As I’ve been watching this, I’ve been wondering why this show is so popular among so many who wouldn’t normally watch a period drama. Plus, how the screenwriter, Julian Fellowes, manages to keep the conflict escalating for such a long time and never once bores the viewers.
This is what I’ve come up with. I’ll try not to give too many spoilers , so if you decide to watch the series for yourself everything will still be a surprise.
3 – Add Humor – After you’ve introduced all these new characters and made the villains more evil, perhaps it’s time for a change. And Downton Abbey would not be Downton Abbey, without those funny one liners, usually delivered in a cut glass British accent by the dowager countess, played by Maggie Smith. Such lines as, “what’s a weekend”, and her “swivel chair” scene have become constant quotables at our house. Adding a character who has biting wit or a fun sense of humor can balance out your novel.
5 – Leave readers hanging – End each chapter with a bang! Each episode of Downton leaves readers wanting more. The ending of the first season makes it impossible to not watch the second. I won’t spoil things by mentioning the wonderful ending of Season 2. J End a chapter with a character discovering something, (maybe they’re going to inherit an estate J) or perhaps end it with a funny one liner. But make sure to end it so that readers can’t wait to turn to the next page.
So there you have it. Five tips on writing I’ve learned from watching Downton Abbey. I’m already putting these in place in my own writing and loving the results! By the way, I also viewed the most recent mini-series from Julian Fellowes on the Titanic, and he incorporated these same techniques with similar results. Maybe he’d like to do the movie adaptation of my next book? (Just dreaming here!!)