Tag Archives: X-Files

All I Need to Know About Writing… I Learn from the X-Files? Part 2


As promised, here’s the next installment on tips, tricks and tidbits writers can glean from the hit television series, “The X-Files.”

  • No Theory is, “Out There.” It’s true. With the proper research and approach, you can make your story both believable and plausible.
  • Your Villains Aren’t Always Villains.Always remember your bad guys are humans. Humans have good and bad sides. In the earlier seasons, the character of, “Skinner,” on the show was indeed portrayed in a villainous light. However, this same individual became an invaluable ally later on. Your villains should have depth, reason and logic, methods to their madness.
  • No, It’s Not About Me. Beware of focusing too much of your content around a single individual, unless you intend on them becoming the main character. No, Mulder, it’s not solely your work. Many fans complained that the latter seasons of the show focused entirely too much on Mulder and not enough on the very substance that made the show popular, mutual work from interesting contributors.
  • Explore the World. Don’t limit your fiction to what is popular or trendy. Don’t make continual references to popular culture or politics. Not only does it date your novel (in a bad way), you will likely offend someone who paid hard-earned money to buy your book. NEVER, NEVER EVER insult your reader. Ever.
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All I Need to Know About Writing… I Learn from the X-Files?


The X-Files was an incredibly popular television series and fans are still attending movies when they reach the box office. Despite the program’s errors, what can writers learn from the techniques used? I’m creating a series that explores various items that transcend film and fiction. Elements which are just as applicable on the screen as they are in print, and vice versa.

So, for this first installment, what can writers learn from the series?

*Subplots, subplots, subplots. Every episode contained 2 or 3 minor subplots that enhanced the overall story, yet never overshadowed the main purpose.

*Character Depth- No character was “flat,” or without flaw. Scully could seem hyper-assertive and Mulder could be seen as narcissistic, yet both retained their unique endearing qualities.

*Simplicity- The show did occasionally use symbolism and mentions of archaic material, and some technical jargon was utilized, but always where appropriate and only in very small amounts.

*Normality- Characters become tired. They weren’t all energy at all times. They were physically and psychologically as strained and exhausted as individuals in real life. Just as your fiction should be plausible, your characters should also be believable.

More on this coming soon!


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