Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same.
More than one person, doubtless like me,
writes in order to have no face.

Michel Foucault

Friday, May 20, 2011

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN' AT?

I don’t like to watch a lot of television; most writers don’t...at least that’s my thought. I can always tell if a writer watches a lot of TV because it shows in their writing. I think TV blurs your brain and makes you lazy. Clearly, if one wants to be a writer, one should spend their time writing. If you have time (or desire) to watch TV, you are not writing. It sounds obvious, but it is true. Want to see me roll my eyes? Let's say I am critiquing your work, and mention a book...

"Have you read, SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS?"
"No," avid writer replies. "But I saw the movie."

Note to early writers; watching TV, a movie, or a play is not writing and that is why it called watching.

While I have thought about this subject for a long time, it came to me during Criminal Minds. Yes, that’s a TV show and I was watching TV—remember, I said I don’t watch TV a lot but sometimes the brain needs a distraction. The other side of this, is that I (and many writers) don't watch TV as others do. For me it's all about seeing what others aren't seeing. 
            While analyzing a visually gripping scene, I was thinking about the visual aspect of television and how, without words, the scene is presented. I thought that if I decided to teach a class on writing, I would use this show for effect in writing description with the reason being is the scenes are detailed and intriguing.
TV is dialog which is something a writer needs to understand. Listen to the dialog of actors and the people around you every day. You will learn how to write dialog. The next time you watch television, keep a pad next to you, or your computer, and pause the scene. Write down what you see as you would with a list— yellow wall, she wore shorts and high heels, the man walked on her right, etc.—and then work that list into a narrative. Go back and see what you missed. You will miss a lot; I promise. Keep trying this and soon you will not only watch television, you will analyze every scene, every move, every detail, and every word. It will actually ruin watching enjoyment and when you get to that point, you are on your way.


1 comment:

  1. I wrote a blog entry like this only it related to "Revenge of the Sith" and music.

    ReplyDelete

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