1.17.2012

Fictional Reality: The Things We Love Connect Us

I'm an obsessive person. I can read a book in a 3-4 hours if I sit and don't move. I can also watch a whole season of a show in 2 days. I've done it before. Once, I even watched 5 seasons of a show in a week. I know. I have issues. But I do it with books too. I can't handle the not knowing!


I love escaping.

I love living life too, that should be said.

But there's something about jumping into another world and another person's life--which is never how mine will be, good or bad, supernatural or not--and escaping. The characters, their dramas, battles, friends, problems, worlds. I love it all, whether in book form or in video form.

These stories give us a way to connect. And I don't mean with the fictional; I mean with real life.

When you read a book and meet someone else who's read that book, the door opens for conversation and recommendations of other great books. That's why we have book blogs--so we can talk about books we love. To start conversations. To build friendships with people who have common interests. TV shows do the same thing! You meet someone else who likes Doctor Who or Supernatural or The Vampire Diaries and you're connected. The things we love bring us together. This fictional reality offers us something else--something real--to stand on in our day-to-day lives.

I can't begin to tell you how many people I have become friends with because of books or television. I also can't tell you how many times I've read or seen something that completely destroyed me because I connected to it. (Examples: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney and the movie Remember Me. Still can't watch that one again.) I think people underestimate the power of fictional reality.

There were studies done when I was a teenager about the effect that certain shows, songs, video games had on us. Did killing people in games make us more violent? Do shows we watch change our attitudes? Do I think watching lots of True Blood non-stop makes me say the F-word a lot more than normal? Yes, I do. The fictional reality of books, tv, etc. do effect us. That effect can be good or bad--depending on how we use it.

Me? I'm obsessive. I love books. I love TV--I could stay up all night watching shows. I have before. I love my friends. I love Tumblr where I get to re-live my favorite fandom moments.I love meeting people who like what I like. I like escaping for hours at a time. I think it's good to have a way to do that. Right now, for me, that's been TV. I've watched so much of it since November. So much. I can't tell you out of shame. Likewise, I have not read many books. (Addendum: I just read The Fault in Our Stars on Saturday. Brilliance.)

Why am I telling you this?

The things we love connect us. To each other. To new people. To new ideas. And even, to other things we love. I've learned A LOT about writing from watching shows. Seriously. It's incredible how much you can learn from a well-crafted show.

I've been thinking about what I want Frenzy to be now that I'm shifting focus from book reviews. The answer for that is still: I have no idea. But I know that I'm going to talk about shows. I want to talk about what writers can learn from watching shows. About characters and plot and voice. Whenever I get an idea, I will share it. Because the things we love connect us to other things we love.

And honestly, in everything we do, we should be looking for a lesson. Especially if you're a writer. Especially if you love fictional reality as much as I do. I need some reason to justify all the things I watch. Seriously. Two weeks ago, (it was a 3 day weekend) I watched all of Nikita (and loved it!) and Shameless (US version...but only a few episodes at the time), two episodes of Sherlock and watched part one of Neverland, which was released by SyFy last month. (A LOT of TV. And that's only a three-day weekend's worth. Heh.) Right now, I'm trying to read more. Hopefully that goes well---but man, I love television.


What are some things you've been watching (or reading)? Have any recommendations for me?

*PS: I may have made up the term 'fictional reality' so I'm not sure it makes sense. But I hope so!*

2 comments:

  1. I absolutely love and agree with this post. I got completely lost in Lost when it was on TV. It always provided really good conversation starters/debates.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Candice, I loved LOST too. Such good stuff.

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