Friday, August 16, 2013

Why distractions are not always a problem

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'll be writing about distraction because that's really the theme of the week for me. Somehow I got nostalgic and started looking for old Power Ranger episodes, which I eventually found on project free TV. A little side note here: Project free TV is awesome. It holds links to episodes of pretty much every show you could think of. Which is great because living in the Netherlands (Europe) means that a lot of great shows air later here. So I relay on the internet to keep me up to date with my favorite fandoms. 

But lets get back to my discovery of 17 seasons of Power Rangers. Luckily for me, I only watched up to Power Rangers Light Speed Rescue. Everything after that doesn't have any nostalgic value for me and just seems silly. I also missed the Zeo and Turbo series because those weren't aired in my country. For some reason it made more sense to pick up with In Space I guess. Anyway, I was thrilled with hours of nostalgic entertainment ahead of me. So instead of writing I got stuck watching a kids show. Some people might think it's a waste of time, but here is why it's really not. 

First of all, even a simple story can be a huge inspiration. I also read many fanfictions written by either young or untalented authors just because there's something there that grabs my attention. Something that with a little twist could really be awesome. Just to give an example, my Arrow fanfiction came to mind when I was reading a fairly bad 'five to one' fanfiction by another author. She had written about five times Oliver Queen lived and one time he died. Obviously we only die once, but I thought it was interesting to turn that concept around and have him 'die' five times in a figurative sense instead. The idea wouldn't have come to mind if I had stopped reading after the first break. Personally, I'm glad I did. I really enjoy writing this particular story. 

Another great thing about kid shows is that it usually has a clear point to make. There's a lesson to be learned in every episode and usually it's a cliche. Now, I know that most writers claim you should keep yourself far from cliches while writing, but I have a different point of view here. A cliche is a cliche because it works, so use it to your advantage. Want some examples? Think about Harry Potter, a great story praised for originality. Boiled down to the core it's just another boy destined to destroy evil, one of many cliches. Or how about Star Trek and Star Wars, which can both be summarized in the same way using cliches. The point I'm trying to make is that you should know your cliches before you can write something original. Kids shows are a great way to get familiar with them. (Okay, so are the classics, but the classics don't go boom or have one liners!) 

My last argument only goes for non-native English speakers like myself, but I still want to share it with you. Watching as many shows as possible keeps my English skills up to date. Many of the non-native speakers don't speak English on a daily basis and usually it does show in their writings. Too keep my English from getting too rusty I watch as many movies and TV shows as possible. I also read a lot of English and try to talk to native speakers when I get a chance. I have to admit, Power Rangers is fairly simple, but it's still a lot of fun watching!

Now I should really get back on writing for my fanfiction pieces. I currently work on the second chapter of Star Trek Falcon episode one. If everything goes as planned it will be up this weekend. For all the Arrow fans, don't fear, I think I'll be able to pick up 'That last little bit' somewhere next week. 

As for now, thank you for reading and I hope you'll have a great weekend! 

~ Chell <3

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