This picture in the form of a magnet rests on my refrigerator door. There's two reasons for it.
Reason #1: In any career, a person must continue to learn new things. Sometimes though, the lessons become so embedded in the subconscious that you don't realize you've learned it until you use it.
Reason #2: I love the TV show Supernatural. I didn't watch it for the first four seasons because I was afraid I'd jinx it.
On a side note: Every frickin' time I fall in love with a show in it's first season, it gets canceled. Misfits of Science. Cancelled. Quark. Cancelled. Almost Human. Cancelled. Hell, I didn't watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer until the John Ritter episode late in the second season because I didn't want it to get cancelled.
Anyway, back to Supernatural. Once the producers and writers got past creator Eric Kripke's original five-season story arc of stopping the Christian apocalypse, the following season dealt with the ramifications of Sam's last episode of Season 5 decision. Subsequent seasons create a gigantic pile of decision/consequence until the stack tumbles with the twelfth (current) season back to the variation of the original problem, stopping Lucifer.
Consequences of past decisions has been an occurring theme over the last two seasons of The Walking Dead and in the last several books of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series as well.
As I'm working on the last three books of the Bloodlines series, I already knew they dealt with the consequences of Sam's creation. But I started wondering how to work in the consequences of the other characters' decisions into the last volumes.
And when I was re-reading a section of Ravaged the other night, I realized I had already done so. Specifically, the consequences of Bebe's decision in Blood Magick and Alex's in Blood Sacrifice. I knew these two characters need to be in Ravaged, but I didn't know why until I watched the mid-season finales of both The Walking Dead and Supernatural. And in separate conversations, Logan (who made a very brief appearance in Zombie Love) and Alyson (a new to readers character) come right out and say, "Yeah, it's your fault because of what you did/failed to do, but now, we need to figure out how to clean up the mess."
Wow! Talk about an epiphany.
So, keep studying the things you like, understand why you like them, and it'll improve your writing.
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