Wynonna Earp’s Emily Andras on How to Write Damn Good TV for Women

@HayleyBupp
@HayleyBupp

If you’re a writer and think no one wants to hear your voice, think again. “Now is the time,” Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras reminded the audience in “Bring Your Own Bulletproof Vest – How to Write Damn Good TV for Women.” The writing workshop, which she recently ran at ClexaCon, a convention that celebrated LGBTQ women in entertainment, was held March 3-5 at Bally’s in Las Vegas. It was a highlight for many able to buy a ticket for entrance and The TV Junkies were among the lucky ones in attendance.

Andras kicked off the two hour workshop with a brief history of how she got into writing, crediting her mother with “not being a snob” and introducing her to all kinds of television from St. Elsewhere and Bob Newhart to Days of Our Lives. She also recalled a pivotal moment in her own career where she met Michelle Lovretta, creator of Lost Girl and Killjoys, on the set of Instant Star. An overwhelming amount of attendees enthusiastically raised their hands when Andras asked if they considered themselves to be a writer.

During the workshop she discussed what characteristics she considers to be vitally important for her female characters — something one would say she knows a thing or two about having written on not only Wynonna Earp, but also Killjoys and Lost Girl. Since most of those in attendance were fans of Wynonna, Andras used the show as an example when talking about script structure and the makings of a successful scene.

Staying true to the interactive nature she displayed all weekend long at the convention, Andras engaged with the audience regularly, answering questions and even setting them to task with a writing exercise or two. The crowd proved to really know the show and came up with some really fun ideas about possible Wynonna Earp plot lines involving the popular WayHaught couple, aka Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkely) and Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell).

Andras made sure to talk about many other responsibilities that writing brings along with it, including pitching. For many, she said that pitching can be the “scariest part of being a television writer,” and she shared advice on tactics that work for her. She also highlighted the importance of characters over story and why “ideas are not your currency. Execution is your currency.”

In closing, Andras sent the attendees off with some advice, telling them to make sure that their voices are heard. There are changes happening in the system and there is no time like the present for young writers to succeed. She left the group on a positive note that “something else is happening where we are looking for more diverse voices. Now is the time! There is an audience for it.”

 

Looking forward to Season 2 of Wynonna Earp? Did you attend Andras’ workshop? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Wynonna Earp Season 1 arrives on Netflix in the US and Canada in May. Season 2 premieres in 2017.

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