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Good Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV structure, or What Would Buffy Do?

woman with futuristic glassesA friend recently had a writing assignment to turn in an outline for a “genre” show.  (I hate that term, but more on that another time.)  He’s not much of a sci-fi and fantasy person, and so felt he wouldn’t be able to write for a monster-a-week show.  He didn’t know enough about monsters.  I pointed out that one gets to make up whatever rules are needed, so no actual knowledge is required.  I figured I should share it here with you, the world, because what else do I have to blog about today?


1.) Someone gets attacked. Someone else glimpses the attacker. It was a bee monster.  A bee monster?!? That can’t be right.  Wait is that… honey?

2.) A librarian/engineer/wizard points out that there actually are quite a few references to bee monsters over here in my giant pile of books about monsters. No one believes librarian/engineer/wizard.

3.) While the heroes are engaged in a subplot, and a bee monster shows up and kicks everyone’s ass real hard.  Holy shit, a bee monster!

4.)Hero to librarian/engineer/wizard, I need you to find out everything you possibly can about bee monsters, like, yesterday.

5.) Romantic subplot.

6.) I hate to interrupt your romance, Hero, but I the librarian/engineer/wizard have learned a super secret about bees by looking in my extra good pile of monster books, which I always reserve for Act IV. I am never allowed to know secrets during earlier battles.

7.) Hero beats up bee monster using librarian/engineer/wizard’s knowledge. Climactic battle that couldn’t have been won without Knowledge!

8.) Huh.  Turns out there were bee monsters all along.  Let’s put a cutesie bow on our romantic subplot.

Point is, actual mythology doesn’t need to say a damn thing.  You can create the rules to your monster, and elude to things about it from actual history in #2, but then give it a name and weakness and details (that you make up) in #6.  After all, your librarian/engineer/wizard has better books than any real person, so whatever Knowledge you put in them will be the official rules of your universe, mundane-world mythology notwithstanding.

14. September 2014 by DigitalDeron
Categories: Television, Writing | Tags: , , , ,

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