Do you plan things like the characters following and unfollowing each other while you are writing episodes or does that come later?
Asked by rinceya
Generally, the episode writing comes first. There are loads of times where we’ll be discussing something in the writers room, and I pitch the idea of “we can solve that in social media.” But we usually lock episodes first, because they are harder and much more expensive to alter later on down the line. Whereas social media is much more nimble. We can rewrite tweets right before we post them. We can change running orders at the last minute. We have a lot more flexibility.
On the subject of following and unfollowing, something that I see a lot of in the discussions is the assumption that if a character is following another character on Twitter, then they will see everything that is posted. Or the converse, that if somebody isn’t following someone else, then they see nothing. None of our characters have protected accounts. Any of them can see anything else the others post if the take the time and effort to search for it.
Part of the confusion is that the more you monitor social media on a daily basis, the more you start to assume that everyone else is too. And I’m not talking about just story-wise - this is in real-life. I fall victim to this every single day.
The term they use to describe the connections made by omnipresent social media use is Ambient Awareness. We’re playing with different modes and levels of ambient awareness - and there aren’t a ton of examples to show how to make storytelling like this work.
I will say this, though. When it came up that Lizzie needed to unfollow Lydia, I agonized for three days about the best way to do that. Because of feelings.