#writinglessons: Aftermath Season 1 Episode 1

I confess – I watch entirely too much tv. Yes, fine, I’ve said it. *covers face in shame*

To justify the amount of tv I consume, I try my best to learn what I can from shows and figure out how those lessons can be applied to my writing in a positive way.

Does that make any sense? Or am I just trying to make excuses to watch more tv?

Uh … yeah.

So, I watched the first episode (pilot) of Aftermath from Syfy and it left me … wondering.

Image result for aftermath show

The premise is really good – there’s an apocalyptic event and the US is affected. Specifically, the Copeland family is separated from one of their members and that drives the rest of the first episode. The Copelands set off on a quest to find her.

Image result for aftermath show

This here is the daughter who is to be found.

As I mentioned above, the pilot episode left me wondering because some of the things that happened were just so random and bizarre. But, even more importantly, the character reactions to these bizarre occurrences were … weird.

For instance, oh and please forgive the spoilers to come…they see a ‘spirit’ come out of an individual and well, the characters just don’t freak out enough. Maybe it’s the Nigerian in me, but if I see a spirit come out of a supposed human being, I’m freaking the #@*! out.

Same with if I see a supposed human being pull my child into the air and watch they fly off. I’m not going to stop crying, wringing my hands, and babbling about my missing child. None of that happened with Mama Copeland. Nor did it happen with Papa Copeland. Frankly, the entire family was just so damn chill about it all. Maybe it’s because Mr. Copeland studies religion, archeology etc (whatever it was the writers decided to shove down our throats during a weird conversation between him and his wife). Maybe he’s just too smart to freak out. Or, maybe it’s because his wife was in the Navy, so she’s not in touch with her feelings or her maternal instinct. Who knows?

All I know is, I’d be bugging out, trying to understand why people are acting crazy, why folks can suddenly fly, why the world is falling apart and most importantly – where is my child!

Image result for aftermath show

Watching this episode made me realize the importance of ensuring that characters actually react to the scenes they’re in, especially when a scene is turbo charged. As a writer, I have to put myself in the shoes of someone going through the experience and try to figure out how they would react. I also have to take into account the type of person my character is supposed to be, but I can’t just not have them react appropriately. And if they don’t, then I need to find a way to make the reader/viewer understand why. If not, I risk losing my consumer and they’ll likely move on to something more rewarding for them.

Ah, the joys of being a writer!

Anyway, because I’m a sucker for the Syfy channel and because I’m craving science fiction programming (I’ve said so on Twitter and desperately need #TheExpanse to hustle on back to tv) I will watch the second episode of the Aftermath. I hope it sucks me in and keeps me engaged.

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