Two words. One title. A few authors that got me through my weird “too geeky to be goth but too internally fearful of being goth to show it so I guess I’m gonna try to be an awkward prep or something” teenage phase.
The love story beyond humanity and out-of-this world tale about a book-loving/pastry-eating angel and a leather jacket Queen-fan demon who raise the Antichrist together. (Twice). Because they love the world too much to end it.
Otherwise, a show following two Otherworldly icons borne of the minds of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
I finished that show in, ahem, faster than any human should be watching a TV show. (I was sick, alright. I get a break!)
It’s watching shows like this that make me realize, as a writer, that the plot means NOTHING unless you truly love the characters. And I did fall for them just as quickly as they fell in love with, well, humanity and each other and every single bond that love possesses.
I used to be a little snot when I started writing, believing that you needed to inject a thesaurus’s load of adjectives and adverbs into my writing, and if it didn’t mimic Shakespeare, then the prose was worthless. But I didn’t realize, until I grew older, that pretty words mean nothing unless they’re put to damned good use.
Also, the main characters don’t have to be GOOD characters. They don’t need to be Chosen Ones. In fact, Aziraphale and Crowley in Good Omens are actually closer to being side characters to this whole end-of-the-world thing, just one facet of a really complex web of international and inter-world and supernatural warfare. They aren’t the ones really SAVING the world, nor do they threaten to end it entirely. But it’s their…
Charisma goes a long ways in making an unlikeable character likable. We like to relate to sarcastic swagger and an air of bravado. I know that, personally, I have a pretty snarky narrator in my head going “oh wow, Sophia. You’re going for another cup of coffee. Really kicking that caffeine habit, huh?” But making a joke out of tough situations, it’s what humanity does. We laugh so we don’t cry, you know?
And finally, you don’t have to over-explain things. Sometimes, you can just leave moments for the audience to figure out. You don’t have to launch into a miniature encyclopedia of facts every time you bring up another premise. (Fantasy books with the maps in the front, I’m looking at you, lovelies.) You don’t have to introduce every character as the son of Jacob the daughter of Eve the knight of the square table of biscuits and cheese who only drinks wine on Tuesday and hails from the land of Evergreen to the fountain of the grail of…
Good Omens brought characters in and had them explain themselves through their quirky habits and actions. Crowley rides up with an old-fashioned car he obsesses over and blasting Queen. Aziraphale stares longingly at cakes and cookies and is a bit of a comfort type of gentleman. And love?
There’s so many ways to get love across as a writer. Finding love that surpasses everything doesn’t have to end in a big dramatic sacrifice or an outrageous act of plucking the Golden Fleece or whatever. Love is in the little things.
That’s what I noticed from binge-watching Good Omens. Feel free to comment any other things you notice in your favorite shows as a writer.