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More Writerly Observations

Now that the show Arrow is over, a retrospective would be nice. That is not what this is. I really enjoyed the show, although I have not seen the last season and a half, nor have I seen the latest crossover “Crises of Infinite Earths.” I may watch them at some point, but maybe not. I was really invested in the show, but there are reasons I jumped ship, and that makes for good writerly advice.

The first thing I noticed in this series was what I now realize is a CW trope–expand the cast with pretty people. Apparently, an ensemble cast makes for much more content and interpersonal interaction than having a show based around a single star and a loosely connected supporting cast. This makes good sense, because what better way to reflect upon your title character than with strong supporting characters.

The second thing I noticed was how the writers reinterpreted the source material. They took a relatively straightforward origin and then they grew it into a five year globe-trotting super origin. They visited this again and again in flashback sequences, and even made the island in question into an ongoing plot point and symbolic return to story’s core element. The island became a crucible in which multiple story arcs, and characters, were cast.

The third thing I picked up on is related to the second. When the writers reinterpreted the characters, they multiplied them. Speedy became two different characters, and the Black Canary became three instead of one. All the characters now had parents and siblings. And, if that weren’t enough, some of the characters even ended up having secret illegitimate parents, and there were secret kids who were raised in seclusion from their half brothers and sisters. The evil clone or twin element even came into it through adventures in multiple universes.

Here’s my takeaway: All this was good for the show, and made for fun television. You can learn a lot by taking a good look at your own creative ideas or properties and broadening them. Maybe you don’t want to go as far as the CW trope, but adding to your cast of characters will probably introduce a trove of new ideas.

When I revisit this subject, I will probably touch on the themes and symbolism in Arrow, and the reasons why I eventually stopped watching.

Published inBlogWriting