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Thursday, April 10, 2014

What You Can Learn from the TV Show How I Met Your Mother

Can you really learn something about writing well from TV shows?

Cris Freese says, "Yes, you can."

Whether you're a writer or a reader or a TV watcher, I think maybe Cris is right. Even though I dislike sitcoms, except maybe Roseanne,  here are the points that might be helpful to writers. They can also help a reader or watcher to help evaluate whether the book or show is worth your time, because good writing is satisfying and keeps you hooked, coming back for more.

1.  Everything happens for a reason. Don't put in details unless you plan to use them later on.

2.  Reward your readers. It helps to have a recurring element that readers or watchers will look for and feel satisfied when it happens.

3.  Never write yourself into a corner. Readers and watchers won't like it either because they'll feel as if something is unresolved. We humans like things to be neatly tied up at the end.

4.  Main characters should not only have primary goals to achieve, but also secondary ones that create good tension and keep the reader or watcher on her toes.

5.  Tragedy can be compelling because it tugs at our emotions and makes us want to root for them. Build them in if you're a writer and look for them if you're a reader or watcher.

5.  Endings are hard whether you're writing them or reading or watching them. If the writer has done the job, you'll be hooked and want to see what happens next, even when the book or TV show has ended.

6.  Tie up all the loose ends. If you don't, your reader or watcher will feel gypped.

7.  At the end of the story or chapter, bring the reader or watcher back to familiar territory.



These are the bare bones. To find out all the details, go to http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/7-things-how-i-met-your-mother-can-teach-us-about-writing?et_mid=668728&rid=239174751