Recently, I’ve been too distracted to write, which is not a good thing. When life starts to take its toll on me, and I find myself not putting down words on paper, I try to improve my writing using different methods.
The age old advice for writers is to read and write. Simple, right? If you want to be a writer, then you have to read, and you have to write. Well, most people write and read on a daily bias, don’t they?
If you go to school, you read textbooks and your teachers’ notes. You write papers, your notes, and do writing assignments. If you work, you read emails, read research online, and write emails to your co-workers.
However, that will not teach you how to write fiction. Writing fiction is a different beast than daily writing. I’m sure most of us writers know that.
With fiction writing, we have to analyze use of dialogue, description, plot, and characterization. Whew, as fiction writers, we have to know a lot. And let’s not forget good grammar, spelling, and use of vocabulary.
Just thinking about all that makes my head spin, but luckily, we can learn all that from all forms of media, too.
For example, I’ve been watching an anime called Parasyte.
The story is so engaging I have been watching 2-3 episodes a day. What I love most about the series is the character development. The main character, Shinichi, starts off so scared of everything, even a spider. His transformation through the story is some of the best development I have ever seen. Each stage of his development makes complete sense and builds on each other.
Not only is his growth fantastic, but the plot and mystery add depth to the story. The supporting characters each have their own goals and trails that shape the main character’s resolve.
Since I watch the show using Japanese subtitles, I also get a good lesson in grammar and realistic dialogue. I don’t want to make this post too long, but if you find you don’t have time to write, watch a good TV show. Study the plot of the show, characters, and dialogue.
Is the main character progressing at a believable rate?
What role do the supporting characters play?
Is there a hook and decent background?
Does each scene advance the story or is there too much filler?
You actually may learn something that helps with your own story. After watching Parasyte, I realize I need to add more depth to my supporting characters, while not making them overshadow the main character. Of course, the show isn’t without its flaws, but nothing is perfect ^__^
Is there a TV show that helped you to improve your writing?