What I learned about writing from 30 minute cartoons

I’ve been watching a lot of animated shows lately. Baseball season is coming to a close, and my Texas Rangers are playing a lot on the West Coast, meaning their games are on really late. So I did what any self dignified nerd does:
I started recording animated series and watching them. Mainly Batman and Superman, sometimes I catch Ninjago or Pokemon. But I’m older now, and instead of just watching Batman pummel people or Superman fly off into the distance I’m paying more attention to the stories themselves.

They are full of references to previous time periods, pop culture, and even have comedic elements. And more importantly: most of them are good. They keep my attention and make me want to get to the ending.

And then I started thinking about the stories I write.

Do they make people want to get to the end? Do they have drive?
I think some do and some don’t; hopefully I know which ones so I can throw them away.

So here’s the challenge:

1. Watch some old cartoons
Catch some old cartoons in reruns, or buy a dvd set. I like the DC Universe ones, great Sci Fi, bu there are countless other series. GI Joe, Transformers, Dragonball; just to name a few. See how the stories are good or bad, really analyze the plots and circumstances.

2. Try writing something with an established character

Try writing some fan fiction. C’mon, you know you want to. Use a comic book character, or movie characters, just try to make something new with something old. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about your writing, and how much you can change things that are boring.

3.  Watch some more cartoons

Ok, so I couldn’t think of a third point. But hey who doesn’t love cartoons?

Let me know if this helps!

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