Writing Advice from Southpark

So I caught this documentary on Southpark the other day. Called SIX DAYS TO AIR: THE MAKING OF SOUTHPARK, it shows how Matt Stone & Trey Parker cough out an entire episode in six days. As in, six days before it airs. As in, they have no idea what the hell they're gonna do on day one. As in, hey, did you know Bill Hader is part of their writing team?

ANYhoo...during the doc, Trey (who largely drives the writing bus), dropped a casual tidbit of advice whilst talking about how freakin soul-crushing it is to write. (Me: HOLEEE SHIT. TREY PARKER GETS IT!) Advice was simple: replace your "and"s with some "therefore"s and "but"s when a scene feels dull. Not necessarily in the writing itself, mind, but rather in your idea sequence.

To wit:

Joe Tremors sneezes all over his wife, and sprays her with snot, and crashes into the wall, knocking himself out cold.

Now, just and-therefore-but-erize it, and it becomes:

Joe Tremors sneezes all over his wife and sprays her with snot, therefore sending a fine necrovirus mist into her face. But his wife doesn't wipe it away; she opens her mouth wider. Joe snaps his head in a double take and stumbles, therefore crashing into the wall. He knocks himself out. But unconsciousness will not be a reprieve for him. Instead, the dark screen of his mind will present a miasma of images and other sensory horrors, therefore becoming a perma-freak-show theater. But only one movie will ever play here. And it is an endless reel of what he saw in the seconds before his eyes fluttered closed: his wife's outstretched arms, her unhinging jaw.The laugh spiraling out of the black gulf of her mouth as her claws reach for the top of his head.

See? A pretty decent idea generator and simple. Therefore, you should try it. I mean, that was some surreous drivel above, but see how ATB unlocked all kinds of little gateways? And they all keep branching off into cooler, darker paths. Therefore I should stop now, before I let you too far into the tangled wood of my brain. But...



And thanks to all who swung by during the Pay It Forward shenanigans, and to those awesome individuals who always comment on my posts, however infrequent they may be. I read them all :)