Authors should watch more TV

Those of you who have read yesterday’s blog will remember that I claimed not to watch much television.  So, if that’s the case, why was I up till three this morning before dragging myself off to bed for a just a few hours sleep. Why would I put myself through it, knowing I’d feeling as rough as a badger’s ass for most of the following day.

Well the answer’s simple. Killing Eve. I watched the first episode of the second series and couldn’t stop. I ended up watching five episodes, each of forty five minutes and back to back. If I hadn’t stopped when I did I’d have finished all eight and not made it to bed at all.

What kept me watching? Well the fantastic acting by Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh in the principle parts was worth it alone but Fiona Shaw and Nina Sosanya were both outstanding too .  Good writing and characterisation is the foundation everything else is built upon and in Killing Eve it’s rock solid. As a writer of novels I know that rule number one is “have a great plot” and I guess the same goes for screen plays and drama. It may be even more important for them, so the story keeps moving along while the background locations and visual effects to give context. In print we describe the location of the action. We tell the reader how green the grass might be and we use words to emphasise the heat of a burning building. On screen it’s done in a visual way, but we both need a good plot.

Authors should watch more TV because they can learn from it, but be selective about what you view. If you want to see how a plot works you could do worse than a marathon of Killing Eve. I suggest you settle down for a few hours of drama, turn off your phone and be ready for the long haul. Once you start watching you won’t want to stop. 

That’s it for now. I’m off to see the end of the series.