Don’t be Afraid to Go There in Your Writing

I’m a fan of the AMC series Mad Men, which I’ve been re-watching. So smartly written and superbly acted, and its attention to detail in the setting—1960s New York ad world—is fantastic. Among the many episodes and scenes that have stayed with me, the one that stands out is from the first season—Episode 9, “Shoot” (written by Chris Provenzano and series creator Matthew Weiner ). The title is a play on words, for in the episode there’s a photo shoot, and at the end another kind of shoot, which I’ll get to in a moment. In this one, Betty Draper—perfectly played by the incandescent January Jones—is given a (seemingly) out-of-nowhere offer to become the new face of Coca-Cola. She had done some modeling before marrying Don Draper and taking on the duties of a full-time housewife. Betty is flattered and excited. It’s a chance to break out of the routine she’s in, to escape some of the mundane problems she has to deal with at home. One of those problems is a neighbor who raises pigeons. The man chewed out Betty’s kids for letting their dog attack one of his free-flying birds. He threatens to shoot the dog if it happens again. Now Betty has this opportunity! An exec at McCann-Erickson, one of the big agencies, calls her into a studio for a photographic session.

Source: Don’t be Afraid to Go There in Your Writing

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