With a Critical Eye

I’m doing an Internet binge, the name of the show isn’t important, but my reaction to a plot pivot is—because it makes me think about my own writing in a constructive, critical way. Readers have no idea where the plot is going in The Betty Chronicles, in large part because I chose to not plan it out in advance and had no idea what the twists would be until the words formed on the page. The show I’m watching just lost me, the writers took a sharp turn that didn’t feel true to the character’s previous actions. Usually, I just stop for a random period of time and watch the rest of the episode with fresh eyes. I’ve also completely abandoned shows because of these awkward devices, even when the overall story and acting is stellar.

So, back to me. Have I done the same thing? Have I been guilty of using an ill fitting plot device? Ultimately, that is for the critics and readers to decide. I’m too close to the subject matter. My editors never hesitated to mark in red ink poor writing or ill advised angles and I only declared STET when it really mattered to me, so if there is such a stopping point in my books, it will be because of the individual reader’s tastes. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m looking too closely at the show’s writing and not just enjoying the entertainment, which would be ironic since I tend to live in the moment. The people behind this series are smart and extremely talented. Maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “With a Critical Eye

  1. A gut reaction is usually an honest reaction, so I think you are pretty solid ground here. Since you are an author you are an “insider”, you are always going to see and judge these things with a more critical eye than the rest of us. I doubt you are being too judgemental or harsh…. you are just… cursed. No way to turn that off. Sorry dude.

  2. If you become vested in the character then you feel you know the way the character would behave and react. So if there’s a segue into something that doesn’t fit your view of the character then it’s easy to become disenchanted and lose interest. Usually for shows there’s been a change in the writers and that’s a change in the character. And you quit watching. (Or reading if it’s a book). But not everyone sees these things. A critical eye will perceive these more readily partly because they have expectations of the character. A good writer knows the character and lives the character. It’s a good trait so that the watcher or reader can believe. (Unless they don’t want to delve too deep and want superficial entertainment. ) Consistency in a character, to me, is important. Your critical eye probably saved you some wasted time.

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