This week I wasn’t sure if I was going to pay much attention to the content because it focused on serial storytelling for TV but I actually found it really useful. I took what I discovered and looked at whether I could write something that people could read.
Imagine a weekly ebook delivered to you that was as compelling as CSI or Lost or even Games of Thrones. Sent to you, the reader, each week. It might make book reading more exciting … perhaps? Or if the story was as short as a chapbook maybe it could be a daily, like a daily TV series. Anyway, that is what this week got me thinking about.
So, what did I learn?
There are two types of TV series (not including comedy which wasn’t discussed much)
Procedural – stand alone episodes – for example like CSI (they are told about a crime, they work the crime, a red herring appears, they solve the crime)
Serial TV series, which has an ongoing story episode by episode – for example Lost or Dallas
Then there are shows that mix the two together (which is not considered a good thing because it can be difficult to keep going and for us to follow) like the Good Wife and Veronica Mars which also mixes in high school drama and comedy too.
What makes an ongoing TV series popular?
- you need to get the attention of people watching (audience)
- you need to get the audience to emotionally attach to characters
- you need to get the audience to want to lean into the screen (they are so excited they lean forward to watch)
- people need to think “I want to see how this character deals with this”
As discussed in the first week of the future of storytelling goals, desires and the will to fight for them against all odds must also be present. You see this evident in a tv series like Lost or Game of Thrones where fighting against enemies is present. Or there must be a constant daily struggle as in the case of TV show Gilmore Girls. A series that keeps the protagonist from reaching her goal is seen as exciting by the viewer.
Not as exciting as week one for me but still very useful in learning about how a TV series is written as I had no idea how much goes into it.
You can join the series at anytime as it is a free eight week course on storytelling. I am looking forward to week three as these lessons have definitely given me a lot to think about in terms of influencing my own writing.