Friday, May 17, 2013

Our favourite devices

I know that the title of this post could be taken as a little dirty, but it's not. I watched the season finale of Vampire Diaries last night, and as usual they made their finale sweet, and sad and full of lovely twisty plot surprises.

But at the same time, (and without giving away any major spoilers) they're reusing a major plot device that was awe-inspiring the first time and now when used on a different character, feels really, really lazy.

It's perhaps why most shows should stop after a few seasons. Change the characters, change the setting and breathe new life into a format, instead of trying to keep re-invigorating the same characters over and over.

But I digress. The real reason I was disappointed was because even a team of writers goes back to the same thing over and over. I know I do.

It's why brainstorming with other people is so valuable, because they introduce new ideas that my tired, mundane brain would never consider. Because if left to my own devices, my stories would follow the same path over and over.

And up till this season, TVD has surprised me over and over by not doing that, by proving over and over they're smarter than me.

Until last night, when I'm left in doubt and worried for the next season.


Stephanie Doyle said...

I'm with you Sinead. All shows should be max plotted out for 5 seasons.

If every show knew going into it that they handle the beginning middle and end of all character arcs - I think everything would be much tighter. It's when they hit season 4 and start thinking about season 6 - that's usually when the rails come off.

Maureen McGowan said...

I can't wait to talk to you about this! I missed a few episodes, I think, and barely watched a few others. (What's the TV equivalent of skimming a book?) So I'm not even positive I caught all that happened, and I'm trying to figure out what particular device or offense you're referring to. :) Back from the dead? Humanity lost and restored? There are probably others...

But what disappointed me most this season was how obvious they were in their attempts to set up the spin off show... I'm not that interested in the spin off show... But who knows...

After seeing the pilot, I wasn't very interested in TVD until I glommed the first season in about 3 days. Never say never, I guess.

Eileen said...

It's hard because sometimes a story device is such a reflex, I don't even know I've done it until later. You have to be very vigilant. I don't know too many authors who can avoid them especially over a series. John Lescroat comes to mind.

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