I fully admit that today’s advice is probably not something you’ve heard before.
I mean, even Stephen King said: If you’re just starting out as a writer, you could do worse than strip your television’s electric plug-wire, wrap a spike around it, and then stick it back into the wall. See what blows, and how far. Just an idea.
But, I want you to watch TV today.
I want you to watch TV like a writer.
Stay with me here. Television can be a time suck. It can steal your writing time. BUT, it can also be some of the best writing there is right now. (And, Mr. King is pretty hard on a medium that’s told some of his stories very well. Dead Zone, anyone?)
Television is one of the most time-efficient ways to take in a full story arch. And writers need to be story consumers, right? They just do.
I know I promised you that none of the assignments in this series would take very long. This is the only exception.
I want you to pick an episode of any show and watch it through the lens of a writer. Here are some questions to think about:
- Why did you pick this episode?
- What works about it for you?
- What doesn’t work?
- What did the writers do to make you want to watch the next episode?
- How were the characters developed during this episode?
- Did the characters interact with the setting?
- What part of the story was resolved within this episode?
- How was the larger story arch moved forward?
- Can you tell where the three acts are in this episode?
Choose an episode of television and watch it like a writer. Come on over to our Facebook group and share what you learned!