Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Accept or Reject?

Recently, I've been watching the new fall tv shows that have made their debut. I'd like to say that I give them a fair chance before either accepting or rejecting them, but I don't. If they don't catch my interest by the end of the first show--they're doomed. I don't give them as long as the network who hopes they will build an audience. In the words of the Donald, You're fired!

I have found many correlations between these rejected shows and books that I haven't enjoyed. Most of the time they both have a plot that is either boring, too slow paced or unbelievable. Sometimes marginal shows/books are rescued by the charm of their characters but that is a heavy burden to place on even the most gifted actor/actress or hero/heroine.

Engaging writing, whether it be in a book or prime time viewing, is wonderful. Why else would we watch a show about teenage dweebs in a glee club? Well, if you have great stories, funny lines and likable talented individuals, you're bound to find an audience. So count me in for Glee.

The same applies to books. Give your readers a solid story, engaging characters and stories that show more than tell, and you'll have a hit. As I continue to work to become published I look everywhere for examples of writing that works.

What makes you reject or accept books or shows for reading/viewing? Do you agree with my reasons or do you have other things that matter more to you?


M.V.Freeman said...

I agree with you totally.

I like stories that grab me, most importantly, the characters must intrigue me.

I try to read and write that way (questionable on the writing..LOL)

Currently my favorite show is "Castle", and I am still deciding on "Eastwick"--I love the Main Bad Guy, haven't really decided on the female leads.

Christine said...

ahhh... well I was rejected very nicely today--loved my writing style and all that so compelling blah blah... but my story is too "romantic comedy" for their line --aaaaahhhh. should have kept in the earlier sex stuff???

I learned at the Moonlight and Magnolias conference that they will know whether or not to read your synopsis by LINE 16 PAGE ONE of the submission.

Scary eh?

At least the editor turned my pages... and laughed... and gave me excellent feedback... but what to do about the sex in this one??

Keep moving forward...

Callie James said...

Diane and Mary, I totally agree. Story and characters all have to be good for me. I truly can't have one without the other.

Christine, I think you just experienced the best rejection of all time.

Carla Swafford said...

I was surprised by how much I like THE GOOD WIFE. The only reason I watched it was because I was too lazy to change the channel after NCIS: LA went off. Good writing. Makes me think of LA LAW in an odd way.

My hang ups are when I come across immature behavior or jumping around in time (start off in present, go to past, then present almost, etc.).

Christine said...

I'll have to check out the show, THE GOOD WIFE, Carla... sounds interesting.

Right now we are watching reruns of ANGEL. What a beautiful man!!

And we are huge BONES fans as well.

Now, back to work I go... and hi ho hi ho.

Jeanie said...

I don't watch tv. I used to, but between a husband who hogs the set and teenagers who do the same, work and a busy schedule I gave up. And once I've missed the first episode of something, I won't watch it. I HATE to come into a show or movie late. Drives me crazy. Drives my husband crazy because he likes to blip through the credits on a rented movie and I want to watch EVERYTHING in case there's underlying dialogue or something I might miss.

Christine, don't get discouraged. It is just ONE person's opinion. Personally, I think people need funny today more than ever. Romantic comedy sells. Keep plugging and don't give up on your story. It sounds amazing to me.

As for turns me off in a book . . .too much angst. I read romance because I like happy stories and happy endings. If I wanted suffering and drama, I'd read literary fiction. I do not enjoy romances where the characters do too much whining and suffering. Of course you have to have conflict, but I'm talking about page after page of mind numbing misery. That's not romantic to me. It makes me want to throw the book across the room.

Yes, I'm shallow. I admit it.

Cari Hislop said...

To Christine: Instead of changing your book (which is obviously good) why not change your market to one that doesn't want lots of sex? Sadly, just because the editor doesn't think her readers would want to read your book doesn't mean they wouldn't love it! Look at how many editors thought no one would want to read Harry Potter!

I used to love Halloween and getting dressed up, but now I hate it because I worked three Halloweens in a large costume shop and I can no longer bear the thought of dressing up or going to a Halloween party. I wonder if its the same for editors. After reading so many books for their job, are they able to really tell which books are great (the ones that haunt the reader) and which books are going to sell regardless because there are so many readers addicted to romances that they'll read anything remotely decent?
(I am one of those addicts though these days I usually get my fix writing which is just as well as I'd never finish anything)

I suspect that even if they don't end up hating to read their genres, that editors often end up blind to the great books because they're subconsiously looking to fill their quota of books that will sell! If what was once a passion becomes just a job that affects our judgement. I think that holds true for both writers and editors.

Christine said...

Cari that is such a wise statement--thanks! I appreciate your POV a lot. And you as well Jeannie. I did do a lot of soul searching, but in the end, I have to stick to my gut on this one. Sure it could use tweaking, but my voice is going to have fun in it. Period. And if I have to tame the sex, I will, but I can always add more words and go single title (which are getting shorter-).

First on my list--get an agent--really can't keep up with all the constantly changing rules. Just wanna write my books.

Smiles! Onward ho!

M.V.Freeman said...

Christine--You go girl!

Jeanie, I am with you! and you are NOT shallow. I want the hero/heroine to have HEA's...not whine fests. LOL

And Cari--I laughed, I'd lose the ability to dress up after that myself. ;)

Carla--can't seem to get into that show.

Callie-Thank you. :-)

See, I had to get my two cents in there. I couldn't help it. :-)

Naima Simone said...

I love chemistry right off the bat--even if they can't stand each other there must be chemistry or else I'm not biting. And that goes for tv as well as in books. And one of my pet peeves are wimpy men AND women. Get a spine already! And if the hero/heroine doesn't have one in the beginning, it had better be for a good reason and sooner or later--like Chapter 2!--there better be hints that they're acquiring one! LOL!