Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TV Shows Make My Writing Better


I admit it. I like television. I watch a lot of it, thanks to the miracious invention of TiVo. Magical hour happens when the kids are in bed. I grab my mounds of laundry, sit in front of my talking educational box and begin to learn.

Just what am I learning by watching singing teenagers, a vampire love triangle, and brain-eating zombie's? I am learning how to pace a story. I am learning how to bring tension into every scene. And I am learning how to increase the stakes.

Today's shows are geared towards audience's whose attentions are not easy to keep. Sometimes I wonder if an amazing book like Pride and Prejudice would work in today's market where teenagers and a lot of adults expect instant gratification.

So where does that leave us as writers? Somehow we need to find a balance of writing as good as the Greats while incorporating the fast paced styles of today.

What are some of the shows you watch?

10 comments:

Joshua said...

The Walking Dead, Dexter, Parks & Recreations, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Community, Family Guy. Just to name a few.

Ru said...

The Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries are great examples of pacing. Parks & Recreation and Modern Family help with comic timing.

Or so I tell myself after watching tons of TV ;)

Michael A Tate said...

The greatest thing TV shows can teach us is how to start off with a hook. Writers for television know everybody has about 400 channels available to them, and if their show isn't incredibly hooking and interesting in the first 2 min, we will flip the channel. Lots to learn. Good post.

Brenda Drake said...

Yeah, I've been watching bits here and there and I get lost. But I do like the new ones - Grim and Once Upon a Time. It is hard to balance writing with the fast pace reads of today. Great post! <3

Jehhillenberg (J.E.) said...

The Walking Dead, Glee, Modern Family, Happy Endings, Vampire Diaries, and tons more. I love TV and it does better my writing and give me ideas. TV tropes are great.

Kate Larkindale said...

In this country all the good stuff seems to get buried at 11pm, so I don't watch a lot. But I love Entourage and 30 Rock, and I have all of The Good Wife saved for when I have some free time to watch it.

And I always watch The Simpsons with the kids.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Great post! But I do think we have it a little easier than TV writers this way, people are willing to invest a little bit more in a book. And it's important to note that Pride and Prejudice - as well as many other classics - is still selling, even to teens.
However, we are in so much more of a sound bite world. TV shows may be a great place to pick up some clues! :)

Laura C. said...

I watch everything, but I particularly like true crime stories and documentaries about serial killers. I think I know way too much about serial killers...

Elliot Grace said...

...considering how my wife carries the same exact practices as you, laundry and all, I don't get much time in front of the tube, therefore I head upstairs and open up the newest and hottest best-seller ;)

El

Anonymous said...

That is a scary zombie picture, Rae.