I found this post on _eb’s journal, which describes her experience at the Screenwriters Expo in LA, which was attended by both Joss Whedon and Tim Minear (who taught a course on story breaking). Coool. She took a lot of notes and wrote a rough transcript of the class, which is a fun read, partially because it gives you an idea of how television shows are put together. I like this line:
People pitched a couple of detailed A stories that were too convoluted. Joss always says, “It�s just a bunch of moves.”
What do we need emotionally?”
Which I interpret to mean that you can write the best action thriller ever, but if it’s just action and thrill, you’re going to lose the payoff. You always need to look for the heart of a story, what’s driving the people, what makes them tick and hurt and love. Which is something I constantly need to remind myself of as I write, otherwise I’m all about one big explosion after another, and that gets boring.