working together, a huge step forward for us both. Because we wereworking in TV, we had a TV series idea, and a good one I thought. Set inthe 1950s, it followed the adventures of a blacklisted private eye. We calledthe showLefty.Get it? Lefty referred to his political affiliation, butsounded tough and very '5°s- Okay. But Howard and I killed the idea whenHoward insisted we also make our hero left-handed. And maybe, Howardsuggested, he could also be an ex-boxer, a left-handed ex-boxer! So he's aCommunistandan ex-boxerandhe's left-handed? I kept asking. AndHoward thought that was great. Well... to my mind it was "pick one." ToHoward it was a matter of milking the idea for all it was worth. And while Iusually trusted Howard's instinct on this stuff— Howard is brilliant when itcomes to conceptualizing and a much smarter marketer than I — I justdidn't get it.It was Too Much Marzipan.It was Black Vet.What we had succumbed to was getting stuck on a good idea. And it'seasy to do. You like that? Well, hell you'll like it even more if I just add acouple of more scoops of the same thing on top, right? Well, no. To thisday, whenever I talk with my pal Howard, he insists he was right aboutLefty.Me? It's a whistle I don't hear. Still! But it makes a great rule ofscreenwriting and creativity: Simple is better. One concept at a time,please. You cannot digest too much information or pile on more to make itbetter. If you do, you get confused. If you do... stop.