My theme for A-Z is What I Learned About Writing from Watching TV.
F is a hard one. I wanted to write about how amazing Firefly is. Then I thought, no, there is no show which makes me love its characters and cry and care about their fate more than Friday Night Lights. I must write about that.
Both are true. But in the end I’ve gone for Friends. What’s my angle, you may think? How important it is to be funny?
Actually I was thinking about characterisation. Sure at times (lots of the time) and partly because it’s a sitcom, the characterisation in Friends falls into caricature, and doesn’t feel realistic. But I bet if I ask you to describe the six main Friends, you could tell me in a few words what they’re like. Monica is OCD and competitive. Phoebe is dizzy and eccentric but street smart. And so on. We know them. Or feel like we do.
This can be helpful in writing a character – especially secondary ones. What are their main characteristics? How can I stick to those and demonstrate those continually throughout a novel? Which doesn’t mean they can’t have nuance, and depth, and show different sides. But it helps to have in mind what they are like.
How to pick a quote. I’ll go for one of my faves:
Thursday! Look, if you need help remembering, just think of it like this: The third day. All right? Monday, one day. Tuesday, two day. Wednesday, when? Huh? What day? Thursday! The third day! Okay? "