Over the last week, I have been re-watching my dvds of The West Wing, starting with Season 1 and am now about halfway through Season 2. In addition to the genuine characters, interesting story lines, and a unique setting, one of the things I am finding myself appreciating more and more is the great writing that made up this show. The dialogue is smart and fast, the patterns of speech are strong and pleasing to the ear, and the sentiment is strong. Especially in the early seasons, I feel like Aaron Sorkin really raised the bar for viewers, challenging them to watch a show where highly educated people didn't dumb themselves down for the sake of ratings. After seven seasons, I was sad to depart with these characters, but even still, the show has been off the air for nearly four years and I still quote some of it's most memorable lines.
Though I have a dismal vocabulary (especially considering I have an English degree) and my ability to deliver understandable oratory has only moderately improved thanks to my semester of student teaching, it is still a trait I value above all when it comes to story telling. Anne Lamont in her book Bird by Bird stresses that for new authors, the biggest struggle is often developing realistic or believable dialogue. I can attest to that in my attempts at writing fiction. But I also think that this can be a double-edged sword - there are many people (right now, politicians come to mind) who are capable of great writing and oratory, but aren't actually saying anything. You have been warned, readership, to try your best not get lost in flowery language unless there is a point to it.
That's all from here. Keep it classy, readership. Comments and suggestions for blogging topics are always welcome :o)