I know I’ve been talking a lot about television lately, and I apologize. It’s just that I’m spending more time in front of ye olde boob tube these days because of changes in my life and so I think about it more.

Running low on creative ideas? (Never, I know. Hear me out anyway.) SyFy (or, as I like to call it, All Ghosts All the Time) has two shows that run back to back on Tuesday nights: Face Off and Hot Set. These are reality competitions. Face Off is a special effects make-up competition, and Hot Set is a movie-set competition. On both, competitors have three days to meet the goals set by the challenge for the week. On Face Off, people are eliminated each week. Hot Set has new teams each week.

Whoop-dee-doo, Kit, you say. You said something about ideas?

Well, Squiders, you know story ideas can come from anywhere. And you can think of these shows as writing prompts. Much like a sentence or a word can be used to generate ideas, the beginning of each show gives the contestants a creative problem to solve. A make-up or set prompt.

And, Squiders, you can take their prompts and use them for stories just as easily. And it can work for all genres, though, of course, science fiction and fantasy are highly represented.

And the shows are representative of creativity as a whole: the idea that many people, when presented with the same idea, will execute it completely differently. That you are the only one that can tell your story.

Anyway, give them a look if you get a chance. I watched an episode of Face Off last season because I had nothing better to do, and now I’m addicted.

Ideas: Face Off and Hot Set
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Books by Kit Campbell

City of Hope and Ruin cover
Shards cover
Hidden Worlds cover