Walking Dead production photo by Gene Page for AMC.
Walking Dead production photo by Gene Page for AMC.

Which Way to the Writers’ Room?

I excitedly marched through the halls of AMC Studios, rounding each corner more quickly than the last.

Writers’ room, I said to myself. Writers’room.

My legs propelled me forward, faster and faster with each passing second. My heart was beating with excitement as I approached the writer’s room for The Walking Dead, a horror-drama show chronicling the few survivors of a zombie outbreak. The thought of having the opportunity to be able to determine the major events of one of my favorite television shows almost—almost—brought tears to my eyes.

The excitement turned to nausea as I imagined the other writers’ reactions as I entered the room.

Would they scoff at me? I thought. They probably won’t give my ideas the time of day.

I stopped in my tracks before the glass door of the writers’ room, second guessing every one of my abilities. With the blinds drawn over the windows and the door, my imagination forced a picture into my mind as to what was behind them: Six, maybe seven, writers all working intently, bouncing ideas off of one another, trying to create the most interesting scenarios for their post-apocalyptic series. Papers flying left and right. Writers yelling in frustration as their old ideas crumble and laughing as new ones emerge.

You can do this, I told myself.

I took a deep breathe, and with my arm extended, I pushed through the door.

The rest was a bit confusing, but that’s probably because I woke up in my bed, near convulsing from the unbelievably cold air blowing through the window.

“Well, this sucks,” I said to my roommate, who was half asleep.

This dream of mine did have an upside—it made me think of my future and how my college studies were relating to real-world careers. One class came to mind, “Writing for Television.”

In this class, we learn skills in order to be successful writers in the real world. Script writing is the focus, and characters, worlds, genres, and more are thrown into the mix. We learn the essential steps for developing each episode successfully and keeping viewers intrigued as well.

The material is much different than most other classes. And we have so much fun, it almost doesn’t feel real. The three-hour class on Tuesday nights flies by. My mind races in each session, quickly developing plots and characters and worlds.

My dream turned the gears in my mind and made me wonder what my classes are truly doing for my future. “Writing for Television” has answered my question. The technical skills I’m learning each class along with my imagination are beginning to shape my future, bringing me closer and closer to pushing that writers’ room door open. Only this time, I’ll see what’s on the other side.

Credit: Walking Dead production photo by Gene Page for AMC