Saturday, 22 October 2016

Top 5 Things Downton Abbey Taught Me About Writing

I've been having withdrawal since the finale. But I know I'm not alone. Millions of viewers were captivated with the personal lives of both the aristocrats and the staff at the majestic manor.

And why do we love it so? One word—conflict. Well, yes, and maybe the jewelry, and dresses, and how everyone talks fancy. But, as a writer, I wanted to examine how Julian Fellowes managed to create a huge cast of characters that we embraced so quickly.

Here are the top five things Downton Abbey has taught me about writing.

1. Every character should be either rich, good looking, or in a position of authority.
Mr. Carson, Head Butler
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2. The main love interests should despise each other at first, then secretly hide their affection. It also helps if they're never single at the same time.
Mathew and Mary
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3. Create a sympathetic character who continuously battles hardships and bad luck, then finally gets what he wants most—only to have that taken away by an unforeseeable complication.

Mr. Bates and Anna
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4. One character should be able to say whatever witty insult they please, without suffering any consequences.

Dowager Duchess aka the awesome Maggie Smith
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5. The villain should have a sidekick who is just as deceptive, yet has a concealed capacity for compassion and may not always go along with the plan—especially if they're feeling unappreciated by the villain.

Thomas and Miss O'Brien
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And here's the bonus...

When in doubt, add a dinner scene.

Norman Rockwell...almost
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Who's your favorite character on Downton?

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