Monday, May 19, 2014

Writing Tips From 24

The television series 24 has returned for one season, and once again I have a reason to look forward to Mondays, since it airs at 9 p.m. that night.

If you haven't already guessed, I'm a huge fan of 24!  During its original eight seasons, I picked up quite a few tips on compelling story telling, and the limited one season run doesn't disappoint!

The cliffhanger hooks are always exciting, leaving unanswered questions, the foreshadowing of an attack, or a love dilemma.  If you've ever had trouble formulating a hook to close a chapter, 24 just might inspire you!

As writers, in any story we look for goal, motivation and conflict.  In 24, the main GMC is as follows:

Goal: To keep the country safe from terrorism

Motivation: The safety of the American people 

Conflict: The terrorists want to terrorize, the federal agents want to stop them

But look for the GMC in the characters, as well:  
  • Who has to work with whom, and why is this a problem? 
  • Who has something to prove and why?  
  • Who has lost something significant and how does this affect his/her job performance?  
  • What is the conflict within the terrorist organization that will keep it from performing effectively?  
  • What conflict keeps the government in pursuit of the wrong lead? 
  • How detrimental will a past love be to a high ranking government official?
You can't have a good story without conflict, and 24 delivers! Are you a fan of 24? Also, do you have a favorite television show that's inspired your writing technique?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!     


Old Kitty said...

I've totally not seen 24! Oh dear!! But I have read a lot about it though and it must be super super amazing to be so so popular - like getting these things right on the outset! Take care

Maria McKenzie said...

If you like edge of your seat excitement, you'd love it;)!

Norma said...

I didn't see many episodes of 24, but friends who were fans have also said the writing was brilliant. I see the same kind of writing in on of my current favorites, The Blacklist.

William Kendall said...

I love the series to pieces, so I'm glad to see Jack back.

It's strange- after all of the deaths and tragedies of previous seasons, I found the revelation in the last episode by Chloe to be the hardest. It's the work by Mary Lynn Rajskub who really made that moment work; it was so heartbreaking.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Norma: 'll have to check out The Blacklist. I've seen ads for it , but I've never seen it.

@William: That storyline with Chloe was absolutely heartbreaking!And you're right, Mary Lynn Rajskub is amazing!!

The Happy Whisk said...

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKEOFF inspires me to write new bakes and try interesting stuff.

Maria McKenzie said...

Mmmm... Please post lots of pictures of what you bake;).