This American's life : NPR notable Ira Glass shares tricks to his trade : Culture : Station Break : Colorado Springs Independent : Colorado Springs
This is the element of This American Life that Glass calls the "How does Buffy feel?" moment. He says he picked up the phrase when listening to one of the writers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer walk the executive producer, Marti Noxon, through an episode.
Through the pitch he overheard all these things happen to Buffy. "And frankly, as a regular Buffy the Vampire Slayer watcher, it seemed perfectly good to me," says Glass.
But when the writer came to the end of his pitch, Noxon said, "You've gone through the trouble to create this incredible plot, but what does she feel about it? What does it do in her heart?"
Glass says that if a story doesn't have a "How does Buffy feel?" then he browbeats and cajoles the writer to put it in. Case in point: a recent story by Israeli writer Elad Keidan, whom Glass calls the Israeli Dave Eggers. Keidan recently won first prize in the Cannes Film Festival student competition.
The story Keidan submitted to Glass is about an insatiable liar who ends up in a world where all his lies have come true. But, Glass says, "weirdly, you get to the end of the story and there's no stakes. His heart doesn't sink enough." So, he sent Keidan a page-long e-mail suggesting two places where Keidan should put in another sentence letting the character feel something, including Glass' own speculations on what he might feel.