Writer’s Notebook: TVs Dynamic Duos

I know reality television has taken over. Nothing compares to quality fiction. Some say television destroys out ability to use our imagination. Oh, I don’t know about that. If a story is good I imagine what happens between the scenes.

Two of my favorite shows are Castle and Bones. Both shows have male and female duos. Each member of the pair has family issues. But each deals with them differently.

Let’s look at Bones. Bones is the best forensic scientist in the world and she knows it. She wraps up much of her esteem in her intellegence. Her partner knows this and lets her be the smart one. Whereas she is not a people person (INTJ personality) her partner is.

But what makes them interesting is their similarities. Both have Daddy Issues. Bones lost her mother and for much of her life she spent it without her father. It turns out he is a criminal who only wants to protect his children. His daughter uses science to catch criminals.

Bones’s partner, Booth, lives to catch the bad guys as an FBI agent and at some time has to arrest her father. Later he champions him as a great grandfather and helps Bones to trust her father.

Booth’s Daddy Issues result from an abusive father and an absentee mother. The strink becomes a surrogate little brother, himself growing up a foster child.

So what does this show teach us as writers? I get the importance of childhood in developing dynamic characters. This show also shows that we have much in common with people if we dig beyond the surface. We should use this when creating stories that rely on duos.

If we examine our own lives we will find examples. Perhaps your parents have shared hardship but different outlooks on life. One could be atheist (Bones) and the other Catholic (Booth). One could be wealthy (Bones) and the other on a government salary (Booth). If you want a compelling story the two characters must have something in common that has led them to their current point in life.

Have you written any dynamic duo scripts? What tips do you have?

Talk to me,
Sara Jo




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