Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Watching Television is Educational

It’s no secret that I am a TV junkie. I’m known for the calendars I make each Fall with all the shows I’m going to watch. I even color-code them. I’m amazing, I know.

Anyway, watching television is more than a simple pastime for me. While I sit on the couch wishing I could be as cool as Emily Thorne (Revenge) and dismissing any ideas that exercising would be a better choice, I am learning how to improve my writing. So, really, watching TV can be considered an educational experience for me.

Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite shows and what I take away from them as a writer. Be sure to let me know which shows inspire you in the comments!


Revenge (ABC)

While the show can be a bit too melodramatic and borderline soap opera, Revenge is a delicious, engaging, and thrilling show. The various plot twists have helped me re-think the way I go about plot points and the ways I can turn a story upside down. I also view each episode as a chapter in a book, and have improved my ability to create cliff hangers.

Arrow (the CW)

I was a huge fan of Arrow even before it premiered on the CW last fall. Partly because I’m kind of in love with Stephen Amell, but mostly because I liked the rest of the cast and the show looked really good. What I found, however, exceeded my expectations. I’m not a huge action kind of person, but I am so glad I love this show because I’m more familiar with how an action scene should look and feel. I can then interpret this visual understanding into a written version, resulting in a more refined fight scene.

The Vampire Diaries (the CW)

The Vampire Diaries features some of the sexiest most complex bad guys. I mean, look at Klaus! He’s ruthless, pure evil, and yet you can’t help but feel for him. In fact, I love him. I really do. If anything, this show has taught me that the antagonist in any story should still retain some level of humanity that will appeal to readers/viewers.

Being Human (SyFy)

This show is so much more than just the paranormal aspects. To me, Being Human is all about the character relationships and how they react to one another. I love watching Aiden, Josh, Nora, and Sally grow as people and as friends. Watching them has helped me reevaluate my own characters’ relationships and I’ve managed to bring a better sense of realism to them, if that makes sense.


That’s just a sample of the shows I watch, but hopefully you found today’s topic fun and enlightening! Don’t forget to tell me which shows you love to watch and how they help your writing!


  1. Couldn't agree with you more!

    The Vampire Diaries has some brilliant writers who know exactly how to play with contradiction in characters, making every single one of them three-dimensional. A three dimensional antagonist is so hard to find and VD does this well time and again. Can't wait for The Originals spin-off.

    Arrow... sigh... I'm a sucker for comic book hero stories. Don't know how I'll survive the summer without Oliver Queen every Thursday.

  2. You've mentioned a pivotal thing I enjoy taking away from watching TV episodes: the educational value as a writer.

    I find Scandal is a great show with it's suspense, intrigue and very wonderful wordplay in the script. Just fab!

  3. Two of my favorites are Bones and Frasier. Completely opposite ends of the spectrum, but they've both influenced my writing a lot.