What “Nashville” Can Teach Us about Writing

Someone told me once I began writing, I’d never be able to sit through a movie or television drama without dissecting the plot. They were right.

A few days ago, I watched the latest episode (9) of one of my favorite shows – Nashville. The plot blew me away and left me in a puddle of tears.

For those Nashville fans who haven’t watched it yet and are reading this – heads-up – spoilers ahead.

This episode was the most seamless example of good script writing, I’ve seen in a while. I could easily pick out, the goal, conflicts, raising tensions, foreshadowing events, and subplots. My own anxiety increased as the scenes unfolded and the subtle bits of foreshadowing lead me slowly toward the inevitable and unexpected ending (disaster).

The episode was one of the most believable and emotional scenes I’ve ever watched on a screen. It was heartbreaking and powerful.

What Can Nashville Teach Us?

To write scenes that pull our audience (readers) in through genuine emotions, realistic problems (conflicts), seamless subplots, and disasters/dilemmas that leave them breathless from chapter to chapter.

A Sneak Peek Inside Episode 9:

Watch with tissue box by your side.


What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Join the conversation. Talk to me or tell me your story. I’m all ears.

8 thoughts on “What “Nashville” Can Teach Us about Writing

  1. I love this show so hard. I think it lost its way a bit in season 4 but Season 5 so far is possibly the best yet. It seems to be one of the few (only?) shows on TV that shows the struggles of working parents in a vaguely realistic way – the constant juggle and tension of doing your job / being a parent / and honouring your creativity! Plus they manage to convey teenagers/ kids as more than 1-dimensional, even though they are not the main characters. I loved the points they made about the difficulties and prejudice faced by single parents/ stay-at-home-parents using Avery. And the music! Such a great show. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree and I thought the depiction of Rayna’s unexpected death and funeral on last nights episode were incredibly realistic. Once again I was in tears. Bad things happen to good people. I’ll miss Rayna but as in real life, you move forward. People are never forgotten, we continue to see the impact they had on those around them (in little ways). The writers – excellent. They have moved the story forward. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation.


      • Ermagerd I am an idiot. I saw your plotspoiler warning but didn’t watch the clip. I should have mentioned I was only up to episode 8! Got too excited by the chance to discuss a favorite show. My bad! Watched the death last night. Yeah I’m not sure how the series will go now with tbe heart ripped out. Will be interesting. I guess they kind of set it up for Juliette to inherit the crown of top artist – even talent scout.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nashville was the first TV series in years that I’ve invested my time and emotions. Yes, the writing and dialog were great, but I found the plot lines not so great. However, what I found more compelling were the characters. The main character Rayna James was the glue for that show. The writers drew viewers to her like kids to a carnival. And when they showcased the process by which Connie Britton became Rayna that made us love her more. Then BOOM!
    My take away, as a writer, is to never kill off a beloved character in the middle of a book. Readers won’t like that one bit. No more so than viewers enjoyed watching a character, that they love, want to be like, admire and root for, die.
    Yes, it pulled at our hearts. Tears were shed as we watched in disbelief. But then anger and frustration took over.
    Characters make or break a story. We love them and love to hate them. So as writers we need to be careful who we kill and more important when.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting point. I wasn’t angry. After the tears, I was more curious. I agree the plot in many of the episodes were so-so. What amazed me so much about this particular episode was the seamless integration of all the characters and subplots. Although, by the end i was a puddle, I moved quickly into where is this going next. It spurred my imagination and as much as I loved Rayna – I didn’t dwell on her loss. So, I guess some readers like to keep their characters around, but for me it’s about the story. Of course, a drama series is not exactly like a novel. Thanks for joining the conversation, sis.

      Liked by 1 person

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