Disney Channel Invaded My Writing (and I’m not sure it’s a bad thing)
Posted by monicamynk
I suppose almost nine must be the new preteen. What happened to my little angel, who wore us out with shows like Yo Gabba Gabba! and the Backyardigans? Two years ago, we were hanging out on the balcony of a hotel in Pigeon Forge, and my sweet boy was holding my hand for dear life. Now, he makes sure there’s at least a foot of distance between us when we’re walking together.
And now, he wants to watch Disney, 24/7. Dog with a Blog, Girl Meets World, Austin and Ally, and A.N.T. Farm. Overacting aside, these shows have several parts that I don’t like–the kids speak disrespectfully to the parents, the principals and teachers are depicted as idiots, and sometimes the characters are downright mean to each other. True, there’s a good message at the end of the show, but the kids want to mimic the over-the-top silly stuff.
We try to be diligent about policing their TV and internet usage, but sometimes my husband and I get as caught up in these shows as the kids do. And then, we look at each other and wonder how we get sucked in.
It’s those little quirks, those memorable, outrageous moments that are something like a train wreck. They dump paint on each other, throw drinks in each other’s faces, fall out of chairs, and suddenly we’ve tuned in to fifteen minutes of the show. But what really catches our attention are the entrances of characters into the scene.
Since we’ve been watching more Disney, it’s changed the way I write scenes in my story. I’ve started thinking more about introducing characters and those “seriously?” moments in my own writing, and researching iconic movie entrances. Turns out, they’re in some of my favorite classics as well as some modern icons.
Take Breakfast at Tiffany’s, for example. When she stepped out of that cab, I was sold. She could have stood there and took bites out of that danish the rest of the movie, and I would have still loved it.
Who could forget Willy Wonka’s big entrance–both Gene Wilder’s and Johnny Depp’s depictions? Peter Gibbons in Office Space? Sandra Bullock’s emergence as Gracie Lou Freebush?
I loved Rachel Leigh Cook’s descent down the stairs in She’s All That, and Leelee Sobieski’s prom entrance in Never Been Kissed.
How many times in our writing do we just have characters walk into a room? She went to the kitchen, he stepped into the classroom–entrances can make all the difference.
It seems like such a simple concept, to make the character the focal point of the scene, but a lot of times we get so caught up in the progression of the plot or setting description that we forget to do it. We give them simple actions, like smiling, grinning, smirking, etc. and forget the power of a sashay, strut, or glide.
Perhaps Carly Simon says it best…although today’s critters would take issue with the “was” 🙂