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Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker gives his two top tips for writers

Discomfort and acknowledgement of your terrible first drafts are essential for success, says Brooker

Published: Wednesday, 19th April 2017 at 4:24 pm

Ever wanted to write for TV, film or another sphere with the success of Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker? Well, the popular screenwriter has given some advice that might just help you realise that dream – assuming you have the right sort of desk, that is.


Speaking to backstage at the BFI & Radio Times festival earlier this month ahead of his talk on how to write for TV, Brooker took the time to share a few of his own personal writing tricks, which he said helped get him through the difficult process of scriptwriting.

“I think a lot of the tips I give would be really quite basic and nuts and bolts,” Brooker told us in an exclusive video interview (see below).

“And because I seem to write in lots of different genres, there’s probably lots of different things I could say. So I’ve written in comedy writing rooms, or I’ve written dramas on my own, that kind of thing.”

Soon, Brooker moved on to brass tacks, though his first tip was a little unorthodox – make your life as uncomfortable as possible as a way to eliminate procrastination.

“My advice at the moment would be write standing up!” Brooker revealed. “That’s the thing I’ve started doing recently. Once I know what the storyline is, I do the first draft standing up.

“I haven’t got a fancy standing desk, I’ve just got a little plinth that I can put a laptop on,” he added.

“Because it’s slightly uncomfortable you don’t waste time googling stuff, basically. You just get on with it. So that would be one piece of advice.”

Tip number two, meanwhile, was a little more conceptual, giving inexperienced writers some perspective about the quality of their first attempts.

“Bear in mind that the first draft of anything is always TERRIBLE, basically,” Brooker explained.

“You just have to keep going. It’s called the puke draft, or the vomit draft, that first draft. You just have to keep going.”

Hopefully, any budding writers will take his words to heart and go off to their projects inspired, determined – and with slightly tired legs.


Black Mirror is available to stream on Netflix now


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