Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What you like vs. what you write


I recently took a class where the instructor suggested we take a look at what we like and see how it meshes with what we write. Here's what I came up with:

5 Favorite Books:
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Dune series (the original one by Frank Herbert)
The Wrinkle in Time series
A Land More Kind Than Home
The Hunger Games series/Eleanor & Park (tie)

5 Favorite Authors:
Harper Lee
Frank Herbert
Madeleine L'Engle
Wiley Cash
Rainbow Rowell

5 Favorite Movies:
Godfather I
Godfather II
L.A. Confidential
Bull Durham/The Princess Bride (tie)

5 Favorite TV Shows:
True Detective
The Walking Dead
Breaking Bad/The Wire (tie)

What do you notice? Not a lot of romance there. A lot of violence and angst. Quite a few antiheroes. More sci-fi than I would have thought. Less YA than I would have thought. But definitely not much romance.

So, should I write more dark stuff and maybe throw in an anti-hero or a society-upending catastrophe? I don't know. I know I like my characters to be happy in the end. I get attached to them, and I don't want them to be hurt. But other people's characters? Go for it.

Take a few moments and list your favorites. Do they reflect what you write? Or are you like me, doing the exact opposite?

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Aidee Ladnier said...

My reading/writing habits are pretty spot on. I currently write a lot of humorous science fiction, horror, and mystery. My favorite authors are Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Lois McMaster Bujold (sci fic) as well as Agatha Christie, Stuart Kaminsky, Arthur Conan Doyle and Caleb Carr (mystery) with favorite movies and tv directed by Joss Whedon, Shane Black, and Guillermo del Toro (all of the above).

P.S. I loooooved Frailty.

Alicia Coleman said...

My favorite authors are Octavia Butler, Anne McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, Ray Bradbury and then romance authors--lots of them. For tv-I watch the sci-fi channel, NatGeo and Animal Planet. Movies...I like comedy and I like romance.

robertsonreads said...

Hi Kerry
First, I'm not a writer.
I love to read contemporary romance books, be it comedy, alpha male, menages, suspense, erotic.
My tv watching consists if The Blacklist, Person of Interest, The First 48, ID channel, Duck Dynasty, Wahlburgers, Lawman with Stephen Seagal. Talk about a mindset.
Ginger aka robertsonreads

Cari Hislop said...

I write Regency Romances. These days I tend to read Non-fiction, but when I crave fiction I prefer stories with a strong romantic element based around character development or character stripping. I think my own stories reflect this preference.

A sample of favorites include:

Lavender Green Magic/Octagon Magic by Andre Norton
Lummox/Great Laughter by Fanny Hurst
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Diving-bell and the Butterfly (both the book and the movie)
Farscape (the Sci fi tv show)
Lord Peter Mysteries by D L Sayers
Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes (the British tv version)
Crome Yellow by A Huxley
Moliere (the French movie made this last decade)
Pretty in Pink (the 80's movie)
The best of Catherine Cookson's novels (one of the few authors who can create a whole book of vile characters and keep me turning the pages to the bitter-sweet end).

Meda White said...

I love to read paranormal romance, but I write contemporary romance. I also love women who kick butt- like Alice from Resident Evil and Selene from Underworld. My heroines aren't necessarily butt-kickers, but they can hold their own, know how to use a firearm, and they're strong in other ways.

Rashda Khan said...

Hmm, I'm half and half. I love reading fantasy -- traditional and urban and I think a lot of my writing reflects that.

I also love mystery...while I haven't written a straight up mystery, most of my stories have mystery and suspense in the mix.

Now, I love to read historical fiction, but I'd never attempt it. Too much research and making sure my fiction world fits established, I do enough of that in my day job as a journalist.

Good, thought provoking post!