I’ve heard a lot of other authors say that television is a bad thing, that it rots your mind, stifles creativity and productivity, and is not conducive to being a successful writer.
This is completely wrong. There are a lot of good things about television and if you use it right, you can make yourself into a much better storyteller.
For one, TV shows are an easy way to perfect your dialogue. TV writers focus more on what their characters are saying than other mediums allow, simply because descriptive aspects are put in picture form for you. So a good TV writer doesn’t need to focus as much on description, but their dialogue is absolutely essential to a good show. You’ve seen bad dialogue before. Think about how awful this makes your viewing experience. Good dialogue, on the other hand, goes unnoticed because that’s simply how it’s supposed to be. But if you pay attention to what your favorite show’s characters are saying and how they’re saying it, you can use these element in your own writing to craft a more believable and gripping dialogue.
Next, television exposes expert pacing. Think about your favorite drama. Tension builds and builds throughout the episode, and meets its resolution with only a couple minutes left in the show. If you pay attention to how the writers craft their plot, making it continuously more thrilling and thought provoking, you can learn how to capture your audience’s attention and keep it until you’re absolutely ready to let go. This is a vital part of telling a good story.
Television can be a bad thing. It’s really easy to just sit in front of it and not think. If you want to be a storyteller, you can’t let yourself do this. Use your TV as a tool instead. By doing this, you can improve your own writing.