Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TV Tropes

Exactly one month to the CFC application deadline.

I just found this incredibly useful wiki site, TV Tropes, which identifies tropes and idioms in television writing. Which is great, because that's freaking useful, but it also sucks, because I've suddenly realized how derivative my pilot is (so far). I've been thinking of weaving in an Adam and Eve plot into my post-apocalyptic drama. Great.

That being said, the site explains on the home page that it's not about pointing out cliche's and making fun of them (though it does periodically do this), but it's looking to identify and celebrate TV devices and conventions. Look up any of your favourite shows and you'll see that they all borrow from these storytelling tricks.

So, it doesn't matter that the world of my pilot has already been created in previous shows or films, it just matters that I can infuse my characters and situations with as much life and originality as possible. Every thing's been done, so all you need to do is re-package it in a fresh way. That's actually quite freeing; I've been trying to come up with a truly original concept for a pilot for the last month, and each time I come up with one I realize it's been done. Now I can finally stop looking, pick a damn scenario and make it my own.


Elize Morgan said...

Keep in mind, though, it's all about the execution. The reason folks say that ideas are a dime a dozen is, in essence, because it's true.

Everyone's done a film/TV show in a certain way - doesn't mean that doing something like a post-apoca show is derivative. It's finding your hook on it.


Désirée said...

These realizations can be pretty tough to handle sometimes, but you seem to handle it quite well. In that case you can congratulate yourself to have become a better writer :-)

Good luck!

Trevor Finn said...

i hope so! i do think you need to have those realizations to become a better writer.

thanks! down to the wire...