Thursday, November 29, 2007


I’m starting a new book right now, or at least sifting through three solid ideas to come up with what I want to write next.
Apparently this time it means writing the first chapter and a rough plot outline for each idea to really get a sense for where I want to go with this next book.

For me each new book is a crossroads. I have to decide going in what I want the book to be, and how far I want to take certain elements.
I remember at an editor panel, one of the editors (St. Martins) described the kind of books they were looking for as really books. She explained she was looking for books that were either really, really emotional, or really, really suspenseful, or really, really, sexy, but they had to have a very strong footing in one thing.
At the time the explanation just frustrated me. Of course we want our books to be really emotional and sexy and suspenseful, shit, we’re trying to be everything.

Now I get it. Very few writers can be everything, but we can choose to do something really, really well. This kind of relates back to Molly’s commitment post from a couple of weeks ago.

I also know as an unpublished author, if I write a book and have the good fortune to sell it, I need to know I can write several more in a similar style, so I had better love writing this kind of book.

So as I sit down to start a new book, I have to figure out what kind of book I’m going to write and commit completely to it.
Five books into this whole writing thing, I have a strong idea of what elements I’m better at, what kind of stories I like to write.
So if I’m going to write dark and suspenseful, I had better make it really, really dark and suspenseful.
Because that’s the kind of book I want to write. Because in the end I’d rather get rejected for going too far, rather than not going far enough.
That is, if I have to get rejected.
At this point, I’m not thinking rejections, I’m just thinking about writing a book that’s better than the last and wholly, completely represents the best writing I’m capable of producing.
I'm also thinking about Razor and Battlestar Galactica. Did anyone else see it and love it as much as I did?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

J.K. Rowling is Entertainer of the Year

I think it's very interesting that Entertainment Weekly Magazine has named J.K. Rowling as entertainer of the year.

Now, it might be easy to say, "Duh!" Of course she's entertainer of the year, she should've been named entertainer of the year every year for the past seven or so years, but remember, this is Entertainment Weekly.

Ms. Rowling's companions on this year's list are all actors and/or pop singers. One possible exception to my actors and singers only assertion is Tina Fey... but really, would she be as famous for her brilliant writing if she didn't also act? Another listing was "The Apatow Gang". I thought, okay. Another writer. But when I looked at the listing, they had all the actors there, too. It is true that many of the actors frequently in Judd Apatow's projects also write... but like Tina Fey, would people make such a big deal if they didn't also act? Besides, with both Apatow and Fey we're talking TV and movies, not books.

So, I guess my point (I will get to it) is that I think it's cool that a novelist is entertainer of the year. At a time when books have so much competition for our interest with movies and television and video games and the internet etc. etc. etc. I think it's so great that she has made even the likes of EW sit up and notice.

Hey, books are entertaining, not just something teachers make you read in school.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sexiest Man Alive - Matt Damon??

I've been home the last week and a half getting ready for and then celebrating American Thanksgiving. Which in my family now means deep frying turkey (so American, really, can you believe it? The only truly healthy part of the meal and now we're frying it. But, here's the's sooooo delicious. We also brined one -- which was even better. But not as fun.) We also play very violent rounds of the game Spoons, complete with wrestling and blood and cousin Heather bit my brother - it was very bloodthirsty. And of course eating Pumpkin Pie for breakfast. Just writing the words Pumpkin Pie makes me want to eat some more. In fact, after writing this I am going to put some pumpkin pie on top of the leftover fried turkey....mmmm.....heart attack.

I also got a chance to do some very important reading, namely People's annual Sexiest Man Alive issue - featuring Matt Damon. I adore Matt Damon, and not just because he makes me think of Ben Affleck. But, I feel like Matt would like to come over to my family's house for spoons and fried turkey. I feel like I grew up with Matt, not that I know anyone like him, but he's got that vibe. That, I'm-not-really-a-superstar-but-actually-the-cute-kid-from-high-school-who-comes-back-to-reunions-as-a-successful-NGO-fundraiser-and-all-the-women-talk-about-him-in-the-bathroom-like-we're-16, vibe.

But I don't think he's hot. Not like Brad. Not like George. Absolutely not like Ben or Tim Riggins (who is featured in the magazine - he's skating -- go now, Maureen.) Even the picture on the cover of the magazine, makes him look not at all sexy. Makes him look like a high school science teacher after an explosion in his classroom or something.

I do think he's probably the most underrated superstar actor in Hollywood. We watched Departed last night - and while Leo was all sparks and danger, Damon's performance was so compelling, so understated and terrified, that rewatching the movie, I actually see far more from his character than Leo's. Watching the movie the first time, you got everything you needed to know about Leo. But Damon gets better each time. So does Alec Baldwin, to tell you the truth. And I won't go into my hysterical love for Mark Whalberg...

So, I didn't think Damon was terribly sexy. But then, I read the People article, which was actually just Matt Damon's letter to People explaining why he couldn't take the honor and was, seriously, not the right guy for the job. It was the sweetest, sexiest thing ever. And then there were articles from George Clooney and Ben Affleck that just sealed the deal. Matt Damon goes a bit beyond sexy and is now my romance hero come to life.

I just need to get his cell number to ask him over for Spoons and Turkey next year. Mmmm, a fried turkey, pumpkin pie, Matt Damon sandwhich.......

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Welcome, Trish Milburn

Hey, everyone! Welcome to the party! And please welcome our special guest blogger, Trish Milburn. Trish is a finalist in the American Title IV contest sponsored by Romantic Times magazine. The winner of the contest gets a publishing contract with Dorchester, so vote for Trish and show your support! We DWT girls have been so proud to have had good friends in the past two AT contests as well. Michele Ann Young's NO REGRETS, just released by Sourcebooks, was a finalist in ATII, and K.J. Howe was the runner up last year in ATIII with her marvelous book, ONE SHOT, TWO KILLS. So we're really excited to put our votes behind Trish this year.

Also, in the spirit of the party (and American Thanksgiving) we're offering a PRIZE today. Just comment on this post to be eligible to win some goodies. (If we're really lucky, Molly's new book, BABY MAKES THREE, hitting stores in December, might be involved!)

Trish figured out that we drunk writers have been rather obsessed by television these days and chose to blog about one of her favorites. Take it away, Trish.

From my early days of watching reruns of the original Star Trek, first-runs of Woman Woman and mini-series like V (all of which I’m sure would be reallllly cheesy if I watched them now), I’ve loved shows that deal with superheroes or delve into the paranormal. I loved to imagine being able to fly or fight the bad guys without worrying about being hurt. I liked the idea of being invincible or possessing special knowledge or powers and using it for good. That’s why the Season Passes on my TiVo include programs like Supernatural, Smallville, Heroes, Journeyman, Bionic Woman, Moonlight, and Blood Ties.

Today I’m going to focus on my favorite – Supernatural. Unlike some shows that start off with a bang in their first season or two but quickly fade in quality thereafter, Supernatural just seems to be getting better and better. It’s one of those shows that’s inspiring to me as a writer. In fact, it was part of the inspiration for my manuscript, Coven, which won the Golden Heart in the Young Adult category this year.

Here are my top five reasons to watch Supernatural:

1. The Winchester brothers – Sam and Dean Winchester are just about as cool as it gets. They hunt and kill demons and other paranormal baddies that most of the world doesn’t believe really exist. They’re following in the footsteps of their dad, John, who became a demon hunter after his wife was killed by a demon. But while the brothers share a mission, they couldn’t be much different. Dean is the bad boy who wears a worn leather jacket, listens to classic rock and drives a black 1967 Impala known to fans as the Metallicar, the trunk of which is filled with guns loaded with demon-fighting rock salk, knives and all manner of other weaponry. He’s a bit of a ladies’ man and has a hilarious sense of humor. While I’m a Sammy girl, I freely admit Dean almost always has the better lines of dialogue. This reminds of of a similar situation with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, another favorite of mine. While I’m an Angel fan, it was Spike who had more of the hysterical lines. Sam is the brainier of the brothers. In fact, he was at college at Stanford, getting ready to go to law school, when Dean ropes him back into the “family business” in the first episode. He was dedicated to his girlfriend until she was killed by the same demon that killed his mother. In the parlance of The Hero’s Journey, Jessica’s death was the point at which Sam gave a different answer to the Call to Adventure (he at first refused to go hunting with Dean) and Crosses the Threshold (similar to when Luke Skywalker leaves Tatooine after his aunt and uncle are killed in Star Wars. The brothers’ relationship is fantastically created by Eric Kripke and crew and wonderfully played by Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Jared Padalecki (Sam).

2. Overarching story – While each week’s episode doesn’t focus on the “big mystery”, it’s always there in the background, coloring everything. For a long time, the brothers sought the yellow-eyed demon who’d killed their mother and Jessica. Even though he’s been dispatched now, his effect on their lives still lingers. Sam is supposed to be some sort of “chosen one”, but we’re not certain if that’s a good or bad thing, considering the source of the revelation. We still don’t know how that particular storyline is going to turn out. And now we also have the question of whether the brothers will find a way out of Dean’s deal with the crossroads demon – his life at the end of one year in exchange for bringing Sammy back from the dead at the end of last season.

3. Monster of the week – What’s really cool is that Supernatural doesn’t get too bogged down in the big, dark, overarching plot. It’s broken up by monster-of-the-week episodes, some of them quite funny. They take myths and urban legends and craft episodes around them. We’ve had Bloody Mary, the Woman in White, a ghost ship and more.

4. Dialogue – When you’re watching Sam and Dean verbally sparring, you could actually believe that Jared and Jensen are actually brothers. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re both from Texas that helps them play off each other so well. Seriously, I laugh out loud at least once an episode. For some great Sam/Dean interchanges/snark, go to any of the following:,0,7416597.special

5. Secondary characters – My friend Mary is a big fan of Papa John Winchester, but I think my favorite secondary character is Bobby, a demon-hunting friend of John’s. He’s a crusty redneck of a guy, but he’s really funny and is a father figure for Sam and Dean now that their dad is gone too. I’m also intrigued by the demon chick Ruby who is evidently helping the brothers, particularly Sam, in their fight to kill or return to hell all the demons that were released when a gate to hell was accidentally opened. Another new addition this year is Bela, who seems to be matched more with Dean. A lot of fans have expressed a dislike for out-for-herself Bela, but I’m inclined to wait a while longer to see what the writers have in mind. And we got a hint of deeper layers for her in the episode “Red Sky at Morning,” in which it’s revealed that she killed someone in her family (deliberately or not, we don’t know). She looked pained and refused to tell the guys any details, so I’m intensely curious. I have all sorts of theories running through my head.

So if you haven’t seen Supernatural, check out seasons one and two on DVD and watch the current season three on The CW Thursday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central.

~ ~

Trish's current finalist in the American Title contest, OUT OF SIGHT, mixes elements of her love for the paranormal and suspense. Jenna McCay, the heroine, can make herself invisible and goes undercover at the White House to determine who inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is sending threats to the president. To vote for OUT OF SIGHT, go to

Monday, November 19, 2007

Reading level and Harry Potter

First, I want to announce that we'll be having a guest blogger stopping by for a drink on Wednesday!

There will be a prize. Make sure you come by!

Now, back to what I've been thinking about the past few days.

I spent last week babysitting for my niece and nephew, and my nine year old niece is making her way through the fourth Harry Potter book, so I had a chance to revisit it, listening to her read aloud, and reading some aloud myself.

I read the first four HP books back to back very quickly round about 2000, I think. I can't remember the exact year, but I do know it was before I started writing novels. And, in spite of buying books 5-7 (preordering two of them...) I still haven't read 5-7. Thus, I haven't read any J.K. Rowling since I started seriously writing fiction myself. (Shame on me.)

Reading her again last week was a bit of an eye opener, and made me think about something I haven't really been thinking much about for a while, and that's sentence structure, particularly complex sentences.

I take some pride in the fact that my writing is easy to read. I do think I vary my structures to keep things interesting and get a rhythm going. At least I try to. I often have double meanings and, I hope, the occasional clever reference not every reader will get... but the sentences tend to be clean and simple, with the verb near the subject and that sort of thing. That said, I was a little disturbed, running the grammar feature in MS Word, to discover that, according to Bill Gate's staff, I'm writing at a grade 3 or 4 level.

Does that mean that a kid my niece's age should read my books? No way. Does that mean they'd understand everything in by books even if they did read one? I sure hope not. There are seriously adult themes in them thar books. Does it mean they'd understand the meaning of every word I use? Probably not. But, it does mean that my niece, if she got a hold of one of my books, could probably read it.

I'd be interested in running J.K. Rowling's books through that MS program... Her sentences are often long and complex with the verb separated from the subject by multiple clauses or phrases... Reading aloud, there were often times when I had to go back and reread a sentence realizing I'd misinterpreted what was being said at the beginning, by the time I got to the end. For my niece, this happened several times a page. But hey, she's only nine. (Reading silently, I don't find JK's stuff hard to read at all... but if you're trying to get the intonation right when reading aloud... I found I made mistakes every 3 or 4 pages. Maybe I was just tired?)

But what it really got me wondering about is whether I'm being lazy in my writing. Not trying hard enough. Or whether I should continue to be proud that my writing is easy to read.

I mean... if commercial fiction is about the storytelling, then why make it hard on the reader? On the other hand... complicated sentences haven't exactly held JK back, now have they?

Thoughts? Has anyone else checked out what grade level the folks at microsoft think you're writing at?

And make sure you come back on Wednesday for our guest blogger and PRIZES.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My secret guilty pleasure

Ok, so Maureen and I watch America’s Next Top Model, which is definitely a guilty pleasure, but we’re pretty open about it, so not so secret.

But the one show I watch and love, and then could watch again, is What Not To Wear. I was told by a friend(Molly actually) that after a few episodes it gets really boring. I was hoping that would be the case.

Except, No. I could watch it day and night. Seriously, there’s something wrong with me.

Talk about a formula. Person can’t dress. They get made fun of. They get told what to wear. They go shopping. They then get to go shopping with the hosts. They get their hair cut, make up applied and there you go. An hour of my life – lost.

I’m still trying to figure out why I love it so. There are almost never any surprises, nothing unexpected ever happens.

The hosts are witty and fun and never mean-spirited. They give you $5000 to shop for a week in New York with in my other life would be my two best shopping buddies. They give you a makeover and I’m guessing in between you get to sleep.

Sounds perfect. Where do I sign up?

Maybe that’s why I love it, the fantasy of sleep and shopping and a really good haircut.

But it’s also the formula. It’s really comforting. I can turn on the show, relax, not think too much and just enjoy.

Nothing wrong with that when the formula is done really well, be it reality TV or books.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wireless networks -- Work of the devil or heaven sent?

I saw the very funny link that Eileen Cook had on her blog recently asking the question, "What if 24 had debuted in 1994."

Yes, technology moves quickly. So quickly it's often hard to remember we didn't always have the things we use daily. (When I first started articling for a CA firm as a co-op student... most offices didn't have fax machines, so we had a teletype... And yes, all the admin staff had typewriters on their desks.)

When I first started trying to write full time, I very quickly realized that some days, in order to get anything done, I had to get out of the house. So, I go to Starbucks, or Timothy's or various other coffee-type establishments that let you sit all day for the price of a coffee.

Initially, I had an IBM laptop, that was not wireless enabled. In fact, I'm not even sure if many coffee shops were networked at the time. But I decided the weight of the laptop in my backpack was not proportional to the amount of battery life I got... So I bought a keyboard for my Palm and purposefully didn't even look into hooking it up to the web. (Involved bluetooth stuff...)

But last year I treated myself and bought my lovely MacBook, which I am still head over heels in love with. (Seriously, our relationship is a little creepy.)

My only complaint (and it's not really a complaint) is that whereas my old laptop required a special card, not to mention several minutes of struggling through various Windows menus that never worked the first time, in order to hook up to a wireless network.

My Mac, on the other hand, automatically checks for networks every time I turn it on. How handy.

But I'm starting to think it's the devil's work. The point of getting out of my office was to stop obsessively checking my e-mails and spending 45 minutes answering some stupid question (or even smart question) posted to one of my writers' loops. The point was no access to news sites, or entertainment sites, or movie listings, or blogs....

I sat down in a Starbucks just after 9:00 am yesterday morning. Guess what time I started to actually work on my manuscript??? 12:30 pm.

Damn that wireless networking.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ice Storm, Anne Stuart and that envelope....

That's right - I bought the new Anne Stuart on Saturday and I neglected my child and my husband and any sort of word count I wanted to hit this weekend and hunkered down and read the thing.

She's great - Anne Stuart is a master - she still does the same things wrong that make me mad in all her books. Repetitive dialogue, increasing conflict and tension that the character's don't seem to respond too in their dialogue or thoughts. The character's change by the end of the book in one sudden swoop of change - that is totally dramatic and exciting but means that the middle of the book things are sort of unchanging. She isn't as descriptive in her action scenes as I think she should be. I did some skimming.

But she still does the same things AMAZINGLY! Her characters are incredible - unlike any other characters out there. Her sex scenes are spicy but totally totally character involved unlike so many romances out there. Conflict is top notch.

But this is my thought while reading the book: I know I've been guilty of reading really great books, with characters and plot lines that are outside of the box in terms of what we read in the standard romance, or the standard novel. I've read these books, and I've loved these books and I've thought -- you have to be Anne Stuart to be able to do this. Or, you have to be J.R. Ward or Susan Elizabeth Phillips to be able to write about football stars, or vampires who might or might not be bisexual. Heroines who are killers, or heroes who are blind or a subplot with a porn star or anything DIFFERENT can't be done by someone new. Or sort of new. Or who writes family drama superromance.

Basically, my thought was - stay inside the envelope, Molly.

But reading Anne Stuart I realized, sure it helps to be Anne Stuart - but editors are dying for different. Readers are dying for different - the envelope is DYING to be pushed. And ANYONE can do it. Any one of us. But, you can not give an editor the chance to say no. You can't leave any room for doubt. I know there are so many writers out there thinking - I write totally different heroines and no one will buy my books but e-press or small press or no one and I'm totally pissed off and disillusioned. My answer to you is -- write better. Be better. Don't let the editor say - love the premise, but can't get into to it - because all that editor is saying is -- you didn't totally sell me. You didn't do it well enough.

You don't have to be Anne Stuart to write different books - you just have to be better than her. And, frankly, that's a hard challenge, but that's what it is. You have a great idea, something dark and scary and sexy and wild - do it. Just don't back down, don't be lazy! But do write the crap out of it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Random thoughts to end the week

My blog posting this week is a random jumble of thoughts. Apologies in advance if it doesn’t make any sense.

Publishing is a tough business right now. Publishers are buying fewer and fewer new authors, and too many published authors are getting swept up under the carpet.

I read on another blog about another E-Publisher going under. That, along with Triskelon’s demise is going to leave a lot of authors scrambling to reclaim the rights to their books.

We know first hand at Drunk Writers that having an agent is no guarantee of a sale, even a good agent, and that getting published is hard, and staying published is even harder.

I’m painting a pretty rosy picture here, aren’t I.

But there are really positive things happening. If the success of the JR Ward series tells me anything its that there are no rules except the happily ending rule, and that only has to apply to the central couple of the book.

Now is a great time to throw everything out the window and write something different and dramatic without even a thought to market. Which is really freeing.

How do we Drunk Writers remain optimistic? Well, Molly sells more books, so she’s got a reason to be optimistic these days, so let’s take her out of the equation.

First and foremost, we write the next book. We sit in our local pub and talk storytelling till anyone not a writer would be snoozing in their beer. We meet with our critique group and get honest, straightforward evaluations of our writing that help us get better.

And we take the criticism and use it to get better. If I didn’t think each book was in some way better than the last, I think I’d have to give up writing altogether.

I learn something new every time I talk with my fellow drunk writers, every time I go to a critique group meeting, every time I write a new book.

And not to sound all Pollyanna, but that’s what keeps me going. I love the challenge of creating a 400 page novel out of literally nothing and knowing it might not be pig swill.

That’s where my random thoughts took me this week. What keeps everyone else going, other than wine, beer and cider?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Interesting characters

So, we've been talking a lot about TV lately. I guess it's the season. Although now with the writers' strike... We may be losing new TV episodes pretty soon.

Watching House last night, I realized that Molly's right. That show has totally redeemed itself as a series this year. I spent some time (15 seconds) trying to figure out why. Here's what I've come up with so far.

House is great because of the characters. Sure, there's an interesting medical question each week and structuring the episode like a mystery/crime show instead of more traditional medical shows is creative and unique, but the real thing that makes this show is the characters.

Gregory House on his own is an interesting enough character, and Laurie a good enough actor, to carry this show through the first season and maybe part way through the second. He's an edgy character. In fact, I read an interview with Laurie saying the show didn't have a title when he received the scenes for his audition tape. (He auditioned remotely while filming that plane lost in the desert movie... Flight of the Phoenix?) Anyway, after reading his character's scenes, he assumed the show was about the Wilson character and he was reading for the crusty friend part.

But the show's creators didn't stop at a great main character. Cuddy is an interesting contradictory complex character and so is Wilson.

But they didn't stop there. They parceled out information about these 3 main characters slowly over the 2 seasons. Okay, we learned most of the juicy stuff about House in the first season -- but it was very juicy and extremely well delivered -- and they mostly just posed questions about Cuddy and Wilson as well as Cameron and Chase and Foreman in the first season, so we were still interested in watching the second season even though we knew what happened to House's leg and his marriage and why Cuddy puts up with him (guilt) and other juicy tidbits that we'd been fed in the first season.

But House started to bore me last season. House's quips weren't enough to get me through and after watching the first several episodes of this year I think I know why it's working for me again. I was bored of the secondary characters last year. The mystery was all gone. There was no where new to take them without getting silly. We knew Cameron had "issues". We knew she loved House, but that the two would never get together. We knew Foreman was the smartest but had trust issues and issues with authority etc. And we knew Chase had great hair. (Sorry... but pretty as he is, he was always the boring one for me.) Even the Chase/Cameron thing, which was interesting for a while because of the gender reversal -- her using him for sex -- started to be dull for me by the end of last season. (And I know I'm not doing these 3 characters justice here. Tons of stuff was revealed about these characters over the first few seasons and that's what made them interesting.)

So, they've finished revealing all the backstory for Chase/Cameron/Foreman. What did they do? Do they have one abducted by aliens? Marry a criminal? Paralyzed in an accident? Lose an arm? (All typicial of plot twists in most medical dramas.) No, they take them (at least temporarily) out of the picture and introduced a bunch of new characters. And they didn't dump too much information about any one of these new characters, either. The result, we have new character mysteries to keep us tuning in from week to week. More questions we want answered, like: What's up with 13? Why is cut throat bitch such a cut throat bitch? How far can House really push the black mormon guy before he snaps, and where's his wife? Which ones will last? And even having the character I most wanted to see survive get fired this week after he (sob) poisoned a patient to fake polio so that he could get attention and money for medical studies? Pretty out there, but interesting. Even though I was hoping they'd grow that character. I know from Huff -- that actor can do interesting things... I'll miss him. (Now, watch... all the interns will be fired next week and I'll never get my burning questions answered... But my point is I have the questions, so I'm interested in the people.)

But the best thing about last week was the adding of the new Michael Michele character. A woman strong enough to stand up to House. And with a military background so she's used to order and rules... And the sexual chemistry between those two? Yowsa. And that she gave back as good as she took?
Her: "I can kill a man with my thumb."
Him: "I was still making sexual innuendos."
Her: "So was I."
And only House could deliver a line like "I have a position open on my penis" and have it be funny instead of revolting. Okay, it was a little revolting. But I was laughing so hard I didn't care.

I am optimistic about this show again. They finally seem to have remembered their show relies not on silly plot developments like a cop out for revenge after having a thermometer stuck up his butt, but on keeping us fascinated about learning more about complex characters and seeing them interact with each other.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ya Gotta Commit!!

In the last little while I have enjoyed some fantastic reading and some fantastic television. (I've also enjoyed a lot of Wonder Pets, green snot, night wakings and days that start at 5:30 am - thank God for books and tv or I seriously would not have made it through the last two weeks) Anyway - I've figured out what is working with all of these things that I love - the J.R. Ward books, Friday Night Lights, The Elizabeth Hoyt books, Outlander, Life and yes, House. Loving House again. The writers of these varied programs and books totally committed to every aspect of what they were creating (except Life, really, but we will get to that). Friday Night Lights is a a high school drama, a marriage drama, a football drama and now, a crime drama and in every scene that contains one of those aspects - it's well researched, well thought out and creative. It doesn't pretend to be a football show - it is a football show - my husband LOVES those big hits. When the show is about football - it commits to being about football.

House isn't just an excuse for Hugh Laurie to be fantastic - it's also very compelling medical drama. It commits to both.

The Hoyt books - she takes a conflict - in Leopard Prince - it's a class conflict - and she commits to it - there is no easy way out - she doesn't make the hero a secret duke. He's the land steward at the beginning of the book and stays that way throughout.

Now, why Life is probably going to be cancelled is because they haven't totally committed to being a crime show - the weekly cases are really weak - last week's? PLEASE? The Chief of the LA police department on a stake out because someone is pooping in someone else's yard? Terrible - not believable at all!!!

Now, in writing I don't think it means that you have to turn your light paranormal, or vaguely suspenseful romance into something Dennis Lehane would write - but it does mean that in those scenes that are supposed to be suspenseful - you have to commit to it - you have to give the reader more than what is just basic. Our subplots can not just take up space and add to the word count - they have to be integral and they have to be fully-imagined.

And, I'm going to do that - any minute now.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Why aren’t more people watching Friday Night Lights?

I’m a bad blogger, I know, but I literally couldn’t think of a single writing topic this week, until now.

I know we blog incessantly about Friday Night Lights, and Dexter and Battlestar, but we do this because (I’m talking for Molly and Maureen here) we are consistently blown away by the storytelling on these shows.

This week on Friday Night Lights, they took the pimply, lanky, homely Christian Hard Rocker and made him heroic and wonderful and made the gorgeous bad girl believably fall in love with him. And then they gave him his dream moment and directly afterwards, tore his world apart.

And I loved every moment of it.

And if that isn’t reason enough to watch it, how about for the alchoholic bad boy, who is the most soulful character on the show.

Or, for my favourite reason, the best written, possibly ever on TV, married couple. The coach and his wife. Brilliantly played by the actors, but the truthful, authentic moments the writers are throwing on the screen between these two consistently blow me away.

And not to offend anyone, but freakin’ Ghost Whisperer is kicking its ass in the ratings…

I mean seriously…
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