Friday, December 17, 2010

We All Need a Little TLC

People fascinate me.  I love to people watch and create stories for them.  I imagine many other writers do the same, which is why we're able to create these incredible worlds and characters.  They're so vivid in our imaginations and bursting to get out, that if we don't write it down they'll get lost in the crowd never to be seen again. 

The Duggars:
One of their cousins totally worked at the library with me...
he never really talked to them
 The perfect compliment to people watching is the TLC channel on satellite/cable.  Seriously- it's full of interesting people to study to our hearts content.  There's little people, families with 20 kids, abnormally tall families, political people who erm..kill elk in Alaska, women who don't know they're pregnant, and of course polygamists.  It's all there- take your pick.  From series shows to specials, usually there is something on that will catch your eye and make you go "what the..."  But then it's like a train wreck and you can't stop watching.  I'm not saying those shows are bad, or what the people are doing or what the believe is's just...even if I'm annoyed by it, I have to watch this totally nerdy dude marry his fourth wife. 

Sister Wives: yeah...he's totally creepy

I think something like that in a novel makes it interesting, or would make a reader nod her head and go "Oh...okay" but in a good way.  It keeps the reader wanting to know more, and wanting to find out every little thing about this character or thing that's a little...weird.  Just like I want to find out just how many hours a day the Duggars as a whole spend in the bathroom, or now that Nerdy Dude has a 4th wife- how will his sleeping schedule adjust?  And seriously, what kind of fungus is probably growing in the Roloff twins' room?

The Roloffs:
Little People: Messed up Family
Do you have anything odd, or some kind of unconventional or interesting tidbit in your writing that breaks the mold?  Something that will make the reader do a double take, or read it over again just to make sure they read it right?  And I have to ask: do you have a favorite TLC show?


Donea Lee said...

I don't know that I really have an unconventional character, but I do try to give my MCs some kind of quirky flaw or funny habit or whatever I can do to make them unique, yet still identifiable. I think that's key to character building. And you know...I don't really watch TLC...

Lisa said...

My husband is one of 10 kids, but 20 kids is just nuts. I do love the "I didn't know I was pregnant" shows (how can so many people know they're not pregnant?).

I love reading stories about people like this who's experience is different or out of the norm. It's fun to emmerse yourself in their world.

Quinn said...

I don't have a favorite TLC show cause I don't get TLC here in Korea.

As for odd/unconventional/interesting tidbits ... I love putting them in my writing.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I watch the not pregnant show and can never believe these women are that dumb that for nine months never knew they were pregnant! It's crazy!!

I watched the Roloffs-something about them I always liked. I'll admit I watched a bit of John and Kate back in the day-before it got insane. My sister is the obsessed one with the TLC shows-she loves the Duggar show-I just find it annoying. I'm waiting for a tell all book in ten years from one of the kids.

I haven't watched Sister Wives but I'm fascinated by that culture and I know it'd be a train wreck that I couldn't turn away from if I started watching.

While I like these peeks into people's lives, I also hate how they always end up destroying marraiges and families. Even the nice Roloff's are having marriage troubles now! So I don't know-is it worth it to mess up your family? And why do I care so much about these people I don't know.

I'm still waiting for a reality show set in a library!:)

Colene Murphy said...

Awe man, I miss TLC! There is always something great on that channel! I loved watching families on there. Might have to get cable back just to watch them again!

Meredith said...

I don't watch TLC all that much, but reality TV shows tend to fascinate me. There are definitely some quirky people out there!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nothing really bizarre.
And why on earth are FOUR women attracted to that dude? What's up with that?

Su said...

What Not to Wear. And I occasionally watch Little People, Big World, although I always miss the messed-up stuff.

Jennie Bailey said...

I'm with Alex. I can't believe ONE woman is attracted to him, let alone four. I think they've got incredibly low self-esteem. I tried watching the show a few times but the fascination turned into frustration. Someone posted on my blog that they live near the Duggars and run into Michelle sometimes (and that she's as nice as she seems). I watch TLC sometimes at night when I'm trying to fall asleep so if the Duggars are on, I'll watch them. I'm not a big fan of reality TV. I think my biggest splurge in that area is Destination Truth, but that's not on TLC. I do love to people watch, though. Just in public. Or on my walks.

Lola Sharp said...

I don't watch much TV (Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls are my all-time favorites, RIP...and currently Modern Family, Weeds, True Blood-hiatus, Glee, Vampire Diaries, Big Bang and the Walking Dead. No reality shows. I Tivo my shows so I don't have to watch commercials.), but as you can see from the shows I do watch (and love), I love love LOVE quirky characters and clever writing.
I've heard of that bigamy guy...what a douche.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Amie Kaufman said...

Wow, I wish we had TV like this in Australia! Or probably, I don't, because I'd never stop staring. How do these women not know they're pregnant? How do they end up on TV? So confused! And fascinated.

erica and christy said...

Before and while we were building our house, I was obsessed with Trading Spaces and Design Stars-type shows. During my pregnancies I watched the Birth Story and shows like that.

Then I decided it was a really dumb pasttime and gave it up. No more reality TV. Which mostly means no TV. But really, I don't care how many wives a nerdy guy has. Really.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, TLC absolutely confounds me. I can get sucked into reality TV as easily as the next person, but what place does it have on THE LEARNING CHANNEL? Oy vey.

Lydia K said...

Creepy is right. I mean, it would be one thing if he looked like Brad Pitt. I don't get it.

I used to watch Jon and Kate plus 8 waaaay back before they became celebrity monsters. Now I don't watch TLC anymore.

Guinevere said...

I love me some TLC, I can't deny it, even though I feel soo badly watching it. It's like junk food TV. But I've been hooked since I started watching the makeover shows on TLC in college (my first time having cable!).

I like Little People Big World, and I can't pass up Sister Wives, either. Even though I don't understand Sister Wives AT ALL (I think that might be part of the appeal, honestly). You're right, TLC shows us a weird different part of the world, and that's one of teh things I love about books - taking me into a life I wouldn't live otherwise.

However, I draw the line at Sarah Palin. The buck's got to stop somewhere. :)

Jen Daiker said...

I agree!!! Watching other people's lives gives me mad inspiration!!! I utilize a lot of things in my works!

Just a reminder! Be Jolly By Golly Blog fest is this Monday! Melissa and I look forward to reading your entry!

Unedited & Jules and the Stars

52 Faces said...

omg I just recently got obsessed with TLC and especially the Duggars! I'm actually going to stop reading blogs now and go watch my TiVo'd episodes. And maybe blog about them.