Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ode to Character Devotion

I’ve got a new book to read, stories to write, and dogs to walk, but the lion’s share of my home time has been devoted (of late) to house cleaning/organizing. Early next month, I am hosting an event at my house (something I will blog about later because it is absolutely amazing) and I need to get ready. Hosting anything is really outside my happy, comfort bubble, but the inducement was too tempting to refuse.

Cleaning, as everyone should know, is facilitated by NCIS. No really, almost every night, old episodes of NCIS air and they provide the entertainment to fuel the cleaning urges. I’ve cleaned the kitchen, gone through years-old boxes of paperwork, and done heaps of laundry. I’m a cleaning rock star. What does this have to do with character devotion... well, that’s easy.

Things to admit:
  • I hate procedural shows (which include almost all crime dramas in which a crime/dead body is found and the characters then solve the crimes).
Note: I realize I am in the minority here, evidenced by the fact that my favorite shows (Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica, etc., are no longer on the air) and CSI (all varieties), Law and Order (many, many varieties), NCIS (both), Bones, and many other procedurals are the staples of current television programming.
  • I hate any shows that involve bodies decomposing, cut open for an autopsy, stuffed in a trunk in Vegas so long they turn into gelatinous muck (yeah, I watched that episode of CSI).
  • I hate shows where man’s inhumanity to man is the profound and hopeless theme (evidenced by all the ways people kill each other and all the selfish reasons why lives are lost... see above, all crime dramas).
NCIS fits into all of the above categories, and yet I love it. Why?

The characters.
  • Abby. I love her. I want to be best friends with her. I want to be as smart as she is. And I wish I could wear her funny shoes to work without getting fired.
  • Ziva. I love her, too, flaws and all. I wish I were as tough as she is and could protect myself with such fervor.
  • McGee. I love him, too. I wish I were as smart and sweet as he is.
  • DiNozzo. I like him (though he would be fired from anywhere I’ve ever worked for being a pig). Even with his inappropriateness in the workplace, he’s incredibly loyal and I respect that.
  • Ducky. Yeah, love him. Who wouldn’t?
  • And last, but not least, Gibbs. My adoration knows no bounds. He’s amazing and hot. What could be better?
Character devotion means that I watch a show that contains all the elements I hate in a television show, simply because I love the characters.

In my own writing, I work to create characters that might one day have that kind of pull for the reader. I hope I get there, because I’m not sure there is anything better than for others to love my characters as much or more than I do.

Quote for the Day from NCIS

"I will kill you 18 different ways with THIS paperclip!"

Ziva David/Dead Man Walking/ Season 4


Debra L. Schubert said...

Hah! Love that quote at the end. You know me, I'm a true crime freak, but I love this post bunches! It is, indeed, the characters that keep you coming back for more, as a writer, reader, or film, theater, or TV watcher. You nailed it, honey. Well done!

Tamika: said...

Studying characters can be intriguing. I've learned alot about developing mine that way.

Great post and great quote!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love that quote!

Character devotion is big! I'll read or watch anything with certain characters. Or authors :)

Kathy said...

Add some Human Target; Christopher Chance makes me smile! But you know that I have all of the NCIS and watch them over and over. Good Blog!

Kasie West said...

Cleaning???? That is a crime drama as far as I'm concerned. It sounds like your summer's been just as busy as mine. Isn't summer supposed to be a break? (We must talk this week.)

M. J. Macie said...

I just read your response to,"It's In The Blood," on Megan Rebekah's blog and thought that is exactly how I feel. I keep wanting to bring some of my characters back in another novel instead of just moving on. Maybe I should.Looking forward to reading more of your posts. Have a great day! M.J.

Julie said...

Thanks everyone for the comments, and M.J., welcome to the blog. :)

So, it's Tuesday (drat), how does time keep flying... got to write a new post (to keep up with my schedule).