Saturday, March 19, 2011

What writers can learn from the Elaine Dance

One of my favorite Seinfeld scenes is the classic "Elaine Dance." Believe it or not, writers can learn valuable lessons from these horrific dance moves.

  1. Herky jerky is bad. Elaine's dancing is neckbrace-worthy. As writers, we want our transitions and pacing to flow like graceful ballerinas.
  2. Cluelessness doesn't make problems go away. If Elaine wasn't oblivious to the laughs and stares, perhaps she'd seek dancing advice. Our writing weaknesses won't fix themselves. We must continue learning.
  3. Get out there and have fun. Fear of ridicule shouldn't keep us from enjoying the ride. If we write from the heart, listen to valuable advice, and keep trying, we can boogie our way to publication.

What writing lessons have you learned from TV or movie characters? And if you haven't seen the Elaine Dance, I hope this video brightens your day (it cracks me up every time).


32 comments:

  1. sweet fancy Moses! That is one of the most LOL moments of television! I like your analogies. And I'd say for #2--that's what makes critters so valuable. Yes? They tell us when we keep doing something horrifying... :D <3

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  2. Oh Gosh! I hadn't seen Elaine's dance in years! Thanks for the belly laugh! And soooo true how writers can learn from it! Great post!!!!

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  3. Awesome! Love the video and love the analogy to writing. I especially like your last point: Go out there and have fun. If we're not doing the dance for the sheer love of dancing then we're apt to be disappointed.

    Great post!

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  4. Don't forget to be enthusiastic. :) If anything, Elaine was a very enthusiastic dancer. Loved the video!

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  5. That was a great TV moment. So funny. Great post made me smile and I needed to smile. :)

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  6. AAAHHH I LOVE the Elaine dance!!! Good times. And great analogy!! He he. Get down!!!

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  7. I remember that moment!
    No matter how brilliant the writing or clever the story, sometimes those in charge just don't get it. Learned that from Firefly, a show of pure genius, that was cancelled after one season.

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  8. Hehe! This is great. Good analogy!

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  9. BOOGIE OUR WAY TO PUBLICATION<<< Love it! And the dance was so funny. :)
    Thanks for cheering up my day!

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  10. Love the Elaine dance. I agree with Monica on the BOOGIE OUR WAY TO PUBLICATION. I want a t-shirt with that saying.

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  11. Thanks for the post, Julie. That and other Seinfeld episodes always crack us up, too. We just came back from our New York trip where we had been repeating quite a few lines from that show, including: "No soup for you!".
    Take care.
    -Jimmy

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  12. Julie,
    That was fun and gosh, never made the connection to what a valuable lesson we had in our mits...
    thanks so much!

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  13. LOL great comparisons here. Hope you're having a super weekend!

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  14. I remember when I watched that the first time...couldn't stop laughing.

    She needs a dance critique, stat!

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  15. I love this comparison! It's stuck in my head now. My favorite part of the Elaine dance is the weird thing she does with her ankle. Hilarious!

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  16. I love Seinfeld! My husband and I used to watch that show while dating and into our marriage.

    Okay, I'll say Castle. As a writer, don't be afraid to get out there and mix with professionals for research! :)

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  17. omg made me LAUGH - I'd not seen it - but can you believe I've only seen one or two episodes! and that was after it was over!

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  18. This is wonderful.Enjoyed the Elaine Dance.

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  19. Oh man, that's one of my favorite episodes. It's painfully funny to watch! Great analogy and thanks for the smile :)

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  20. Great analogy. The Elaine dance is TV's oerfect LOL moment.

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  21. I've never seen that before, hilarious and great analogy. I often feel just like that online and in real-life :)

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  22. Oh my goodness, I'd never seen that before!

    Heartbroken to learn that ignoring my writing flaws won't make them go away! Guess I'm in for a lot of hard work in that case ;)

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  23. Love this post and FYI if we ever get to meet in person. . . I do the Elaine dance perfectly LOL!

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  24. LOL! Great video! I've never seen that. And excellent advice.

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  25. hahah this is such a classic! I love it.

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  26. Interesting comparison, but you make good points. Never saw this dance, but I am one of the few who never watched Seinfeld when it was on. I've seen a few shows since and see why so many liked that show.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  27. i love the analogy here --- we should all write "as if no one is watching"

    ;-)

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  28. Soooo true! And Elaine's foot is mesmerising :)

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  29. I love the analogy and I love Elaine's dancing. LOL.

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  30. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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