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Topic: Questions using the TV show House as a case study.

The idea is to analyze the writing of the popular TV show to gain wider insights applicaple to our own writing. Appropriate questions might try to:

  • Understand specific techniques used in the show's screenwriting.
  • Tackle perceived flaws in the show's writing and consider how they might be corrected or avoided.
  • Raise questions from one's own work, independant of the show, which the TV show seems to have dealt with well.

Example Questions:

  • "How do I make my readers like my misanthropic character?"
  • "Can House be written to shake off its repetitive "patient of the week" structure?"
  • "How is House so compelling despite its repetitive structure?"
  • "House pulls off earnest romantic subplots, despit an overall theme of overwhelming cynicism and dysfunctionality - how does it manage that?"

Rationale: House is a popular TV show notable for compelling character work and a fresh take on the medical drama structure. Being able to use this series as a touchstone will encourage unusual, high-level questions about the series' impressive and unusual techniques, and allow both questions and answers to rely on common knowledge of an existing detailed, intricate work of fiction.

I believe many popular media examples would serve as equally good platforms for a challenge; House is one example among many. But it seems a popular show with a lot of different writing aspects to address, so I think it would serve well as one of our earlier topics.

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