Friday, November 4, 2011

The Yin and Yang of Genres

Something strange happened this summer. Something unexpected. Something that has grown stronger with the cooler weather.

I've become a fan of scary television shows.

What's odd about this? Well, for one, I write sweet romances for the inspirational market. My books never feature zombies, I couldn't write a gruesome horror scene without vomiting, and there's always a happily-ever-after at the end of my stories. So why am I willing to turn off Sunday Night Football to catch the latest installment of The Walking Dead

I don't have a scientific answer, but I have a few theories. 

1. I'm drawn to good writing.
2. I'm impressed with the pace, level of acting, and the special effects.
3. My husband controls the remote.
4. Watching scary shows accelerates my heart rate without having to exercise.
5. There is some romance in the shows I like.

Maybe the most likely cause is that when it comes to television I'm drawn to the polar opposite of my genre because I spend so much time with sweet romance every day. It's like chocolate and peanut butter. You know. Yin. Yang.

Somehow it works.

Do you have opposing tastes in books, movies, and television? Or do you like to stick with one genre?

I'm blogging over at MVRWA today about one of my song obsessions--"Dear John" by Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones. I'd love it if you stopped by!

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Ha! I'm talking about my song obsession today too.

    I tend to stick within my genre when watching TV. Maybe the reason we don't watch sweet romance shows is because there aren't any! At least I can't think of any.

    I couldn't get into American Horror Story (it really freaked me out. Me!) and I haven't watched Zombieland.

    Gonna check out your obsession now!

  2. What's weird for me is that I'm not a vampire-girl. I'm not all into vampires. It's just not me.

    This is the weird part.

    I LOVE The Vampire Diaries and it's because the writing on the show is amazing and the romance is good.

  3. Oh my gosh. I suffer from this too!!! LOL. Well, I don't read much chick lit or romance, but I LOVE a gushy romantic comedy on TV. I also can't STAND thriller on TV. I seriously get nightmares. But recently I've acquired a taste for reading thrillers. I can't seem to get enough! It's very strange, isn't it? The difference in tastes between reading and viewing? I really would be interested to know about some sort of scientific explanation! ha! Oh yeah, and Twilight. You'll never catch me reading those books. but was quite fun watching that 'trash' on TV the other day! hahaha ...

  4. Hmm ... my new favorite show is Once Upon A Time, which fits right into my realistic fantasy writing interests. But I also like the NCIS shows, and I would never be able to write anything like that. I like to read mysteries, but even then, I'm more interested in the characters than in the mystery (usually). So maybe I have a bit of that yin and yang thing going on, too!

  5. Love that you like scary television shows. I'm not into horror, but I do like a good gritty crime show or book, which is a far cry from the sweet romances I write too:)
    I like your chocolate and peanut butter reference- that works for me!

  6. Jessica P: So true--there aren't any sweet romance shows on, well except for the Hallmark channel? :) Loved Zombieland and I'm watching American Horror Story--me!! (Yes, your irony and mine are the same!)

    Katie: I know! I practically pass out with a paper cut, so how I can watch these bloody shows is beyond me. I've heard great things about The Vampire Diaries!

    Jessica B: For real! I can't read thrillers, but I love watching them. What is up with us?? There should be a scientific explanation... :)

    E Louise: Ooo, that one looked like a goodie! I might have to check it out. It's funny how our tastes are so eclectic, isn't it?

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. Kara: I've been overloaded with chocolate and peanut butter lately! And I hear you on the reading--sometimes I just need to read a depressing classic. Go figure. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. I hate zombies, but I love The Walking Dead!! I agree with you. it's such a well-written, well-paced show!

    I also agree with Katie, above. The Vampire Diaries is another one of those shows that is so well-written.

  9. I'm a romance fan, but lately I've been watching whodunnits with my hubby and am enjoying them more than I would have expected. In fact, there's a bit of a mystery in my latest story, which is a first for me.

  10. I'm all over the place with what I read and watch. I write historical romance for the Christian market, but I watch cop shows, serial killer shows, comedy, reality, and I read techno-thrillers, mysteries, historicals, category, biography, and so much more.

    Good writing, a good it.

  11. Hmm. I'm pretty much a genre girl. If it's psychological and gritty, I'll watch it. But I love a good comedy - the more appalling the better. I'm loving the return of Beavis and Butthead, lol. And I really like Always Sunny in Philadelphia:)

  12. To a degree. Yes and no. I write cozies, which by definition are sweet, but I read and watch grittier stuff. Criminal Minds is a TV favorite. Not at all what I write, but it falls under the same umbrella: crime. Can't get into the supernatural shows, sorry. I read some paranormal stuff, but don't watch it.

    I think you're probably right and it's the attraction of opposites at work: after spending all our time writing sweetness and light, we need to remind ourselves there are darker things in the world.

  13. I have opposite tastes when it comes to reading and writing. I love both dark and humorous!

  14. I love mystery and suspense, but also a great sappy romance!

    I think that's a little like your ying and yang!

  15. Heather: I know! I love being judgmental about Laurie, too. Like, Rick's body wasn't even cold and you're sleeping with his best friend?? That's terrible to admit! Ha!

    Keli: Ooo, I can't wait to read it! I think a little mystery spices up any book. :)

    Erica: You and I are so much alike. :) I'm the same. The non-fiction I bring home is on any and every topic!

    Stacy: "Fire--heh, heh." Yeah, B&B made me laugh back in the day!

    Jenna: So you watch the hardcore but write softer--interesting!

    Laura: Oo, fun! I like a mix of everything. :)

    Cheryl: I love, love, love a good sappy romance! And I like a good mystery too. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  16. Ha! Jill, I love your list. And I am soooo guilty of this, too. I'm afraid to admit the kinds of shows and movies I watch, but I like variety, and I like good writing, like you. What can I say? I haven't watched Walking Dead, though I've heard good things. I'm probably watching just about every new Fall season show, though, and it's really cutting into my writing time ;)

  17.'s kind of a toss up for me. My TV shows are pretty eclectic--anything from "scary" to comedy to syfi to...well, a litle bit of everything. The thing is, if I could, I'd write a little bit of everything as well. I've commited to supernatural suspense, but I'd write a women's fiction novel, no prob.

  18. Cindy: Yes, but isn't it nice to have so many great shows to choose from for once? :) Filling that creative well, baby!

    Ralene: I can tell you're interested in a variety of topics--it's only natural that would come out in your writing too. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  19. I don't like truly scary things and I'm not a big fan of suspense. I love mysteries, but the funny thing is, my favorite part is getting to know the characters. Agatha Christie is great at the big set-up of people at the front. Who will be the bad guy? It's rarely who you think. But I love romances and children's books as well.

  20. Hi Jill -

    I've read Peretti, who can be very scary. Watching TV is a rarity for me. If I watch two or three shows a week, it's a lot.

    Susan :)


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