Arts & Entertainment

The Duffer Brothers’ Writing Approach

The Duffer Brothers

Lesson time 11:34 min

It’s important to develop good writing habits as you begin to flesh out your series idea. The brothers share their tips for holding themselves accountable, staying disciplined, and finishing their scripts.

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Topics include: Setting Up A Routine • Don't Get Lost In The Woods • Find Someone To Be Your Sounding Board • Assignment Find Someone You Can Trust Who can serve as a soudning board for your ideas and help keep you accountable to deadlines


[MUSIC PLAYING] - We love writing. It is a fun process. Yes, it is frustrating at times. It gets scary at times. You get stuck. It doesn't feel like you're ever going to get unstuck sometimes. But what we try to do with this class is show you our process, because this is the process that we found, for us, made the writing process as smooth as possible. - And as fun as possible. - And as fun as possible. And of course, there are bumps along the way. We've written outlines that don't work. We've written scripts that don't work. But that's okay. We at least now know when stuff isn't working. We know how to go about solving those issues. That makes it a lot less stressful and a lot more-- less pressure on us. And that allows us to enjoy it a lot more. - In fact, I would say there was a point in our life-- there was, like, a two to four years part of our lives where writing was really painful and not fun. It felt like torture. - Pulling teeth. - Yeah, it felt like pulling teeth. If it's feeling like torture to you, you may be doing something wrong. And so that's what we realized. It was like, it's not that we didn't enjoy writing. It was that we were approaching it in the wrong way. So if it is feeling like that to you, that doesn't mean you're not meant to be a writer or anything like that. It just means that your process should probably change. Hopefully, our process doesn't make it feel like torture. But if it's not working for you, you will find, hopefully, your own process that works. [MUSIC PLAYING] Before we get into you doing anything writing related, I think we have to talk about one of the least fun parts of the process, which is writing habits. But I cannot tell you how many people we know, how many people, aspiring writers or whatever, this is the downfall in that. It's so easy to just not write anything. It's so easy to-- - Procrastinate. - --procrastinate, to delay, to stare at a blank page, to surf the internet. And before you know it, you've lost two years, and you have 10 pages. So it is important to develop something of a routine for yourself. It's very, very difficult to focus. I'll tell you a little bit how Ross and I do it and how we focus. We certainly don't stay focused throughout the entire day. But we do our very best. We keep each other in check. That helps. But if you don't have a writing partner, that's fine, too. We like to start really early in the morning. Like, we think-- if I'm not going right away, if my brain isn't locked into writing mode, whatever that is, early morning, then I'm going to fall apart. I'm not going to be able to start mid-afternoon. I mean, sometimes we'll have stuff now with "Stranger Things" where we're trying to start writing at, like, 2:00 PM. And it's always a disaster. So we've got to get started right away with that cup of coffee. And then we give ourselves a long time to write. Like, we write from roug...

About the Instructor

Before they turned our world upside down with "Stranger Things," Matt and Ross Duffer honed their scare tactics on Wayward Pines and their debut thriller, Hidden. Now, the acclaimed showrunners reveal the dark science of creating a monster hit. Craft gripping story arcs, conjure unforgettable characters—like Eleven or Jim Hopper—and turn your raw idea into a pitch for the next big thing to cross over from the other side.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

The Duffer Brothers

Matt and Ross Duffer—the "Stranger Things" masterminds—teach you how they plotted the series from beginning to end, and how you can bring your own idea to life.

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