Archive for December 22nd, 2012

Finding your voice in what you love

I was reading this piece about finding your voice on Litreactor and found myself  intrigued.

Obvious, isn’t it, to think that what you consume will end up being what you become, but I oddly never quite thought of it that way. You are what you eat.  What, then, am I eating?

So the test:

Pick up a pencil and write down your five favorite authors. Write down your five favorite books. While you’re at it, write down your five favorite movies. And add to that your five favorite television shows.

 

Authors:

Anne Bishop, Anne Stuart, Anne McCaffrey (do we see a trend here?), Nora Roberts, L.M Montgomery.

Favorite books:

Dark Jewels trilogy, Home Cooking, More Home Cooking.

Five favorite movies:

Much Ado about Nothing, Cloud Atlas, Ponyo, Rise of the Guardians, the Avengers

Five favorite television shows:

Babylon 5, Farscape, Seikon no Qwaser, Gensomaden Saiyuki, Star Trek Next Generation

 

What do I see here?

Strangely enough, it appears that my consumption of media almost tends toward self-contradiction. For a writer, I read a lot of fluff, which makes it hard to find favorites. Not enough substance results in not quite being able to find anything to latch onto. I rarely venture into deeper books, something my friends laugh at me for, but the reason being that all too often it either twists one way or the other, either fluff or angst, and not much in between. If I had to make a choice, and I do, then I’m going to go with fluff. Perhaps this limits me as a writer, just as it limits me as a reader.

Movies go much the same way, it appears. Nothing too dark, nothing too gritty, and all of them happy endings.

TV shows, apparently, is where I go darker. Perhaps because having my angst and tragedy packaged in 30 minute sections is a lot more tolerable than spending an hour or so immersed in someone else’s pain. Books, are by nature of narration, that much more unforgiving. Either you dive in and experience as the characters do, or you float along on the surface, never getting to the heart. Movies can be similarly relentless, pounding their message in over the course of 3 hours, and not necessarily giving you respite at the end.

Common threads I see involve social justice, the concept of being responsible for the world you live in, sacrifice, love, and the pain of birthing a new world from a fragmented, broken one.  Home and hearth, witticisms, sarcasm, and family thread through the darker material,  creating a bolt of a night dyed fabric shot through with gold.

We’ll see if I succeed in replicating that.