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:~: Monday, September 04, 2006 :~:

Do You Write What You Watch?

I was going to post about pseudonyms today, but my 4-yr old just gave me my blog topic instead. So I've decided to leave the pseudonym discussion for my personal blog. If you feel like talking alter-egos and secret identities, head over there.

What do you watch? I'm not a big TV watcher. I don't have time. Between herding three small Gremlins and focusing on my writing, I don't have a lot of time to veg in front of the TV. When the kids are in bed, I write. When the kids are awake, either they're watching cartoons or a movie, or DH is watching the news or ESPN. Usually - during daylight hours when I can't sit and write - I'm trying to work through plot issues in my head as I go about the mundane demands on my day.

A few minutes ago my 4-yr old brought me National Treasure and said, "Mom, I want to watch this." I went to the cabinet, popped the movie in the DVD and went to put the case away. And as I was standing there looking at the other movies on the shelf, I realized I watch exactly what I write. When I have time to sit and watch TV or a movie, I choose action/adventure hands down. My DVD cabinet is filled with movies just like National Treasure - The Indiana Jones series, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, Zorro, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.

That doesn't mean I don't enjoy other movies and shows. I like comedies - Wedding Crashers is on my shelf because it's so drop-to-the-floor funny. I like psychological thrillers - although I'm not a huge fan of Silence of the Lambs or Seven, they both left lasting impressions on me. I even like a good straight romance now and then - loved Someone Like You, which was just on TV the other day. But when I think about the stories I write, they always circle back around to the action/adventure movies I love to watch. And when I think about the struggles I've been having with my WIP, part of me has to wonder if maybe that trouble is because the root of the story isn't an action/adventure. It's a straight suspense, missing that element I love so much - the race to find something or someone before time runs out.

Sort of a lightbulb moment for me as I sit here thinking about what I'm going to do with the WIP and how I'm going to make it work. All because my 4-yr old said, "Mom, I want to watch National Treasure."

So I'm here to ask you, do you write what you watch? If so, what? If not, then what do you watch? And have you ever thought about the connection between your viewing habits and your writing style?


Blogger Theresa said...

Oh, I definately write what I watch. What I read too.

I love paranormal thrillers. But straight thrillers too. And that's what I've always been drawn to writing and reading wise.

I do read a bit of everything- but my book case is predominately RS or straight suspense. I've got a bit of horror there, a bit of fantasy, a bit of contemporary and historicals to even things out. But at least 65% of what's in my bookcase are RS and straight thrillers.

This matches my T.V/movie tastes. My favorite movie is The Hidden-- close is The Terminator, the Mothman prophecyies (still creeps me out)The Sixth Sense, The Highlander (original). That Denzil Washington movie that featured the demon who traded bodies at a touch. (((loved this movie!! and that song--time after time-- calls the imagery up instantly))

For Televisions shows I love LOST, Invasion, Surface, My new big favorite is Eureka, Stargate, Charmed, Criminal Intent, Special Victims, CSI (all three) Medium, and that show with the FBI profilers, the name escapes me.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

Ok, you tell me what I should be writing! LOL When I watch a movie which isn't very often - I like Romantic comedies, or romantic movies. I like Indiana Jones and that type of movie, but prefer romantic comedies. However when my dh and I get a chance to watch TV at night, we watch CSI Las Vegas, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, or what ever drama/whodunit is on from 9pm - 10 pm.

We like very few of the sit coms anymore and I can't stand Desperate Housewives.

Now, I write historical romance/ westerns. So how does my viewing fit in to what I write???

I like to see justice served along with a romantic twist. That is usually the crux of my stories

12:26 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...


Maybe you should consider writing a Time Travel--(grin) you know an FBI criminalist gets sent back in time and ends up using his crimnal profiling and foresnsic skills to find and bring to justice the most viscious gang of outlaws imaginable. . .

3:17 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

See, Paty. I always knew you were a closet romantic suspense fan!!

Have you thought of trying a contemporary?

8:05 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Okay, note to self. Read all responses before responding. :)

I like Theresa's idea. Great idea!!!

8:06 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...


I've never watched Lost. I know I'll love it as soon as I do. Isn't that terrible? I'm afraid to get sucked in by another show. I lived and died for the X-Files and was heartbroken when it ended. (On a good note, I saw an interview with David Duchovney and he said they're negotiating another X-files movie! Yippie!)

My bookshelf is pretty much filled with RS, too - little bit of lots of different genres, but primarily RS. I guess that's a good thing, huh?

Now refresh my memory. What's The Hidden?

8:09 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Yep, yep, yep. Love romantic suspense in movies, love it in books. I'm a big fan of cop shows, especially reality cop shows like The First 48, Forensic Files, COPS, etc. and a lot of that shows up in my work.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

I never would have guessed that, J. :) It does show up, and it's done well.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...


The hidden is an 80's sci-fi/suspense.

It stars Michael Nauri and Kyle Mclaughlin. Nauri is a cop-- investigating a sting of bizarre, violent murders. Mclaughlin is an intergalactic agent trying to bring the same murderer to justice.

The murder body hops, possessing a body until it is so damaged he has to get out, at which point it possesses another. Nauri's character, of course, doesn't have a clue what's going on. Until close to the end.

If you loved the x-files (as did I) you'd love this show.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Karmela Johnson said...

Yep, I have to. How else can I describe to my readers what fast-roping through a glass ceiling looks/feels like? Or being trapped underwater in a metal cage while sharks circle?

8:34 AM  

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