Friday, April 7, 2017

A Whole Lot of Nothing Much

That's what I'm reading lately.

I think the last time I really got my teeth into a book, it would have been The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey. I suspect, but can't remember for certain, that I might have written about it in one of my previous "What Am I Reading?" posts. That was definitely last year some time, though I can't recall for certain exactly when.

So, what have I been reading since then?

Every time one of these posts comes up I start to feel rather imposteresque. We all know that good writing goes hand in hand with effective reading. And I suppose that's what I've been doing, in a fashion. Almost everything I've been reading lately has been either dystopian/post-apocalypse/zombies, or shifter-based erotic romance. I've been reading both of those genres simply because they're the two I'm most focused on writing these days.

Indeed, I have a shifter story coming out very soon (May 9th) in Milly Taiden's Sassy Ever After Kindle World. So the writing of that has nudged aside some of my other reading time.

The other factor which has taken up a lot of my time has been television. I long ago gave up on regular TV. Here in Australia we have a couple of dozen free TV channels, and a lot of them are duplicates, to a certain degree. Channel 9, for example, also holds all of the 90-99 numbers as channels. If they're broadcasting something they feel is important, they block it across four or five of their channels.

But we recently signed up with a streaming company, and we suddenly had access to some excellent (and not-so excellent) quality movies and shows.

The reason I bring it up in this blog topic is because I finally was able to block out some time and watch Breaking Bad. I then followed up with the first two seasons of Better Call Saul. And while neither of those shows is exactly in my chosen genres, nor in the medium I choose to write... they're brilliant examples to learn from. There's some great fodder for both individual character development, and also the almost tidal way one character's nature and actions will re-shape another.

I tend to write rather visually. I'm not necessarily talking about the words on the page, but I tend to run the story through my mind like a movie, and then use my words to describe the way I saw it. For that reason, the intricacies of Breaking Bad, especially, gave me so many pointers. With stories, we can't use an actual visual to highlight an emotion (such as how in BB, they would cut to a tight shot on a character's face when that character was somehow trapped, then cut to a wider shot if the danger had passed). But it does give pointers as to how an author could get across subtle reinforcements, using descriptions of body language, or of the immediate area.

So I'm gonna count my time watching both those shows as "reading"!


  1. And both shows you mention are quality shows. We can learn a lot from TV writers. BB was wonderfully paced and the imaginative characters' twists and turns were well thought out and effective. Saul is just a hoot. A quality hoot.

  2. Don't be so apologetic, Willsin! We read what we like, we read what we think we need to read, we read what happens to come our way. And 70-90% of it just slides by without making much of an impression (at least, for me).

    I also agree that there are cross-medium lessons to be learned from watching films or TV (though I haven't really watched TV for decades).

  3. "Almost everything I've been reading lately has been either dystopian/post-apocalypse/zombies, or shifter-based erotic romance."

    It sounds like you're reading a lot, and within the genre you're focused on, so that's great!

    It also sounds, however, like nothing you've tried yet has grabbed you in a deep way, which happens sometimes.

    In any case, I don't think you should feel the need to apologize. I feel bad that I haven't been reading much erotica lately! :P