Writing advice from Shonda Rhimes

Last year I purchased a Masterclass pass for my husband as his birthday present. He was interested in taking the class by Neil Gaiman and I was interested in taking the class by Margaret Atwood and so it made sense to get the all access pass where we could access both of these and others.

This has been the best birthday birthday present I have ever bought for someone else. For anyone who wants to start writing (or acting, or gardening, or cooking, or making films, or taking photographs or even skateboarding – the platform is overwhelming in its reach and excellence) I’d highly recommend the investment.

One of the courses I did last year was Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television. Rhimes is the writer of a gazillion hit TV shows. This may or may not have been one of those times where you watch things about writing instead of doing the actual writing but it paid off! The course was really great, particularly the sections on building strong character.

Here is a particular bit of advice that I loved. Hope you do too.

People always ask the question ‘you know, how do you write such strong smart women?’ Which I think is kind of an amazing question, mainly because the alternative is weak, stupid women and I don’t know any of those.

So, I don’t know. I don’t even understand why that question is a question. But I suppose it’s a question because people have seen a lot of weak stupid women on television. Which is disturbing.

Don’t be one of those people who is writing weak, stupid women, please. So that ‘strong smart women’ … so that those adjectives stop being used and it just becomes ‘women’. That would be helpful.

Shonda Rhimes in her Masterclass on writing.