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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Unorthodox Idols

I felt it was important to explain why my greatest idols are not other writers. Don’t get me wrong, I admire many writers, but I find myself more drawn to film and television masterminds. I would say this is because when I read, I see a movie.  When I write, I write a movie. Not a screenplay (I’ve tried that), but how a film would read in novel form. Even before getting a scene down on paper, I have to act it out. See how the dialogue flows. Imagine the position of the characters and a 360 degree setting. I try my best to create a moving picture. So, I suppose my admiration speaks for itself. 
 J.J. Abrams, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan. LOST, Avatar, Inception.
Their originality and unique transformation of old ideas is exactly the style I aim to achieve. The manner in which their stories are told holds the audience’s attention in an otherwise complex narrative. Their use of the camera is stunning. Perspective can have personality and these artists prove it. It doesn’t hurt they’re box-office favorites. I often gather inspiration from these three and after reviewing their work, I’ve found it comes down to another three simple factors:
Characters: Relatable no matter who, where or when they are.
Questions: Keep the audience on their toes. Get them invested.
Challenging Concepts: Simple should be made complicated.
Instead of awaiting a tome from my favorite authors (well, they’re either dead or done writing) I eagerly anticipate new shows or films from these innovative storytellers. I will review JJ’s newest program Alcatraz soon. Waiting for the Avatar sequels with bated breath. And July CANNOT bring the Dark Knight Rises here soon enough.
Even though these insights come from individuals involved in a different aspect of art, I feel many of the skills one creative employs can be transferred to the style of another. Whether it’s an episodic series, a canvas drawing or a spectacle on the silver screen, we’re all storytellers.


  1. I love this post. It explains a lot about how I feel about movies and TV and what I would like to do with my writing.

    1. At least for me, as you read, it's easier to think of a narrative in cinematic terms to create a novel that really jumps off the page. Thanks for your comment, Robert!

  2. I think it makes a lot of sense. I like to imagine how some of the pivotal scenes in my books would look on the big screen. I think in regards to your influences, I definitely like the way they write and would have no problem adding them to a list of my favorite TV writers. I would though add Joss Whedon to that list, he is simply brilliant.

    1. He is very good, Candace! Doesn't get as much publicity nowadays, but Buffy was revolutionary.