they're both two very strong individuals
who won't be intimidated...*can't* be intimidated...and will fight for what
they think is right. I feel that's very important. So they both give me an
endless hard time. Which is needed for the mix.


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