Lately, my research has been to watch television programs through the eyes of an author and not just a fan. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s…!? Actually, by doing this, I’ve realized how much there is to learn from screenwriters whose responsibility is to seduce viewers into focusing on their worlds of make-believe. And having us accept as real their often unbelievable characters and far-out concepts. Think of shows such as ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘True Blood’.
My admiration soars for those talented writers, for their ability to come up with new plot twists and deep emotional moments in an hour time slot every week. The way they tweak in small tidbits of information, which eventually lead to the next weave of the story is nothing short of brilliant. I’m thinking of shows such as ‘24’ and ‘Private Practice’.
At last year’s Emerald City conference in Seattle, I had the opportunity to go to a Bob Mayer workshop, great choice I might add, and he said something that struck me as being a bit sad, but very true. Every story has been told. Bravery, treachery, love, jealousy, etc, it’s all been used in some movie or novel, hasn’t it? So, as authors with a tale to tell, we need to write it differently—a new spin so to speak, a fresh voice, something that’ll catch the eye of the publishers and the readers. Well I imagine this scenario is the same for script writers. They, too, need to keep their audience tuning into their channels weekly and falling in love with those actors playing roles that have already been done over and over.
One of my favourite shows a couple of years ago was an ongoing saga called Life Unexpected. A story about a young orphaned teenager who goes to find her real parents and gets caught up in their lives. The acting was great, but I think what got me the most was the way each week’s conflict spun out every episode and left you hooked. Like the ending to a well-written chapter should leave the reader needing to know what’s going to happen on the next page. It’s what keeps them caught up in the story and unable to put the book down in the same way that I waited for the next week’s addition to this serial on TV.
By making notes and paying attention to their dialogue, especially during the deeper moments, it helped me understand that there’s a rhythm to conflict and emotion. Listening to the funny one-liners has taught me to cut down on the wordiness and trim off unnecessary descriptions. It’s also made me aware of how important the setting can be to the mood in a particular scene. But most of all, it’s given me a better appreciation for authors who don’t have the advantage of the screen. We need to convey and express everything to our readers with only our words.
I’d love to know which TV shows or movies have influenced you in your quest to becoming a better author?
MIMI BARBOUR - Author of THE VICARAGE BENCH SERIES lives in Qualicum Beach and writes paranormal romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
The 4th in the series “Together Again” was released Spring/2011
There is a link from my website to Wild Rose Press where all my books are available. Also Amazon, (including e-readers such as the Kindle, etc) Barnes and Noble and any of the major outlets would carry them also.
Please know that I love visiting with readers—so come and say ‘Hi’ on my website at http://www.mimibarbour.com/ and join my newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of my latest release.
Or follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Mimibarb
Or on Facebook…
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mimi-Barbour-Fan-Page/203964072966134Traveling forward in time, Dani Howard's spirit becomes magically united with reporter, Troy Brennan. He's everything a girl could want in a man, and during their time together, she falls deeply in love. Though she must return to her own body, she gains his promise to come to her birthday party in seven days time where they will meet in person and continue their romance.
Now a bit about
Now a bit about
Troy can't believe he's fallen for a sixteen-year-old spirit invader. He's so infatuated that when renowned author, beautiful Ellie Ward, comes on to him, as attractive as he finds her, he's honor bound to stay true to his young love—or is he?
And here's the Excerpt:
The general store, filled with clothes for younger men, proved to be exactly what Troy wanted. He grabbed a pair of stylish bell-bottomed jeans and a black T-shirt from the overflowing racks and made his way towards one of the changing rooms. As soon as he opened the curtain and saw the mirrored wall he stopped.
“Hold it! Are you still there?” His voice warned of his seriousness. It was a rougher, no-nonsense tone—one she recognized from when he’d used it on the bullying blokes yesterday.
“Uh-huh! Where else would I be?”
“Don’t be cheeky! You can see right now, can’t you?”
“Of course I can. I see out of your eyes, don’t I?”
“Right! Fine.” He closed his eyes, continued into the change room, and stumbled when he stubbed his toe on the wooden chair.
“What in the world are you doing?”
“You’re only sixteen. You shouldn’t be seeing a man undress.” He hadn’t had to worry about her spying in his room, for there wasn’t a full-length mirror. He’d taken care never to look at anything she shouldn’t be seeing. Not an easy task but doable.
“Number one. Just ‘will’ me to leave and you’ll feel me shut down, because I’d respect your privacy. And number two, yours wouldn’t be the first male body I’ve seen anyway.”
“Number one, how about just shutting up instead of shutting down. And number two, what the hel—heck do you mean by not the first male— No, wait. I don’t want to know.”
“At least let me see you after you’re dressed. It’s very difficult carrying on conversations with someone you can only see from the inside.”
“What does it matter?”
“What if I told you I have a crush on you and I want to see what you look like, especially in your knickers?”
The tight jeans were only halfway up. Vertigo and embarrassment collided, engulfing him at the same time. His knee bashed against the chair and his forehead hit the wall. Muffled swear words and babbles that made no sense, except that the surly meanings were explicit, rang out before he spoke to her again.
“Stop that!” He sounded angry.
Was she giggling? “Stop saying things like that. You don’t have a crush on me. You don’t even know me.”
“I know you’re extremely kind, that you care about small children and animals, take on burdens even when you don’t want to, and—and you’re ambitious. You have a wonderful, warm chuckle, and—”
“Enough! For God’s sake, my head will swell. Look, sweetie, you’re sixteen—“
“And I’m almost thirty. Besides, you should be with a nice guy your own age.”
“I already have.”
“What?” Troy’s eyes popped open — wide, very wide.
“Ohh! You’re a smasher, you are.”
He stared into the mirror as if he could see into the soul hidden inside him. The ferocious look on his face warned her not to say another word. Instead she silently continued to view his features. His piercing, multifaceted eyes, brown and green, gold and gorgeous, were daunting.
Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Mimi! It was a pleasure hosting you and hearing all about Together Again!