Thursday, September 17, 2009

Disney, Writing…and Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup Yes, it’s Thursday morning again. Today I’m sharing a bowl of chicken soup…with all the ailing passengers I encountered on my flights to Orlando and back. Enjoy!

Yesterday I touched a little on my thoughts on Disney’s talent for entertainment and how I think we can capitalize on some of their ideas. You’re not going to be able to write War and Peace with their approach, but I think some of their general entertainment techniques are sound.

Sometimes, simple is effective. Nearly all of their rides combined humor with thrills. They didn’t get too analytical. They didn’t get too complicated.

Suspense. They kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I never knew what was around the next corner. By not giving their riders too much information, they kept us guessing and engaged.

Their endings were satisfying. They didn’t leave their guests hanging at the end. Everything was tied up and ended on either a humorous note or a relieved one (you survived whatever scary ride you were on.) Life isn’t like that. But neat endings for novels can be satisfying for a reader who’s stuck with you through an entire book. If you’re writing a series with a continuing storyline, it’s still important, I think, to tie up some loose ends for the reader, even if they’re just minor plot points.

Disney was a unique experience—I didn’t have my kids with me this time! The pure creativity and imagination spilling out of the place was inspiring to me.