This week, I continue my series on how and why I look to television for inspiration in my novel writing. This time, I’m focusing on my love of the science fiction genre. Yep, I proudly let my nerd flag fly. Besides, what better form of escapism than to delve into a series that draws you into a world all its own?
When I think of this genre, I find the storytelling in one particular TV shows teaches me a lot as I work my way through my inaugural novel-writing project.
Now, I’ve never been a lemming following the crowd off the cliff. But there’s no doubt this sci-fi horror on Netflix has quite a following – rightly so. And that begins with the storytelling, which the Duffer Brothers do amazingly.
This saga, which tells the story of unusually goings on in a seemingly typical small town, does a great job of keeping the audience hooked from episode to episode. The thriller aspect of the series leaves you chomping at the bit to see what happens next. That teaches me that in my own writing, I need to make sure I keep the plot moving so readers will stay interested (and hopefully pull one of those “I can’t believe I stayed up all night to finish that book” scenarios).
Of course, this series is character driven, too. We’re all invested in the characters, their own stories, and their journey. But what I’ve learned from the Duffer Brothers is how to successfully take characters beyond one book. In the second season, we see the characters faced with new situations and the introduction of more characters. We’re invested in their reactions, changes in behavior, and, of course, the new threats they face. That’s taught me that when writing a novel series, I need to make sure my own characters and experiences evolve.
Next week, I’ll continue my series by looking at a fantasy series that inspires my novel writing. What inspires your writing? Let me know in the comments below.