B is about Build-Up #AtoZChallenge

Where's the payoff?!

Where’s the payoff?!                                                          Photographed in Munich Zoo on 30th July 2005 by Thomas Netsch Uploaded in German 22:06, 19. Okt 2005 by de:Benutzer:Thomas Netsch

This morning SHOULD be about coffee,but unless anyone can figure out a way to make coffee start with a B, build-up it is.

So I’ve been watching Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” a series about a teenage girl who commits suicide, and the reasons behind it. Overall, it’s pretty solid storytelling, but with one exception: unfulfilled build-up. (No worries, this is spoiler-free.)

Throughout the story, characters make veiled comments regarding a future event. The protagonist worries about the future event. He’s told repeatedly what the future event will be like for him.

Then it arrives.

And it doesn’t jibe with all of that build-up.

The show has a lot of tension, and uses it well, but for a viewer — or a reader — if you promise something, it must pay off. It’s like the Chekhov’s gun of story construction. By all means, use all the tools in the storytelling box to build tension.

Just make sure that build-up delivers. Otherwise your audience will feel cheated.

Speaking of build-up, stay tuned for Wednesday. D holds a special surprise!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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16 thoughts on “B is about Build-Up #AtoZChallenge

  1. Julie

    I agree every morning should be about coffee. I may need to change my topic for tomorrow to coffee, or confessions of a coffee addict. I get to watch so few shows that I’m really disappointed when a story line has all this build up and the delivery falls flat. Thanks for your review of the show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 It’s still a very strong show, if rather dark, but that kind of storytelling cheat drives me nuts!

      I’m always good for TV recs.

      I look forward to your coffee confession!


    • Darn! I was hoping that it was a problem with the adaptation, but I guess it’s the story itself. If you’re going to go there, I feel like you should go all the way with it…it’s a shame, because many elements are really strong.


  2. I’ve started watching that show too and I’m enjoying it. Though, I don’t think I’ve gotten to the “future event” yet. At least, not what I’m anticipating as “the event.” The repeated question-asking by the protag. has been frustrating me though. Just listen to the tapes! Argh! Hehe. 🙂


    • Ugh, can’t take the coffee black! I’m currently into coconut oil, which, when blended, makes it like a latte.

      I’ve never been into the Walking Dead, zombies aren’t my thing, but that is THE WORST when a show does that.

      Lost comes to mind.


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