Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How The Vampire Diaries can Make Our Writing Better

I love the show The Vampire Diaries. Human Elena falls for the hunky new boy at school - who just so happens to be a vampire. Enter sexy older vampire brother, a best witch best friend, darkness, blood, drama, and love - that's the gist of The Vampire Dairies.

Yes, both brothers like Elena, but this is definitely not Twilight. The vampires are mean, often downright cruel in TVD. It's so much darker.

One thing I loved most about TVD, especially the first season, was the last few seconds of each episode.

The writers left you hanging. A twist, something you never saw coming. A hint at a new revalation. Danger, intrigue. It always left me yearning for more. I couldn't wait for the next episode!

And that's what we should do at the end of each chapter with our stories. We don't want our readers to reach the end of a chapter, to put our book down and forget to pick it back up. No, we want them to read the end of a chapter and practically rip the page getting to the next chapter. (or press the arrow on an ereader or scroll down.)

Watching/writing about gorgeous characters doesn't hurt.

The trials and tribulations of teenagers are well portrayed in the show. Elena and Jeremy's parents died before the first episode. To cope, Jeremy has started down a dark path into drugs. So what can we take from this? If you're writing for teens, know teens. Know how they talk, act, react. Understand their thought process, their grief. This will make for realistic characters and dialogue.


Do you watch TVD? What shows do you take tips from for your writing? What tips do you take away from your favorite shows?

14 comments:

Tracy said...

Seriously, I ALMOST wrote this exact post this week...but you completely beat me to it.

I couldn't agree more. I love, love, love this show. I like that they aren't afraid to portray a darker edge. I enjoy how they've turned a villian (Damon) into an anti-hero who has moments so sweet he makes you melt, then he turns around and rips a werewolf's heart out.

Kevin Williamson has had my devotion since Dawson Creek. I expect nothing less than the best from him!

Faith said...

It's so true, the writing in this show (Season 1 in particular) is jaw-dropping. The writers aren't afraid to take risks, BIG risks, and that's a lesson I definitely need to learn!

Kelly Dexter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly Dexter said...

My apologies for deleting the above comment. What I meant to say was . . .

I adore The Vampire Diaries! It is such a well-written and acted show, and always leaves you wanting more.

Patti said...

It is a guilty pleasure for me, and they do have a lot of cliff hanger twist plots.

Cherie Reich said...

Great comparison to writing!

I used to watch this show when it first came out, but between the other TV shows at the same time, it didn't work out for me. I'm hoping to watch the seasons eventually.

The Words Crafter said...

I don't watch the show; sorry. But I love the way you've taken something like this and related it to writing.

You're so right, too. We need to think this way so that our readers not only keep coming back, but also that they don't regret shelling out the money to buy our books.

Fantastic post!

Colene Murphy said...

I have seen a few episodes and LOVED it but then I missed...a season or so and now I'm lost as to what has happened, what's going on now, so I just don't try to watch it. I want to get the first season and just have a marathon.

Great tips too btw!

N. R. Williams said...

I haven't seen that show. The actors are gorgeous. I sometimes will refer to mannerisms that actors use to enhance my characters but I don't usually base any one character on someone real or in movies, tv etc.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Elana Johnson said...

I totally laughed out loud at the title of this post. And it's so, so true!

The Golden Eagle said...

I don't watch The Vampire Diaries but I like the way you connected it to writing in this post.

Kimberly Franklin said...

I love TVD! Just LOVE IT! :)

alexia said...

I've always wanted to watch that show! I need to check it out... good point about cliffhangers.

Lisa Gail Green said...

I LOVE this! And it's extra cool because we both posted on the same topic, but got different (yet valid) things out of it. Plus I love the pics. ;)