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!
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!