I’ve been watching a lot of Downton Abbey lately. Truth be told, I got a little behind on my episodes, and with the news that the series had their final season, I had to watch it for myself and see how it was. (Note, I still haven’t watched the full 6th season, so no spoilers yet!)
If I watch too much Downton Abbey and then try to write after, my characters are suddenly very posh and polite to each other and start to use phrases that are more fitting to 1920s English, than a fantasy story set in an unknown time period. (Although, I suppose this might be okay if the genre were steampunk…which it is not.)
Anyway, another show I can’t watch a lot of before writing is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love Joss Whedon, but his characters in any of his shows definitely have what we call Whedon-speak, and if I try writing after listening to them, my characters suddenly start talking in adverbs and every phrase or emphasis has an ‘ly’ added to the end of it.
Even now, I can hear myself speaking in the very precise and almost cold voice of Lady Mary from Downton Abbey…and I have a bit of a laugh, because that’s not my voice at all, but it is what it is. Serves me right for watching back to back episodes tonight and trying to write!
It’s funny how some of our favorite characters influence our writing, and an even greater inspiration when you think of the great writers behind them.
Do you guys have any TV shows/books/movies that influence your writing or the dialogue of your characters? I’d love to hear about it!