Marathon Training

As a continuation from the previous post

Have you even bought the DVD* of a TV show and watched a whole season in one shot?  If not, I suggest that you do, because it may make you a better writer.

Traditionally, a television show is broadcasted at the rate of one episode per week.  However, as people may end up watching a whole season at once, your audience may view the story in a different way.  First of all, it acts more like a movie than an episodic show.  That is, the overarching story becomes more important than the week to week adventure.  Character arcs and relationship building is more prominent.  Cliffhangers are more tantalizing than annoying, but at the same time you lose out on water cooler debates as to how the cliffhanger will end.

When you marathon a TV show, you also notice patterns.  Subtle callbacks stand out more.  Catchphrases and character idiosyncrasies can get annoying faster.  If there is a repetitive formula, you’ll notice.  This can be an excellent learning tool, since it’s an inside look at how the TV show is structured.  However, if you write an episodic webseries or periodical saga, your audience will likely pick up on the formulas YOU are using.

In any case, marathoning a show is great for analysis.  Not only can you see how the story is put together, but you can also see what stays interesting and what gets tiresome when the story is taken in large doses.

*Or tapped into a rich vein on YouTube


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