Happy Friday everyone! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today – Lasting Impression.
I recently began writing MYSTIC STORM, Zephyr’s story, and it got me thinking about storytelling and two television programs – Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.
What does a British period piece and a post apocalyptic survival story have in common?
On the surface they seem to have zero in common. But in reality they have many similarities. They are both about a group of people trying to cope with social change brought on by a world cataclysm (World War I, The Spanish Flu, a zombie outbreak). They both feature a compelling cast of characters that are easy to root for (or in the case of Thomas and Mrs. O’Brien – despise!). And both programs are stellar examples of great storytelling. The kind that sucks you and doesn’t let you go. (Even if I do rush out of the room when zombies appear during The Walking Dead).
As a writer, these are the comments you want to hear from readers:
“I couldn’t put your book down!”
“The story pulled me in.”
“You kept me up all night.”
“I can’t wait for your next book.”
Music to a writer’s ears. Praise of the highest order.
As a reader I want to read (or watch) a great story. I’m not impressed by flowery prose, laundry list descriptions of a character’s outfit or paragraphs describing a room’s furnishings. In my mind, writing and storytelling are two different things.
A storyteller takes you on a journey, weaves a tale, and connects you to the characters. Writing is the vehicle that brings the story to life, but should be more the like the soundtrack (in the background creating a mood, not bowling you over with bombast).
So tell me, what’s your preference? Do you get caught up in the words themselves? Or do you go for pacing and action? Or maybe a combination of both?