Reader involvement, uniqueness and an appropriate amount of information are all essential to writing up a captivating post. We have many tools to observe how these elements are conveyed in different types of media and whether or not we are using the right structure for writing.
The tool I’ll be analyzing is visual media, specifically, Television. The show I will base this article on may be familiar to you: Lost. In all it’s a great show but that’s not why I am focusing on it. The relation between Lost and Heroes which Valeria mentioned last week is surprisingly similar but how the plot is conveyed between the two couldn’t be anymore farther apart.
And it serves as an interesting series of lessons to bloggers.
The basis of Heroes and Lost is there will be a select group of individuals who all have a significant path throughout life and are meant to accomplish great things while intertwining with different individuals to either accomplish this or reveal more about the main and supporting characters.
As Valeria detailed, each character is very unique and essentially you should allow readers to relate to this letting them hear your story in your own words. This is something Lost attempts to do albeit at a much slower pace. To put in perspective Heroes revealed the story line early on and added important tidbits while Lost reveals part of the story while changing important parts and adding new events to complete this alteration.
Evidently the main difference is the pace of each show’s story telling and this can be a good and bad thing. The good being you have chances to introduce more of the character and plot to viewers but the bad being that not so loyal viewers who don’t have time to put together an elaborate puzzle might abandon the show.
What else can bloggers learn from Lost?
[warning: Spoiler Alert!]
Don’t Pose Too Many Questions
The point of writing a Blog post or article is usually to be informative whether it be a review or anything else. The goal you’d be attempting to achieve is to have your readers leaving satisfied and informed. It’s good to leave some topics of discussion open so community interaction will prosper but by overdosing on this your Blog posts will become neutered in content and readers will leave because they’re not satisfied with what you offer. This can also come as a result of becoming too large as quantity starts to override quality and you will always leave your audience puzzled as to what comes next which won’t be revealed until later Blog postings.
Don’t Use Endings To Show Off Your Best
Season Finales are always a critical point for any television show. This is what will determine how many viewers will come for following seasons and if you can acquire additional viewers. This should not be used solely to retain your audience. Just because your ending is great doesn’t mean you should rely on the hype to expand your audience. People can only be enticed by cliffhangers for so long before their interest wears and what’s to say they should come back if the only thing good is each ending?
Don’t Be Inconsistent And Confusing
Throughout the show characters are built off of flashbacks giving you a feel of what they were and what they will become. Often times these events are not chronological but relate to the current theme of an episode. Along with flashbacks flashforwards were introduced in the season finale (once again refer to the previous paragraph) so as we travel through time in an inconsistent order to fill us in on each and every character this gets rather annoying for infrequent viewers. If you are writing about a specific event in September 2004 don’t dawdle around the year 1815 too much because you’re focus is on the present. When you reach a specific time, only concentrate on that time and briefly mention only important events and how it affects any other time period. This will give inconsistent readers the chance to catch up on only the necessities while still being interested in current events.
Don’t Be Slow Or Shy To Make Connections
The problem with Lost is only a select group of individuals out of many get the spotlight and should any of them die off the story line loses it’s variation. The writers saw this and two people were introduced who normally are never seen following in the shadows of more important characters. They just might as well have been washed up on the island or thrown out of the jungle because the reception was lukewarm at very best by the audience. They ended up being buried alive and in an entire 40 minutes their seemingly boring (when compared with more important characters) lives were summarized and done with. The solution to this would’ve been introducing them early on and giving them an important role. The same should be done with yourself, let people know who you are and let them know your role.