Recently, I was talking to a very accomplished author who is now a "book doctor" (though she calls herself something that sounds a lot more fancy) about the process of writing. She said what most authors say, which is "read everything you can". And of course I agree with that. But, I haven't found many mainstream authors who say, "watch all the tv you can". That would just sound stupid coming from an author, wouldn't it? Good thing I'm anonymous!
So kids, watch some good tv.
This is going to sound like a non-sequiter, but bear with me. Lady Gaga. See, I told you. Still bearing with me? I was in the middle of trying to write one of my female characters. I'd first written her as just plain evil, but she was coming off very one-dimensional. And then, Lady Gaga happened. First let me say, I'm not a huge fan of hers. I'm not even sure I've ever seen her without something elaborate stuck to her face. Is anyone sure what she even looks like? Anyway, she was on either the Mtv music or movie awards and did a performance that was so outlandish, so strange and creepy, it was inspirational. I loved the desperation and even craziness that dripped out of her. She helped me write this flat character as something much more multi-faceted.
So watch tv, movies, plays. Yes, of course read everything you can. But if you ask me, there ain't nothin' wrong with a little tv time when you are trying to write.