Here's the first post in a series that will focus on writing lessons authors can glean from some of the great shows airing in this golden age of TV.

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Tropes — cultural references or recurrent themes imbued with shared meaning — can be a staple of storytelling (and a potential path to cliché).

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Focusing on the three-act structure and your nine plot points can help you construct a vibrant and meaningful narrative structure and bring your story to life.

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Whether you are working on draft material or devising a story in your mind, one element of great writing is cranking up the extraordinary to pack in information, meaning, and creativity.

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When you compare the pace of the "substantial happenings" in your work to best-selling books, does yours hold up? Analyzing the structural language of a New York Times best seller can give you a whole new view of writing and how great stories are put together.

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In any great book, every connection functions perfectly, the margin for error is almost nil. The chain has to be perfected for your story to unfold in a satisfying way.

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When you conflate, you tighten your writing and move your story forward. With practice and persistence, you can make your lessons more powerful, enjoyable, and universal.

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