Friday, April 23, 2021

Writing: Learning From TV Shows

My wife have recently been celebrating our (relative) independence as retirees by binge-watching recorded episodes of The Closer. We also have been fans for a long time of Blue Bloods, which we also watch regularly. As an author of medical mysteries, I'm always ready to learn something from my TV-watching (as well as my reading), and this has been no exception. Just keep an eye open for something we might use.

At somewhere around the 3/4 point of each episode of The Closer, someone says something that gives the lead character an idea of how to solve the particular mystery that is the subject for that hour. And it's made me realize that, although an author of mysteries need not hide such a clue at the first of a book, it's not a bad idea to plant a clue early in the book and then reveal the real key late in the book that solves everything.

This isn't valid in every instance, but it is helpful every once in a while. What have you discovered when watching your favorite shows that is applicable to the book you're reading or writing? 


Priscilla Bettis said...

The Closer and Blue Bloods are fun shows. I've been watching old reruns of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and I've learned that a sense of irony in how the end plays out is an extra boost of satisfaction to the viewer/reader.

Patricia Bradley said...

I so rarely watch a tv program unless it's Jeopardy or Keeping Up Appearances, that I'm almost embarrassed. I did binge-watch the first season of Broadchurch and I'm occasionally watching the Cumberbach Sherlock Holmes shows...but to answer the question, usually when I watch tv shows, the show triggers an idea for a story and sometimes the story I'm working on.
Good Question! Now back to the salt mines.

Richard Mabry said...

Ah, the advantage of being not only retired but not under contract--after a morning when we returned one kitchen faucet (turned out to be used) and found another one (more expensive, but on sale), we treated ourselves by splitting a sandwich at Jason's Deli, then came home to watch the two episodes of The Closer we had recorded. Now back to work.