Featured Posts

1 2 3 4 5

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

What the How I Met Your Mother Finale Reminded Me About Writing

Hey everyone! So, I don't know about you guys, but I am a fan of the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which had its series finale last night. The finale was a bit disappointing, in my opinion, but it did remind me of something important about writing. This all probably won't make much sense if you haven't seen the finale, but if you have, well... yay coherency! If you don't know what the show is about, well... think sitcom.  A group of friends who hang out in a bar, getting into relationships and mischief and all that fun stuff. This particular show was based around Ted Moseby, telling his kids the story of how he met their mother... Over a period of 9 seasons. 

Now, I won't get into much of the details over what happened in the finale, so as not to spoil it for anyone, but I just wanted to talk a little bit about an important thing about writing that the finale reminded me of. And that is the idea that when you write, your characters take a life of their own and really lead the author down the path that they want to go. Now, I'm not saying I know much at all about writing professionally and while it's my absolute dream, I have never written a full length novel, but man oh man do I have dozens of un-finished stories. And it took me a little while to realise that as I was writing with a specific ending in mind, sometimes my characters and story had another ending in their vision and as I wrote, I usually ended up going closer to their way than my own. 

With How I Met Your Mother, there are a lot of different things to take into account, especially in terms of the different relationships and the growth and development of these characters. But when the series finale seems to completely dismiss so much of what the rest of the show has lead up to, it's hard to take it seriously and not wonder if it's some sort of sick April Fool's joke. I think the How I Met Your Mother writers forgot about the fact that, no matter how much you want your story to end the way you planned it to, characters grow and develop on their own, which sometimes leads you down a different path than you had originally mapped out. Sometimes, it really is okay to scrap that pre-filmed footage and work with the wonderful character development that we've seen over the past 9 seasons. I understand that there needs to be some realism to the show, especially about certain relationships not working out and not always a 100% happy ending, but there also needs to be an observation on the writer's part about where the characters should go NOW instead of where they should have gone in 2005. 

I do know that writing for a TV show so beloved like this must be incredibly difficult, as well as different from writing a book, as your characters literally come to life on screen, instead of simply on the page, however they are still characters with a background and hurt and memories that do not simply disappear because of a pre-filmed scene from the start of the series. These characters grew so much more than I think the writers probably imagined during the series and it showed, when we saw so much of that growth disappear in the span of one hour long episode. 

This is of course, simply my opinion and I really just wanted to open up this discussion with you guys about writing characters and letting the characters lead you at times. Also, if you did happen to watch the finale, what did you think? Let me know!

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. So How I Met Your Mother is one of my all time, top 5 favorite shows. Probably more like 3rd favorite show. I am still completely undecided how I feel about the finale. I think that the feeling that I am left with is a sense that there really was no closure for me. I needed something else that I feel like I wasn't given. I know to a lot of people getting so involved in a TV show is silly, but I think reading makes me that way. I get involved and I care, and these shows and books become family and friends, and I get invested. That is how I was with this show. I have seen every single episode, every single second, of this show, more than once. Probably five or six times, and I loved every second of it. And the ending did not leave me feeling closure, it left me befuddled. I am hoping that over time, and with a few more viewings, I will get what I need from it. But for now, I still feel utterly confused.
    And I know that writers have the freedom to write what they feel, to follow the path that their characters lead them down, but I also think that, especially with a tv show, that they should keep the people who watch and love their show in mind, too. Because, without us, those beloved characters wouldn't be beloved at all, and they never would have made it for 9 seasons in the first place.


Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I appreciate every single comment I get! I will try as hard as I can to remember to stop by your blog and return the favour! (I'm so sorry if I forget, I have an awful memory!)

As of now, A Little Shelf of Heaven is an award-free blog! I really appreciate them, so so much, but I just don't have the time to pass them along to other blogs!

Thanks for stopping by! <3

©A Little Shelf of Heaven
Design by Seo Evie. Powered by Blogger.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...