Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A (mostly) thawed out brain...and televison and writing

I am happy to announce that my brain cells were not killed off by the chilly weather, they were merely in suspended animation. I remembered what I was going to blog about.

Television and writing.

First let me start off by saying that my wife and I have a Roku. This is not a small furry animal from Japan though I can see why some would be confused by this. We have had Netflix for years, and they have movies and TV shows, thousands of them, that you can watch for free online. We never did this, watching a movie on a computer just seemed wrong, like beef gravy on chocolate(saw that on one of the wife’s cooking shows, ick).

But this summer we got a Roku, it is a tiny black box you connect to the TV and then you can watch all of the free Netflix content on your TV. It connects to the internet and downloads them right into the magical little box. It can also connect to amazon.com and you can rent nearly every movie they have on amazon. They even get some before the theatres do…It slices, it dices, it…wait..that’s something else.

I’ll stop there. Despite all evidence to the contrary, this post was not meant to be an infomercial for Roku (some of the brain cells must still be thawing out).

The point of my multi-paragh description is that my wife and I have been watching the TV show 24. We missed it when it was on TV, and we have been watching one or two episodes every night while we fall asleep in bed.

As I passed the 50,000(woot) word mark in my novel Blood Plague, I suddenly came to the realization that one of my characters had become Jack Bauer. He didn’t start off that way, he was a former member of the Royal Guard promoted to the rank of Lord General by a grateful king. In the beginning he was capable but a little unsure of his role as Lord General.

Now he can kill six men without trying, and has no problems torturing others to get what he wants. He is loyal to his king and his friends to his own determent. He hides his emotions behind a stoic face, letting few others in. He is a barely contained reservoir of violence, ready to let loose at any moment...which is really fun to write, but I may have to tone it down a bit when I do my first edit of the manuscript.

The whole thing has me wondering if I go back read some of my other stuff if I’ll be able to tell what I was watching on TV. I knew I got a few ideas from TV, Kingdom of the Dead, my zombie/fantasy hybrid novel came from watching Dawn of the Dead back to back with Lord of the Rings, but Jack Bauer crept into my writing without me having any conscious knowledge of it. I’ll have to keep an eye on this in the future.

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