How To Write For Star Trek!

Hello everyone!

This is a little gem that I found while searching the internet. The 1967 Star Trek Writers/Directors Guide! This is something that should have been followed by all subsequent Star Trek anything. It tells how you should write a story that not only is compelling, but makes sense. It also states how you shouldn’t get caught up in or be bogged down by “technobabble”. Really in depth explanations about an object or technology. The later Treks are NOTORIOUS for this.

It also shows how a show is to be written on a budget and how it has to keep a certain amount of viewers coming back for more. The best way is to tell a story as you would in any other genre. Be it a Western, a crime drama, a period piece, etc. Make sure that there is a “family” of characters that the audience will care about, and put them in interesting and exciting situations.

A lot of the later Treks really moved away from this. This is one of the reasons that the original Star Trek has been popular for nearly FIFTY years! The original series ( or TOS as it’s become known) is a story driven drama. The later shows and films are character driven, instead. A huge mistake in my book. You don’t have a timeless tale to compel you, instead the characters themselves are the focus. Most of the time this is poorly done ( The Next Generation especially is guilty of this or TNG) and the shows are uninteresting and fall flat. Deep Space Nine (DS 9), Voyager and Enterprise are guilty of this to some degree, but TNG is by far the worst offender.

I hope that this will be an interesting look at a speculative fiction classic. It’s also a look at how a television series of the past was created and made relevant to this very day. Good writing, i.e., a good story should always be the most important thing. Special effects and the like should always take a back seat to the story. It’s why Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and so many others are still loved after all this time. They managed to do so much more with less in those days/ Their work really paid off and it left most of us wanting so much more.

Enjoy it and until next time! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

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  1. I just wanted to say that this topic is really a treat. I enjoy stories, and getting a look inside what made a hit show tick is always awesome. Many of the story telling points that the ST “bible”/guide brought up still holds true in today’s TV shows, books, movies etc. Always have to up the ante, stakes, dilemma, but never lose sight of the character journey — the “small story” of humanity it general. On another note, I got to learn a lot more about Star Trek through the terminology notes. As always, thank you for the post!

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed it. It’s weird that Photon Torpedoes weren’t mentioned even though they were in use in 1967. That one small tidbit aside, it’s really a fascinating look at how a show’s made. Even better because it’s Star Trek!

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