Quality Writing Means Writing

I’m going through one of those phases where I haven’t been reading much lately. I’ve been trying to write more, which takes up a lot of my time at night. To be fair though, the biggest reason was because I became enamored by Veep, which I reviewed lovingly last week, and could not stop watching. It took me about four days to watch all three seasons. To be fair to myself, each episode was less than a half hour, enabling me to fly through them. It’s bittersweet because now I have to wait until April!

Even though I don’t have any finished books to review, I have been reading a book on screenwriting during a few minutes in the morning that I have between my workout and work. Paired with my screenwriting course, it’s been enlightening.

The majority of my writing experience has focused on short stories, both fiction and memoir, journalism and feature writing, and blurbs for the blog. I’ve enjoyed all of the types of writing I’ve tried, but something that intrigues me the most is dialogue.

I am obsessed with dialogue in movies and television, especially when it’s effective. When there’s good dialogue, you don’t even think about it, but when it’s bad, it makes you cringe. I may be a bit dramatic about it than other people, but dialogue makes or breaks a show.

One of the reasons why I think stations like HBO or Netflix are so successful is because they have no limitations on their dialogue or scenes. They are allowed to talk like real people would and don’t have to throw in fillers when sometimes swears just fit perfectly into a situation.

That’s not to say that network tv can’t have clever dialogue, they just have to be that much more cleverer and find a way around this absence.

Since I’ve started the class, I’ve found my creative spirit has liberated. I have all of these ideas I’ve been writing down and journaling and it makes me so excited to read more about screenwriting and to sit down and write!

I’m embarrassed to admit that it can sometimes be difficult for me to read nonfiction books because I find fiction to be that much more interesting, both in terms of reading and watching. If I sit down and force myself to get going, I often end up really enjoying and learning quite a bit. It’s just that, for me, I prefer to get lost in the imagination of the writer. Clearly, both have their benefits and I do try to read more nonfiction.

This book is a great resource to have, but in the end, I just have to settle down and write, write, write!

All Hail the Chief!

My only complaint about Veep is that the seasons simply are not long enough. It took me far too long to start watching because I didn’t have access to HBO, but now it’s taking me no time at all to fly through the show thus far.

From the start, the characters have defined characteristics and dynamics with one another, without getting overly sentimental with providing too much backstory. A quality show builds backstory as it continuously moves forward, careful to establish moments that an audience will find endearing.

We want to grow with characters, not be caught up in things that were supposed to happen before we “met” them.

The show reminds me of a cross between Parks and Rec and The Office, with the quirky characters, underdog storyline plots, and quick, smart humor. It almost seems that a camera crew is following them, which is not the set up of the show, but in some ways might be considered because of how it’s a political show. The media could be perceived as that camera crew because it’s always around and shows different perspectives.

I’m obsessed with the dialogue of this show and how real it seems. It flows and moves quickly, incorporating enough political jargon without being over pretentious. If I could write for a show, I would want it to be this one.

Also, something has to be said about the talent of Julia Louis Dreyfuss. People always talk about Amy and Tina-rightfully so- but look at how much Julia has done for women in comedy. She was the single female in one of the funniest, greatest shows of all time, Seinfeld. Elaine is incredibly defined in pop culture, and yet, I have no trouble in believing Julia as Selina. She is hilarious and genius as a woman in power struggling through politics and the dynamics of Washington. Sometimes she bumble and is silly, sometimes she’s mean and ruthless, but mostly she has a good heart that is prevented from doing much of anything because she’s only Veep.

I also really like all of the other characters who I can just imagine being in these positions. It almost makes me wish I could get into this line of work, which is a mark of a great show because I would be horrid in politics. I am far too dramatic, sassy, and sensitive.

Even though it took me awhile to finally get to watch it, I’m already dreading finishing this up. I’m going to need to check when it comes back because a few half hour showings of this creative genius is not enough.

All hail the Veep, or Pissface, which is one of her nicknames. Watch the show!