Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Writing Lessons From Poldark

I may be late to jump on the Poldark wagon, but hot diggity-dang! I finally hefted myself into the cart, kids, and for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, feast your eyeballs on this . . .

Mmm-mmm-mmm. Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. England. The Coast of Cornwall. A hunky hero. All ingredients for a fantastic tale and here's the blurb for it:

Ross Poldark returns home after the American Revolutionary War and rebuilds his life with a new business venture, making new enemies and finding a new love where he least expects it.

If you haven't yet seen this series, snatch it up. You will NOT be sorry. Based on the novels by Winston Graham, this is some sweet historical fiction on the big screen. Okay, my commercial break is over, but my writerly lesson for the day is not . . .

3 Writing Lessons From Poldark

Slow Down the Backstory
Not all the information of Poldark's background is dumped into the first scene, the first episode, or even the first season. It's meted out, giving the viewer enough details so confusion isn't an issue, but not enough so that there's no point in watching more.

Keep Your Hero Unpredictable
Sure, Ross Poldark is a good guy . . . mostly. Sometimes I'm surprised at the way he handles an issue and I don't always agree with him (the whole Verity/sea captain romance thing), but doggone if that doesn't endear me to him more. He's complex. I wonder, I hope, I want him to make the right choices, but he doesn't always, which is just like real life, eh?

Balance the Tension
Intense action or emotional scenes are what the everyone wants to experience--but not all the time. You've got to give the reader a rest between the tense times. Poldark faces some horrible seasons in his life but they are tempered with happiness.

Next time you're watching one of your favorite series, see what kind of writing tips you can find for some takeaway value. On screen or on the page, a story is a story is a story.


chappydebbie said...

Never heard of this...looks intriguing.

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