Sunday, June 05, 2011

I May Choose Badly

It's odd the things we can't see.

Earlier this evening, I was bemoaning the rather bloated arc story on one of my favourite scifi TV shows, and the lack of decent plotlines within individual episodes.

You know how it goes. A long, sweeping plot that's driving a whole season along, frequently recurring secondary characters, endless references to other episodes, and a whole mess of characterisation.

All of which is lovely stuff, but not when it's done at the expense of entertaining plots.

Indigo Roth And The Prism Of DoomI'm a consumer, dammit, and I know what I want!

Right? Well...

When I sat back, weary and smug and bemoaned out, it occurred to me that maybe I've been guilty of doing the same thing of late. Right here, under your very discerning nose. The big story I'm writing, The Long Road Home? The fourth and "final" part (still in progress, almost there) has become a bit of a monster entry now, to the point where it's so chock-full of stuff that I'm considering splitting it up and delivering it over a number of tightly-spaced entries.

The very bloated arc story concept I was grumbling about earlier.

And there's the problem.

Some stories, some ideas, grow too big to squeeze into an episodic format. So we write bigger stories, and spread the ideas out. Some readers like these longer narratives, and may appreciate the craftsmanship and the fact that they're bursting with ideas, but they become harder to dip into. So, if all you're tuning in for is a few well-turned lines and some funny badgers while you have a coffee, it's probably a bit of a drag.

And frankly, arranging arc plot continuities over multiple entries as a perfectionist is a pain in the backside. You have to have most of it written, and then rewrite it to make it all hang together nicely.

So, perhaps I now appreciate the TV writer's lot a bit better.

It really can't be easy.

But still, I'm a consumer! And I'm fairly sure what I want to read*.

[* I have no idea what you want, of course. I'm always surprised what goes down well. Feel free to tell me, I may choose badly.]

So, I'll just put this tale to bed after a thorough and lean workout, and then get back to some short, fun stories. Frequent posts. Daft ideas. Eccentric characters. Funny badgers. You remember, right?

Until I write my book, anyway; stay tuned for that.

And stay tuned for the conclusion of The Long Road Home.

It'll be worth the wait.

Though you may need a flask and sandwiches.


This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2011
Symbolic prism was blatantly stolen from Eveek.


  1. What - the badgers are FUNNY?



  2. Who needs plots when you can have a time traveling call box and Daliks? :-)

    Looking forward to the ending! (With badgers elephants and tea [oh my!], how can you go wrong?)

  3. Hey Alistair! Don't make me come over there, man!

    Hey 'beck! That's no excuse! But I'm glad you're fired up and ready to go. But damn, wait, what?! You want TEA in the story?! Dammit, back to the drawing board.

    Thanks to you both, sort of, Indigo

  4. I'd agree with you, except that I like when they link episode to episode. It makes me pay attention better, perhaps even feel more invested in it. However, some of my favorite episodes are the standalone ones. Favorite episode ever? "Blink" from Series 3.

  5. Hey Joshua! BLINK was a gobsmacker, but was a "week ten" story, where one of both of the lead actors are largely absent - probably to give them the week off. These include the appalling LOVE & MONSTERS from Season 2 and the so-so MIDNIGHT from Season 4. By comparison, BLINK was a masterpiece. Indigo

  6. Ugh, Love & Monsters was awful, except for the always interesting Shirley Henderson. Midnight had potential, but just...didn't.

  7. Yep, MIDNIGHT was a mediocre and somewhat nonsensical retelling of Hitchcock's LIFEBOAT. And (it being week 10) it was sadly missing the sparkle between the Doctor and Donna. Lose-Lose, baby.

  8. A flask, a sandwich, and the end of your awesome story?

    I am down!

  9. I agree with your assessment of arc. I love arc but I've often found I like several arcs of differing lengths plus an episode story to keep me happy. I like to see characters change, I want to see situations change and build towards a conclusion, but I want to see a short term story.

    Now I liked Midnight. If it is the one I remember it was interesting in showing the Doctor as vulnerable. He isn't often.

  10. Hey Kato! It'll be soon, fear not. Even if I have to fold under pressure and post "and they all lived happily ever after".

    Hey 'Difficult! I may have to give MIDNIGHT another spin, just to check. I warm up to a lot of shows once I get over the initial disappointment over high expectations. Most things from S6, for example...

    Thanks to you both! Indigo

  11. I'll admit I have not been 'web aware' for a while and to get to read this post I was amazed just how long the 'final part' is - can't wait to get stuck in :)