Writer Thoughts While Watching Mr. Robot

Okay, okay. So, hear me out. I know I’m somewhere in the realm of 2-15,000 years late with this. But I started watching Mr. Robot, and let me tell you…

It’s a trip.

From the in-depth analysis on corporations to the hacker-vigilante team. You don’t know who or HOW to trust anyone else by the end of it.

Let’s see seven of my writer thoughts while watching this mind-bending show.

  1. Not all narrators are reliable. It’s really easy to forget that, sometimes, your favorite heroes lie. (Or maybe I just expect my fictional heroes to better than my real ones). I’m not going to spoil anything (even if the show’s been out for a while), but our main character Elliot? NOT RELIABLE. Which leads into…
  2. Plot twists and cliff hangers. We know they’re happening, but they still emotionally sucker punch you in the gut every time. Will they live? Will they die? The miniature adrenaline rush from this gets me every time.
  3. But don’t necessarily throw plot twists in just because. Have vague hints alluding to it. For example. If someone was to find a long lost family member, hint at how the two are related. Make mention of how they miss their sibling. Don’t throw them back together out of the blue. It makes the reveal more of an “ah-ha” moment than a less satisfying, “wait, WHAT?”
  4. Good people do bad things. It’s easy to forget that your hero doesn’t have to be a knight in shining armor. (Heck, Lancelot cheated on his best friend with his best friend’s wife and he WAS the concept of knight in shining armor). It’s easy to forget when writing that not every character has to be perfect. Fiction can imitate reality.
  5. Bad people can have character development. Granted, if your character kills somebody (cough cough), forgiveness is going to be a hella difficult path. However, if the character is cackling-destroy-the-world evil, it’s a lot harder to sympathize than if, say, a character does bad deeds to save their family member.
  6. Stories don’t have to be told in linear fashion. Granted, this may carry over better in TV, video games, and film as they’re mixed media with audio cues and visuals. However, bringing this into the realm of the written word can offer a fresh perspective on the regular story.
  7. Just because it’s a realistic story, doesn’t mean you can’t have fantastical elements within it. I know Mr. Robot brings people back from the dead or has them navigating a Blade-Runner-like underworld in certain scenes. It’s rooted in reality, but reality is in no way the limit on what you can do with it.

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