What a Writer Can Learn from LOST

I admit, I’m 10 years behind. LOST first aired in 2004, ending in 2010. (Do I get an award for not catching a single episode in the 6 years it aired?!?!?) However Netflix provides the entire series for new viewers to get wrapped in, such as myself.

And regardless of how many hours I have lost (haha) from writing to this show I have gained 5 tips.

1. Outline, outline, outline.

Lost proves that a multidimensional story, comes from a great outline. It almost seems as though it was originally written backwards to develop all the different angles without missing a beat. Every action has a purpose, every line a reason.

2. Great characters come from great back stories.

Of course the constant flashbacks in Lost would prove rather overwhelming in book form, but it works for TV. We see how powerful they can be. Learn to incorporate great character’s past and present life.

3. Environment always plays a role.

Think about how your personal landscape and environment plays a role in your everyday life. Remember to carry that into your story. Remember how the simple things can cause stress and set backs.

4. Surprise your audience.

Just when one twist comes to an end another twist starts. Leave them guessing, but not at something pointless, at something important. Let your reader start to think one way, and then pull them another. Make them go “oh!” aloud. Put the least likely characters into those spots that pay off. Lost did a good job of this with its female characters.

5. Take time off!

Lost should remind you that you need other outlets to get lost (haha) in so that you can rest your creative mind and come back to your story(s) fresh. Engross yourself in a book, watch a movie, nap, cook, create a piece of art.




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