Watch TV series, it’s good for your writing !

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: « FAQ.

i’ve been thinking about this subject for quite a while now and the daily on the Daily Post gave the perfect occasion to talk about it. Here it is : watching TV shows can help you improve your writing. in order to prepare this post , I quickly interviewed Mlle Louise and her answers did comfort my opinion.

TV series exist in a very competitive environment in which it’s easy to switch channel, stop the DVD or close the Youtube tab. They have got to hook the viewer all the way to the end despite the commercial breaks. In order to avoir the cancellation sentence, their writers have developed techniques and stratagems to sustain tension throughout the episodes. From very standardized series like CIS or NCIS to more lavish one like Downton Abbey, each end every TV series has the potential to hep us build our writer voice.

Oxygen for the brain

Tv series bring your brain necessary oxygen because they are designed to entertain the viewer. While watching them, you put yourself at the other end of the fiction, the receiving one,  you step back from your writing projects and allow your creativity to breathe.

As a viewer, you experience pace, emotional beats, sagging scenes. This approach may look like procrastination  but it’s really distance running.

Understanding what works

This viewer experience provides you with many precious informations : what you like, what moves you, what works. One identified this elements will drive you all the way to the end of your writing project, will allow you to spot what’s really necessary and leave the unnecessary bits behind.
TV series also helps you leave your comfort zone and discover new tools for your writer’s paraphernalia. Mlle Louise evokes this topic with the following words : « Good series […] allow me to see what works, mechanisms to unfold a story I wouldn’t have thought of ».

Indentify what does not work

As a writer viewer, you’re able to seize immediately what works and what doesn’t. Your sensitivity’s sharper than the average viewer who only seeks entertainment. These informations feed your overall thinking about writing. Your viewer experience infuses in your stories and with time, they improve greatly. You’re able to avoid the sagging scenes and obvious ploys.
As Mlle Louise puts it « They make me feel like improving my writing because world deserves better’.

 To go Further :

Why try to read beyond the surface of a text

 Discussion :

And you, do you watch TV shows ? Does your viewer experience influence your writing ? Please do not hesitate to leave your insight in the comments section below.

 

 

Mlle Louise’s interview 

1/Do you write fiction ? If yes what genre.

Yes. I write romance, slices of life. The angle is often about regrets, dreams and disillusions.

2/ Do you watch TV series ?

Yes, almost everyday. Among others : Teen Wolf, Brooklyn 99, Sense8, Agent Carter, How to get away with murder.

3/ According to you, what are the ingredients of a good TV show ?

On the human level : a respectful treatment  : no sexism, no racism, no ableism, no queerophobia.

Casting and characters : a fair representation of ethnicities and sexual orientations.
Scenarios : coherence, audacity, ability ti
Côté scénario : cohérence, audace/faculté de surprendre.

4/ How does your writing benefit from your tv series watching ?

Good series sustain my optimism and my imagination. They allow me to spot what works and what doesn’t, mechanisms to unfold a story I would never have thought of.

Bad series or bad episodes help me to see what does not work, what I want to avoid. They make me feel like improving my writing because the world deserves better.

 
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