Thursday, 28 July 2011

Lines To Fall In Love With

This past week my boyfriend talked me into watching Sherlock (the recent TV series) with him. I was pretty dubious about it to be honest, I'm not sure why, I didn't have any particular reason to think I would dislike it, I just didn't have any reason to think I would like it either, well apart from Steven Moffat being involved, which was my boyfriend's winning argument (as I love both Dr Who and Coupling). Basically I think my attitude can be summed up as 'Another take on Sherlock Holmes?' I don't know if there really have been a lot lately or whether that's just my perception but either way I was less than enthusiastic, in short I needed winning over.

And it didn't happen straight away, I watched the first few scenes feeling that okay this was sort of interesting (I wasn't actually aware before watching it that it was a modern retelling... so sue me) but nothing really grabbed me until Watson repeated another characters opinion that Sherlock was a psychopath to the man himself and he replied something along the lines of 'More like a high functioning sociopath.' (not an exact quote because the episode in question has since been taken off iPlayer and my memory isn't perfect) and just like that he (and by extension the series) had me, it was kind of like that eyes across a crowded room moment that only happens in badly written romances only with words...

But this post isn't about Sherlock being awesome (although it is) it's about the realization I had today that this has happened to me before, with Leverage for one, I was enjoying it anyway but Parker asking what it is about women and shoes was the moment I knew I had to keep watching the show, for her if for no other reason. Now I'm wondering if I can recreate that kind of moment in my writing.

I'm not sure, partly because dialogue isn't my strongest suit (although I suspect that in written format any sentence may potentially create the same 'I have to keep with this' effect, because in written format everything is words, not just the dialogue... incidentally I do read a lot, and have since childhood, I don't actually watch a lot of TV / films and yet when I'm thinking of examples of storytelling things I almost always think of examples from visual media, go figure) but mostly because my reaction to those particular characters and those particular lines is obviously a very personal thing, other characters I've had that kind of attraction to over the years include Wesley Crusher and Zach from Bones (I was so mad with the end of season three I've refused to watch the show since) so yeah, I definitely have a type and I doubt that many people share it (in fact I'm absolutely certain that they don't, especially the Wesley Crusher thing, all I can say is I liked that he was an obnoxious know-it-all) so what worked for me isn't likely to work for anyone else.

On the other hand perhaps I can still learn something from this experience (other than I'm pretty weird, which I kind of already knew, I mean I once went weak at the knees when a guy quoted pi to ten decimal places, that can't be normal), I like those specific lines because they're character defining, unexpected and honest and maybe that's a combination of things I can strive for.

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