Being Inspired by Bad Storytelling | Writing Video Wednesday

Today I’m talking about being inspired by bad storytelling.

You can watch the video here.

Here’s the transcript:

Hey everyone. It’s Sara, and I’m back today with a writing video.

So sorry I haven’t posted a writing video in a couple of weeks. Things got kind of crazy in my life and then I got sick. I actually posted a blog post recently on my creativity blog about the importance of taking breaks. You should check that out.

But today for my writing video, I wanted to talk about being inspired by bad writing. Now bad writing is kind of subjective obviously. What I’m really talking about here is when you read a book, watch a movie, watch a TV show — some type of storytelling — and you’re not satisfied with the way that it ended. And it especially works when something starts really well and you really enjoy the beginning but you really hate the way something ended.

So this recently happen to me a couple of weeks ago when I watched the end of the TV show, The Originals. Now The Originals is a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. So let’s just brush past the fact that I’m 33 and I’m obsessed with teenage vampire soap operas. Don’t judge me. But I never really watched The Originals. But I was a fan of The Vampire Diaries. I don’t know why. Teenage vampire soap operas are very like soothing to me. I don’t know why. I like them.

But anyway, this season was the last season of The Originals and they were bringing back one of the characters that I really liked from The Vampire Diaries. So I watched most of the last season.

I felt like the ending of that show was just horrible. And I mean it wasn’t really written that badly, but it didn’t fit at all with those characters that I had known from The Vampire Diaries and it didn’t fit at all with what it had been setting up all season and the foreshadowing and what it led you to believe was going to happen. It just wasn’t a good ending. But I also have been working on the ending of my trilogy, The Muse Chronicles.

So here’s what you can do next time you watch something or read something that you just think doesn’t fit at all or you don’t like at all. Okay, so you can go through and make a list of all the things that you didn’t like about it. For me, for example, in this case, I felt like the ending of The Originals didn’t fit the tone of the rest of the season. I felt like the characters were doing things that didn’t fit who they were as characters. And the whole thing just seemed kind of not organic to the story.

Side note: This is because they’re doing another spin-off. And I think some of the actors didn’t want to be in that spin-off so they just killed off some people. And like, why do we need another spin-off? I mean, come on. I love teenage vampire soap operas as much as anybody, but we don’t need a third show.

So anyway, you take your list of the things that you don’t like about whatever it is that you’re watching or reading and then you apply those to your own writing. So as I’m working on the third book in my series, I’m really paying attention to making sure that everything that happens does feel organic to the story and everything I’ve been setting up for the past two books and everything that happens with the characters feels like things that they would really do and feels true to those characters.

So my main point is that a lot of people think if they’re watching or reading something that they don’t enjoy that it’s just a waste of time. But I don’t think that’s true. I think there’s always something you can learn from any type of storytelling. Even if it’s storytelling that you don’t think is good. I feel like this is also a good thing because it’s a way to take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one.

So that’s all I have for you today. Sorry I went on kind of a rant there about teenage vampire soap operas. What do you guys think? Have you ever been inspired by something that you didn’t like? I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you’d like to see more videos about writing and I also sometimes post videos about my favorite music. Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you in the next video. 

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