Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spreading the Awesome: Doctor Who

I was so inspired by Elana's idea to spread the joy of awesome new books that I decided to spread the awesome all week long. This week, I'm going to feature my recent most favorite movie, poem, song, and television show. Yay for spreading the awesome!

Today I'm featuring one of my most favoritest TV shows: Doctor Who.

Now, it's possible that you've not seen Doctor Who yet. But if you're a writer--you SO should. Whether you like Brit TV or not, whether you like sci fi or not, whether you're afraid of jumping into a show mid-series or not--just watch Doctor Who. I think every writer needs to at least see the brilliant writing that goes into Doctor Who.

Doctor Who is an old show--there have been eleven Doctors so far, and several Doctors lasted more than one season. Don't worry about that. You can start an episode anywhere and pick up the story as you go. Trust me.

This is a fun show--with lots of drama and comedy and plot twists and mystery. But that's not the reason why I'm recommending it to you today. Today I'm recommending Doctor Who to you because Doctor Who has brilliant writing.

I can't even begin to mention Doctor Who writing without mentioning first that one of the greatest assets to a writer is that not only do you have a show with brilliant story-telling to give you an example of what works, there's also a book written by the former main writer of the show who writes about the process. DOCTOR WHO: THE WRITER'S TALE is an almost journalistic account of where, how, and why stories developed on the show. Reading it while watching the show gives you a great idea of how a successful writer develops a successful story. So, basically, you get to see a great story, and then see how that great story was written--a goldmine for writers.

Whenever I'm stuck on a certain aspect of writing, I turn to Doctor Who marathons. Can't figure out a character? Doctor Who is brilliant at characters--showing the different dynamics in the ultimate multi-cultural setting (you can't get much more multi-cultural than aliens). Need to find a better twist to a story? Doctor Who develops the best twists and unexpected turns--not just in an episode but across whole series. Trouble with pacing? Watch Doctor Who run through an attack or save the world.

If you want to see story telling done right, check this series out!

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