I love being a media consumer. And man, do I consume.
This year I’ve read 72 books (so far). I binge watch Netflix, borrow DVD’s from the library, and download really long audiobooks when I know I’m going to be traveling. And while I fully believe that reading, watching, and listening is only one step behind actually putting your fingers to the keys and writing, there is a downside.
And that downside is that I always know what’s going to happen.
There’s a theory that there are only seven basic plots. I’ve been told for years that all the stories are exhausted, we’re just recasting them in a new mold. When I was younger I didn’t believe that, but now I see that’s only because I hadn’t been exposed to many of the already-manufactured stories in existence. Now that my horizons have expanded I can see it’s pretty much the case.
I know. I always know. My brain has devoured so many plot lines, characters, story arcs, and fake conversations that it’s almost impossible for me to get the same enjoyment out of books, movies, and TV shows that I could when I was younger. I’m at the disgusting point where I can predict dialogue. Recently, the boyfriend and I went to the movies and there were three different points where I turned to him and said the next line of dialogue before it happened.
I’m really annoying to go to the movies with, by the way.
There are benefits though – I know what people expect when they’re reading my stories, so I veer off somewhere else. An author who blurbed my debut novel, Not A Drop to Drink, told me that he decided to do so when he thought he knew where it was going and then… it didn’t.
But people are onto me.
Basically, they expect me to either kill someone they really like, come up with something amazingly disgusting – or both. Like M. Night Shymalan, I’ve got to find a way to reinvent myself, because everyone is onto my tricks.
Maybe I’ll write a romance.