6 things a music video can teach about short story writing

This isn’t a new video by any means – I think it’s been out since 2012 – but it’s the perfect visual of what a short story should be. I’ll let you watch it, and then we can talk about it. 🙂

What’s so great about this video?

1. It uses stereotypes to its advantage.

Short on words? Classifying people using stereotypes is like taking a short cut. It’s also set the reader up to be surprised when the stereotypes are broken.

The video sets the scene for dog fighting – you’ve got the ring leader (whatever happened to Lou Diamond Phillips?), the men betting, someone approaching carrying a cage. You know what’s going down in just a few seconds.

2. It quickly gets into the action.

We’re get to the shed and BOOM there’s fighting.

3. It uses the exact opposite of what we expect to surprise us.

We’re ready for a terrible and vicious showdown and that’s just what the we get. Except, the fighters aren’t dogs or roosters or anything we’d expect. They’re…muppets. I can see the story writers sitting down to brainstorm this video and saying, “What’s the last thing someone would expect to see at a dog fight?” Not sure what else was suggested, but stuffed animals were brilliant.

4. It shows us the stakes.

When we do get into the ring, we immediately see what’s at stake. The champion has never been defeated, and his opponents are so terrified they’re shaking and screaming. How can our sweet girly protagonist and her worn out pink teddy possibly hope to win? (Unfortunately, now that we’ve all seen the opening sequence to Big Hero 6 a million times, we already know.)

5. It gives us an underdog to root for.

The pink bear doesn’t come right out and win even though he could. He takes a beating, and just at the last second…POW – the pink paw of power. And the laser eyes? Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!

6. It entertains us.

I have watched this video several times since I first saw it because it cracks me up every time. My favorite part? When the Beaker-like muppet’s eye goes rolling across the screen at 1:31. Classic! And the look on the Mexican guys’ faces when the pink bear wins – so perfect in its absolutely irony.

And speaking of Beaker…a truly great character.

Did you realize that Bunsen Honeydew’s head was a honeydew melon? I didn’t until today. LOL Clever, clever!

NOW YOU: Favorite music video? Best short story you’ve read?

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