Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nods to Media in Writing

If you read my previous entry, you'll know that I love watching tv. There have been so many shows that I've watched over the years that I've never forgotten for one reason or another.

I think when it comes to writing, especially your first manuscript, a lot of who you are and what you like comes out in it. I've come across this numerous times in what I have been working on and I keep wondering things like "is this TOO much me?" or "should I save this for another character in something else I do down the road?" So far my answer has been to keep with it. It just so happens that my MC is a lot like me and it works for her. 

China Beach and Tour of Duty were shows based around war that my parents used to watch. I was only about six at the time but I remember watching some of these episodes. I can't tell you what happened except I remember liking them. Mostly I remember the songs used as the theme songs and they are two of my favorites. The song Reflections by Diana Ross and the Supremes has remained a favorite of mine and I even used part of the song as one of the email addresses I created a few years ago.

I was brought up in a house where the music of the '50s, '60s, and early '70s was pretty much the soundtrack. I still love the music and one of my favorite musicians of those time periods is Buddy Holly. Can you guess why I'm telling you this?

Yes, my MC has a crush on somebody who looks up to Buddy Holly. He has the dark hair, he longs to be the musician that Buddy Holly was and most recognizably he sports the same style glasses Holly wore (and yes, I one day want to visit Clear Lake, Iowa to see the shrine for Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, who I'm also a huge fan of).

As for television, I can only recall (so far) one show that has crept into my writing and that would be Breaker High (laugh it up chuckle-butt). This was one of my favorite shows when I was in middle school and it was the show that put Ryan Gosling on my radar. Although it wasn't exactly his most noticeable work, it's one of my most memorable of him. He has been my favorite actor ever since (yes, I've bought all his movies as soon as they came out. My favorite is The United States of Leland) so when I was naming a location within my story, I used the last name of his character (Hanlon) as the name of the place.

Dracula: Dead and Loving It is also mentioned in my WIP because I love this movie (yes, this IS my favorite vampire movie) and it was a big part of sleepovers at my friend's house when I was in middle school. So of course when my MC and her BFF have a movie night, this is one of the movies that they watch.

Will people who aren't me know these things? Of course not but it's still fun to sneak these kinds of tidbits in there. These are my Easter eggs and I know that my chances of getting published are low and right now I'm just writing for myself, but should the day come where you get to read a book by me, know these little nods to my favorite shows, movies, and music will undoubtedly be present.

Basically, I love media. I would be bored to tears without music, tv, movies, and books. Have you noticed any authors who like to do this?

Are you a writer? Do you find yourself sneaking in these kinds of things?

If you're not a writer but know an author does these types of things, do you think it's distracting to what you're reading or are you more inclined to look at it as a treasure hunt?


  1. I do the same thing. I'm working on a YA novel right now, and the narrator is a lot like me. One of the other main characters is also a lot like me. And I do the same thing with bringing media into writing. My main character's favorite TV show is CSI: Vegas and her favorite musical group is the Backstreet Boys. . . . And both of those things just so happen to be my favorite TV show and musical group.

    It's hard not to put yourself into your characters. One of things my main character and one of her best friends does in my novel is something my high school best friend and I actually did. It's also hard not to give your characters the qualities of people you know in real life (or knew). I do it all the time.

  2. Both my MC and I LOVE the Backstreet Boys. Although she's not as vocal about it as I am :-)