Monday, May 05, 2008

The Important Things I Know About Writing Come From Reality TV

Reality TV? You probably think that I have gone around the bend. Who would dare to suggest that Reality TV could improve your writing skills? After all, Reality TV doesn't even have a storyline or script. How could any self-respecting writer say that their writing was improved by watching the likes of Survivor, American Idol or Dancing with the Stars?

My husband laughed when I told him the subject of this blog. Incredulously, he asked me if I was sure that was something I wanted to admit to my fellow writers. Confidently I gave him my reasons:
1. Reality shows are a case study in human nature.
Sometimes you see the best in people and sometimes the worst. You get a glimpse of real people experiencing a myriad of human emotions. On any one night you may see arrogance, humanity, selfishness and generosity. Great fodder for any writer wanting to create believable characters.
2. You learn important life lessons.
It isn't always the most talented singer that wins American Idol, or the strongest castaway who wins Survivor. Popularity, cunning, knowing when to show strengths or even weaknesses,and general likability, ultimately become the deciding factors.
3. Watching encourages involvement.
Yes, involvement. How would my favorite dancer avoid the dreaded red light of shame? Or my singer advance to the next week's competition, without my calls when I vote? They need me!

With the irrefutable logic that leaves me speechless, he nicely reminds me that my book would now be finished if I wasn't so consumed by these three shows.

Does anyone have a rebuttal?


JoAnn said...

Hmm, no rebuttal. But I have to say, I'm not a reality TV fan. I've only watched two reality shows religiously: The Real Gilligan's Island (yes, I admit it) and Colonial House on PBS.

Can you say "JoAnn's a major Dork?"


Naima said...

Okay...I'm firmly on your side! I can't help my guilty pleasures which are (I'm whispering here) America's Next Top Model, Project Runway and Shear Genius. I also like True Life on MTV. I don't know if you can consider that a reality show as much as a documentary. Okay, maybe docu-drama. But, I see tons of fodder for storylines,character profiles, conflict--and the list goes on!--with these shows. Research, Diane, research!