Never stop learning. . .

I can't believe I missed HOMELAND until now. Purely by accident, I switched on the telly during a HL marathon, and that was it. I was hooked. Incredible writing, turns and twists I never saw coming, and incredible acting. Claire Danes can act circles around anyone in the business, and Damien Lewis has always been a fav. One show I never missed was LIFE, and he was spectacular in it. They use a ton of tight shots, lighting is moody and effective, and the characters so complex I'm in awe.

I heard a songwriter say that Springfield's JESSE'S GIRL is the perfect pop song, and anyone wanting to learn to write one, should study that one song thoroughly. Same with HOMELAND. Anyone who cares about goals, motivation and conflict can learn a ton of lessons from it. Up the ante, make it worse, and I mean really, really bad, then throw in some more problems, and you can't imagine how they're going to write the end. I sure don't see how, and usually, I can foresee the next move. I'm going to take notes, believe me.

A writer should never stop studying other creative works, whether of art, music, drama, or literature. It's easier to see what others do and how they do it if you're keeping yourself open to learning from them. I imagine whole stories in paintings, pick up tag lines that are entire novels (I wish that I had Jesse's girl. Where can I find a woman like that?), and add depth to a scene that follows the emotional arc of a song. (Sting's "Desert Rose.") I'm never one to turn down writing help, wherever it arises.