Apologies for the lateness of this blog post. As some of you may already know, my daughter was admitted to hospital on Friday night and is still there, so I am not prepared with posts as I usually am. I have a little time before visiting hours start and have wanted to write this post for a while so thought as it’s been banging around in my head for some time, it would be the easiest option to try and get down into post format.
Are you a writer? And if so, are you constantly being told by social media streams and content that you should turn off your TV and read more books? I imagine you are because I am. Well, I have an opposing view for you. I think you need to watch more TV. Yes, you heard me right. Watch more TV.
Now, I don’t mean watch in more quantity. Let me explain myself a little better.
I watch quite a lot of American dramas and not just crime dramas. I just soak up their dramas. I think they do them brilliantly. And while watching a few of them, I started to notice I was watching them differently. I wasn’t just watching for the sit down, switch off the demands of the day and enjoy, moment, I was watching them as a writer reads a book. Like a writer. I was watching long story arcs. I was listening to dialogue. I was picking up ideas!
Here’s a for instance TV show I watch and think is great for long form story arcs – Scandal. As well as being great full stop. I mean, what a show! It has some very clever arcs running, and character relationships to watch. How the relationships form, change, readjust to changing events when something is thrown at them. The writers of this show are on top form.
I also watched Newsroom which was on Boxsets and only ran for three seasons more the pity as it was also brilliant. The writer for that show, Aaron Sorkin is amazing. His mind is genius.
Yes crime shows, if it’s crime you love, are great for watching what you love, but consider looking elsewhere for watching master (script)writers at work. For watching those long form arcs in play. For great dialogue, characters, relationships. For ideas. Be inspired by watching and listening in a way you maybe wouldn’t normally. Check out a straight cut drama that’s not crime and see how they work with what they have, when they’re not solving how that dead body turned up.
Watch some TV!