- by Chris Marie Green
I watch way too much TV.
I’ve never added up how many hours per week until I decided to do this blog entry, but when I did do the math, I was shocked at the total, including both television series and movies.
And if you think I’m giving you that total-nope. I’m way too embarrassed, LOL.
However, I realized something important about these hours spent in front of the tube: TV watching is actually a part of my writing process.
Yeah, I can hear you saying it now: “What a justification for being a lazy butt.” But truly. Not only does sitting there with pretty pictures flashing in front of my eyes allow me to relax my computer screen-weary gaze, I keep a pile of paper at my side, and there are some nights that I’ll end up with ten pages of notes about a work in progress.
I fill plot holes. I build worlds. I mourn the departure of PUSHING DAISIES.
Anyway, I suppose TV watching gives me permission to let my mind wander, and I enter a zone that’s similar to the one I feel when I’m also walking, taking a shower, drifting off to sleep, or driving a car. (And, yes, that last item is scary, but I’m only being honest.) I’ve had some of my most exciting ideas while watching something as seemingly random as TOP CHEF or a car chase during LIFE ON MARS.
Once, when I mentioned my TV Process to a non-writing friend, she said, “Oh. So it’s kind of like copying?”
Um, no. It’s more like free association, where perhaps I hear a loud noise on the television, and since I’ve got vampires on my mind, I’ll think, “Oooo-what if my vamps emitted a loud, alarming noise that allowed them to scare away a threat?” Or maybe I’ll see a crazy baroque creation on PROJECT RUNWAY, and that’ll give me an idea-a vibe-of how a character’s over-the-top bedroom might be decorated. (A bedroom where a vampire will be drawn to the victim/character’s romantic sensibilities and sneak up on her and… Hey-I’ve got the makings of a scene! Nice.)
As strange as it sounds, we’ve got writing tools all around us, and I just happen to use the TV for “marinating” time. So, really, I’m working during most of those bum-numbing television hours.
Does anyone else out there have an out-of-the-ordinary “writing tool”? Someone who comments will win a copy of my last vampire-themed Blaze, GOOD TO THE LAST BITE, so best of luck!
(I’ll be drawing the winner this Friday, the 19th.)