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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Great Characters

Please welcome guest blogger Kira Sinclair

The summer TV season is now in full swing and I’m starting to love it even more than the traditional TV viewing season. I wonder what that says about me as a non-conformist? Anyway, what I love most about the summer season is that networks seem to save their most daring attempts at great television for now. Which is why I usually end up LOVING the shows and then get upset when I have to wait an entire year for more.

As a writer, anytime something interests me my mind starts analyzing. I get asked often where my ideas come from – and most of the time I can’t really say because I’m always looking at my environment for inspiration. But what I’ve noticed most about the summertime shows that drag me in is they center on amazingly strong and unique characters. And then these characters are set into the pressure cooker of interesting situations with amazing sexual tension, conflict and moral dilemmas that absolutely catch my attention as a writer and a viewer.

White Collar is one of my favorite shows (on USANetwork). Neal Caffrey is the perfect anti-hero. A sophisticated bad boy who also happens to be a convicted criminal, an amazing art thief, and a brilliantly intelligent person to boot. This season isn’t their first and I won’t blow it for you if you haven’t seen it, but the season opener set up a moral dilemma that I’m going to really enjoy seeing Caffrey struggle with. Suffice it to say, the writers have set him up with a brilliant internal conflict that I seriously envy.
Covert Affairs (also on USANetwork) centers on a non-traditional CIA operative – Annie Walker. They don’t even give this girl a gun, but they have no qualms about sending her into dangerous situations with nothing more than her wits and her tiny frame to protect her and any assets she’s currently in charge of. It’s interesting to see the personal relationships that the writers have developed. There are no less than three men on that show that I’d be delighted to see Annie end up with for one reason or another. They’ve definitely stepped up their game where love triangles are concerned.

And lest you think all I watch is USA, I could not forget the fourth season of True Blood (on HBO). Now, this one is a little easier because I’ve read the series of books – although, I will admit not until after I started watching the show. I know, bad Kira. I had no idea what I was missing. While I tend to agree that TV shows and movies are usually far less than any book, I have to admit that watching Charlaine Harris’s characters come to life on that small screen is an amazing experience. The actors and actresses are remarkable, but they wouldn’t be nearly as compelling without wonderful stories to tell. Characters with relationships that are so complex and multi-facetted that I often don’t catch all of the nuances the first time around. Woe is me when I have to watch an episode more than once. J I think my husband has stopped believing me when I tell him it’s research.

Compelling characters are what keep us all flipping pages until the wee hours of the morning. They’re what draw us in to television programs and make us stand in line at midnight to buy tickets for the latest movie. As a writer, I’m always trying to figure out how I can make my characters bigger, better, more realistic and intriguing.

So my question is, if you’re a reader, think back on the character in your favorite book, movie or television show. What drew you to them? Was it the way they looked? The way they acted? That they were different in some way? If you’re a writer, do you use television and movies as inspiration for your characters? Do you find yourself analyzing what does and doesn’t work as you watch?

From Slow Burn to Fast Sizzle: Making Sexual Tension Work For You, presented by Kira Sinclair and Lynn Raye Harris, runs from August 15, 2011 through August 29, 2011

Kira Sinclair finally found an outlet for her inner wild child writing for Harlequin Blaze. Her stories focus on love in the real world and have conquered difficult topics like date rape and post traumatic stress disorder while still maintaining the level of sensuality she's known for. If she can do it, anyone can! Afterburn, her second book, received a 4 1/2 star review from Romantic Times. Caught Off Guard, the sequel to her first, will be available January 2011 and What Might Have Been, a highly emotional story about death and love, will be available in April 2011.

What Might Have Been

Can sex be better the second time around?

Ainsley Rutherford is about to find out. For the past eight years, she’s desperately tried to forget her first love – sexy, reckless Luke Collier. Of course, working at his family’s orchard isn’t the best way to get over him. She knew he’d show up sooner or later. Still, who’d have guessed she’d fall so willingly into his arms – and his bed – again?

Luke had been dreading coming home to settle his grandfather’s estate. But being with Ainsley again almost makes him forget why he left in the first place. The chemistry between them is as explosive as ever and the sex… Wow! In fact, he’s even starting to rethink his future, giving Ainsley a prominent place in it. Can they really forget the past and make a brand-new start? It’s a tempting thought.

Until he discovers what Ainsley was hiding all those years…


Barbara Vey said...

Love White Collar and Covert Affairs. I even had the opportunity to interview Matt Boomer...oh yeah!

Playground Monitor said...

I haven't watched White Collar, but I got into Covert Affairs last year. Love her Louboutins! I've recently discovered Bones and adore Seeley Booth. I checked out Season 1 from my library Monday and have been working my way through it. I'm about halfway through. I want to see how they got from Point A to "I'm pregnant and you're the father." LOL!


Anonymous said...

Great post and I am very character driven in my reads. I have to connect to them or I don't care how beautifully written a piece is or how wonderful the world building is.

I haven't hears of Covert Affairs, but I will be checking it out now. :)

Kira Sinclair said...

OOoh, I'm jealous, Barbara! He's so cute. Tell me he's sweet in person.

PM, you should watch it! It's awesome. It comes on right before Covert Affairs. And I defintely covet her shoes.

AToMR, I'm the same way! For me it's all about the characters whether I'm reading, writing or watching TV. I think you'll love Covert Affairs!


Rhonda Nelson said...

I've got to watch these shows. USA puts out some great TV. Loved Monk.

Alexis Morgan said...

I'm very much a character driven reader and viewer. If I don't care about the characters, why would I care what happens to them?

I like characters who evolve over the course of the story, whether inprint or on film. I've loved watching the changes in Eric Northman in both the books and the show.

And I also love the summer season on tv--Memphis Beat is great (love the music in it, too), and In Plain Sight. Love Augie in Covert Affairs.

Kira Sinclair said...

Rhonda, yes you do! You'd love both of the shows. USA is quickly becoming my favorite network.

Alexis, Augie is my favorite! I so want him to end up with Annie, but I don't think it's going to happen. He knows her so well though and he's such a sweetheart, always taking care of her.