TITLE: Pair Programming, Script Writing Edition AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 09, 2017 1:22 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Screenwriter Ken Levine answers one of his Friday Questions about how he and writing partner David Isaacs worked:
We always worked on the same script. And we always worked together in the room. Lots of teams will divide up scenes, write separately, then return to either polish it together or rewrite each other's scenes on their own. We wrote head-to-head. To us the value of a partnership is to get immediate feedback from someone you trust, and more importantly, have someone to go to lunch with.
It sounds like Levine and Isaacs (MASH, Cheers, Frasier, ...) discovered the benefits of pair programming in their own line of work. I liked the second part of his answer, too, about whether they ever gave up on a script once they starting writing it:
Nothing gets done unless both team members are committed to it. Once we began to write a spec there was never any discussion of just junking or tabling it to work on something else. We would struggle at times with the story or certain jokes but we always fought our way through it. Wrestling scripts to the ground is excellent training for when you do go on staff.
Wrestling code to the ground is excellent training for what you have to do as a developer, too. On those occasions when what you thought was a good idea turns out to be a bad one, it is wise to pitch it and move on. But it's too easy to blame difficulty in the trenches on the idea. Often, the difficulty is a hint that you need to work harder or dig deeper. Pairing with another programmer often provides the support you need to stick with it. -----