Rachel and I are all caught up with one of our favorite shows Once Upon a Time (do you watch it? didja see the season finale?! Rachel and I were on the edge of our seats!). During writing time lately, I’ve been binge-watching the earlier episodes of the show and marveling at how the characters have changed and developed throughout the four seasons of the show.
I’m generally not one for too much television. Once Upon a Time is actually the only show I really keep up with (unless one counts a couple of awesome YouTubers). However, I’ve come to realize that Netflix can actually be pretty beneficial when it comes to helping a writer (and, no, I’m not just saying that in order to be able to justify more television watching).
Netflix allows people to stream multiple episodes right in a row. With the availability to binge-watch a show like that, there are no commercials to interrupt the story’s flow and we get to watch the entire arc expand, from beginning to climax to conclusion. It aids the writer in figuring out tension, foreshadowing, symbolism, and flow of a story.
The characters’ developments are also easily seen. We can see a villain become a hero, or a hero become a villain, in a matter of weeks instead of months or years. Streaming shows allows us to see general character archetypes and, if it’s well done, how to turn those archetypes on their heads. It aids writers in seeing character reactions in beautiful settings, helping writers to develop their own characters as actors with real reactions rather than just words on a page.
What do you all think? Does television streaming help or hinder writers?