You have to understand one thing about me. I am not a huge television person. In fact, I avoid it at all costs to be honest due to the sheer number of mind-numbing reality TV programs. Television has become a plague, a cancer which kills off people's brain cells and causes them not to read as much as they should unless it's entertainment mags or guides about television shows.
A French friend, Jordane, introduced me to both True Blood and Sons of Anarchy (although True Blood is divided between Manon and Jordane as they are both huge fans of the show). I had to catch up with both from the beginning. I'm all caught up now on TB and am actually watching the shows as they premiere every Sunday night on HBO. SOA has taken a bit longer but I am definitely a hard-core fanatic now and I haven't even finished the 3rd season yet.
So, what is it about this show which makes it so damned irresistible? A fine English hottie playing the lead character, Jackson "Jax" Teller (Charlie Hunnam but I've known him from way back... he was on the original British version of Queer as Folk not to mention a remarkable performance in Green Street Hooligans alongside Elijah Wood). The guy just has talent oozing out of his pores. Add strong female characters (Gemma Teller Morrow, portrayed by Katey Sagal and Tara Knowles portrayed by an outstanding Maggie Siff), Ron Perlman (Clarence "Clay" Morrow), Kim Coates (Alex "Tig" Trager), Tommy Flanagan (one of my fave Scot actors who portrays Filip "Chibs" Telford brilliantly), and Theo Rossi (Juan-Carlos "Juice" Ortiz), well you have a show made in heaven with excellent writing and a creator (Kurt Sutter) who definitely knew what he wanted the show to portray and the firm vision he imagined.
I realize now shows are a lot like writing, if not identical. If the plot isn't thought out, the characters undeveloped and the story-line's weak, it all falls apart. That is what I am witnessing in the 4th season of my other favorite show, True Blood. Then again, the books leave a lot to be desired and the characters weren't all that greatly developed in the novels so what do you expect? Alan Ball is a genius but a polished turd is still a turd (sorry to all the Charlaine Harris fans out there . . . I tried to read the Sookie Stackhouse books and couldn't get past the first page).
Everyone has a different writing style and this is portrayed vividly whether it is for television, movies or books. I've learned the hard way that if a main character isn't strong enough (personality-wise, developed, complex), the whole story arc falls apart. I hope I have made a strong enough character out of Manon Mourey (her first name is homage to my very good French friend who introduced me to TB) and people feel like she can carry a series, let alone a novel. She has to be because if she isn't then The Vamp Saga is dead in the water before it ever began.
Now you know my motivation, well, let's just say I know I will be done in time for the season premiere of my new fave show, Sons of Anarchy. Long live SOA and long live SAMCRO. You've made me a believer in great, entertaining television programs again. ;-)
Question(s) of the Blog Day: How do you decide, as a writer, to construct your main character(s)? Do you write out a whole background or just wing it? How important is it for you to be able to identify with your main character and flesh them out in terms of suspension of disbelief?
What I am Reading:
Belfast Girls tells the tale of three childhood friends who grow up during the time of the brokered peace deal in modern day Northern Ireland. They live, love, and grow but most important, it is a story of friendship in a place that has had its fair share of war.
Easy Innocence is not a cut and dry story. There are so many plot lines and it is the type of edge-of-your-seat thriller which could teach Hollywood a thing or two about suspension of disbelief. This novel is not to be missed!
Added to my TBR List: