Innovative Writing Prompts: A Case For Binge Watching
As a writer, (or someone who considers herself one) I do not relish the fact that I was binge-watching the brilliant Netflix original series, Stranger Things, rather than committing to her writing goals. One of which was for her to at least, and when I say at least, I mean, like 500 words, which for one who considers themself a writer, should be as comfortable and natural as breathing right?
Here’s The Thing
I’ve gotten interesting dialogue and plot ideas from well-written dialogue and intriguing plots I’ve seen on screen. Not to mention some pretty sick writing prompts.
AH. There. I’ve absolved myself of the sin writers tend to commit-especially during moments of writer’s drought- not writer’s block comrades, I’m talking drought. Dry. Dessert. There are no words on the page despite the amount of muses, inspiration, motivation, encouragement we try to give ourselves. The page is going to stay blank. I give up, head to the living room, drop into the sofa, coddle the remote. I’m about to binge Stranger Things…
And then this scene came on…
Pests. Wake up, eat, reproduce and die. I had to write it down, and then eventually, I wrote it out. I wrote about why that phrase, that particular scene, spoke to me.
I’ve had inspiration like that before, but usually I’m half asleep when it hits and can’t be bothered to write it down.
But not tonight.
Wake up, eat, reproduce and die. It was horrifying to witness the destruction in this scene, and (yes–a thousand times yes! I know it’s a cheesy cliche), I saw the scene and the accompanying dialogue as metaphor for what my life had/was becoming…
The thought that I hadn’t even attempted to achieve a legacy for myself-beyond just my progeny horrified me. I have a story I want to be told. My story.
Speaking of prophecies, metaphors, signs and stuff, I kid you not at this time of writing Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, is currently playing-(it came up unexpectedly) on my Spotify “liked” songs. My last blog post was titled Running Up That Hill-or something like that. In that post I promised to get running too..
Binging: Blessing or Curse?
So is this a sign? That I should continue searching for and binging Netflix, Prime, or HBO (I’ve just found Irma Vep!) since I’ll inevitably overcome writer’s drought by perseverating on a story with an evocative soundtrack, witty dialogue with unexpected plot twists so sharp they’ve given me whiplash?
Some of my best writing happens when I’ve been inspired by the magic immediately unfolding before my eyes. Just saying.
My advice: if you absolutely must binge, use it to your writing advantage.