Wednesday, June 8, 2011
3 Writing Lessons from Chandler Bing
First of all, I just have to say that I loved having a reason for looking up pictures of Matthew Perry. He makes me happy. I know I just did this kind of thing with Steven Tyler, but I kind of like the idea of seeing what we can learn about writing from really awesome people. Like Chandler.
1. Humor helps. In real life and in writing. People remember you and you're writing more if you're funny or witty or entertaining. Think about it, the most quoted person on Friends has to be Chandler or Phoebe. Chandler's the one with the witty comebacks that you wish you'd thought of first. Even if what you're writing is serious, having moments of comic relief not only helps your audience breath for a bit, but the contrast allows the dramatic moments to stand out and mean more.
2. Awesome is a relative term. Most of the things you think you need to be awesome (ripped body, money, a British accent) Chandler doesn't have. He's got an unglamorous job, is sometimes immature and is always a total dork. And yet he's still totally awesome. He is what he is, and even makes fun of himself for it, and that makes him awesome. Write the best you can and always try to improve, but be yourself and write whatever kinds of things you think are awesome. Just be what you be and write what you write.
3. Don't take the people in your life for granted. Chandler did at first, always looking outside of his group for girls. But Monica was across the hall the whole time. Even if you don't have famous author friends or know a host of New York agents, which most of us don't, if you pay attention you can learn from everyone already in your life. Get to know them deep down, and hear their stories. That always helps with writing. Or one might have done an editing minor in college, or just be a really good reader. And who knows, maybe one of them actually does have an old roommate with an uncle's neighbor's twin sister who is an editor at Random House.
I'll leave you with a link to my favorite scene. Happy writing!