Lessons on storytelling from BBC's Sherlock

Here are a few lessons I have been able to glean from watching three seasons of BBC's Sherlock TV series.

  1. Drama can compensate for lack of plot. In fact, drama well done can even fool people into thinking that there is a plot.
  2. Drama however, will not work if your audience (or readership) does not care what happens to your character. So character is probably even more important than drama.
  3. Show. Don't tell. Do not tell your audience how close Sherlock and John are. Let them see it in the quiver of a brow or the soundless opening and closing of a mouth.
  4. More important than revealing a secret is how it is revealed. Do it with enough style and even the most obvious things will come off as glamourous.
A bit obvious all of this. Plus, I have a feeling I am reinforcing things I have believed for a long time. But there it is.