Monday, March 1, 2010

Reality TV: Written

Do you watch reality tv?

It's okay. You can admit it here and feel no shame.

I watch the Bachelor (or its counterpart). Most seasons, anyway. While there's always too much drama, too much superficial content, I get caught up in character study, and the layer of personalities. How humans are with one another. It's a people-watcher's (and writer's) dream, really.

I love the documentary-type stuff. A&E's Intervention is gripping, fascinating, raw, hopeful, redemptive. Love that one. American Idol can be good, too.

But there's one I haven't seen on tv, and I'd like to. Here's my idea...

Several aspiring writers are selected from dozens, all of whom "auditioned" by submitting a completed manuscript. After a respected and revered team of industry professionals have determined these competitors, based on raw talent, skill, potential, genre, the writers arrive to a secluded location (a beach house, a mountain cabin, a provincial chalet, etc.), ready to create.

Each week a prompt is given: a photo, video clip, paragraph, a string of words. The contestants are then sent off to brainstorm, to plot, write, edit, polish. To make something grand from the little they were given. A word quantity has to be met. Time is limited. It's a deadline thing, y' know?

When time is up, they return with their piece... and present it to the team of judges. One is a bestselling novelist. Another is a national columnist. The third? Well, of course, he or she would be an editor from a large publishing house... Anyway, they read. They confer. Rip things apart, lift things up. Make a decision as to whose writing is the best. And whose is unworthy. Each week, they send one writer home.

That means, at the end of the competition? There's one writer left. That writer wins. A book contract!

Gosh. Is your heart palpitatin' like mine? I would SO geek out over a show like this.

Call me, Book TV. *wink*

**

Thanks so much, everyone, for the prayers and well wishes. I did have a severe case of strep throat, and it was bad enough that had it gotten worse, I'd have had to visit the ER. But I know your prayers worked, the medicine still is, and I'm back on my feet again. Feeling good, and thanking you.

49 comments:

Slamdunk said...

Great idea. I think this would create a lot of interest--among writing enthusiasts and others.

ChristaCarol said...

Bloody brilliant. I would so watch (and, um, audition!)

Journaling Woman said...

I love reality TV and must limit myself - i could be such a junky. American Idol and Amazing Race are my two.

Where do I sign up? Or would I? :)That is a great idea.

Stina Rose said...

Glad you're feeling better!

I love the idea. That would be sooo cool!!!! Sign me up!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Glad to know you're feeling better.

Count me in on the TV show.

What say you...Vienna or Tenley? ;)
~ Wendy

Jill said...

I've often thought they should have an American Idol for writers. But I don't think many people would appreciate the great tension of watching writers chew their fingernails to the bone while watching the judges read their work. I would find it riveting, but perhaps that's just me.

june said...

Great idea- but not a lot of action in watching the writers goof off on facebook! Tee hee!

Tess said...

You know I'd watch it! Writers are total loons (at least I am) so I think it would lend itself to good tv :D

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Absolutely love that idea of the writers reality show! When can I audition!? LOL!

Glad to hear you're feeling much better!

Melissa Marsh said...

I am not a fan of reality t.v. at all. I think it has created a generation of "look at me!" that I don't like.

BUT...I think it has its good points, too.

I wonder if such a show like this would work because most writers are so introverted. I know I would hate to have my creativity scrutinized by everyone in the nation!

Constance Marie said...

I love the Bachelor, too, so I'm very excited for the finale tonight!

I really like your idea for a reality show! Definitely different from any other ones they've done. I don't know if any station would do it, though, unless there was a way to make it really dramatic like the dating shows -- maybe the winner not only wins the book contract but his or her pick of the panelists to marry! Haha just kidding.

I'm sorry to hear you have strep! It seems like everyone's been getting sick this weekend. My husband and I both got the stomach flu, yuk.

Diane said...

I'll bet someone, somewhere is working on it as we speak. Great idea! :O)

www.dianeestrella.com

LA said...

Not a reality TV fan at all, but I would totally watch this. :)

Sharla said...

I totally want to go!!!!! How FUN that would be!!

...and Bachelor tonight, girl. I don't have good vibes!!!!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better!

I love shows about writers. I know it's hard to portray on television, though.

Gotta love reality--Biggest Loser, Survivor, and Amazing Race here! :0)

Ang said...

I would so audition for this show. I love the concept. Now, to find a sponsor, director, producer...etc. etc. etc. I am a huge Reality TV fanatic! Yes...my name is Angela...and I'm a Reality TV-holic.

patti said...

Oh, MY!!! Where's the contacts? Lights? Cameras? Maybe I will REALLY know someone famous.


Confession. I watched "Biggest Loser" for the first time a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it, then watched some new reality show about bosses of huge corporations that go undercover. LOVED it!

The problem is that I don't have time to watch TV except when I ride my exer-bike, and Tuesday night (Biggest Loser) is my Bible study.

Sigh. God has helped me to prioritize!!!

GREAT post as usual!

Patti

Tom Stephenson said...

You must be joking, Janna - writers judging writers? Get real.

Most semi successful writers are SO absolutely paranoid about others stealing their thunder, that you would have to populate the TV show with twisted critics before any agent would even think about it, unless you made them, the publishers and the distributors an offer they could not refuse - in hard cash.

People are just not generous when they have been struggling to feed their children with their own obsession.

Ladybird World Mother said...

First, glad you feel better. And second... WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! Absolutely loathe reality TV but this idea hit me between the eyes!! xx

shadowferret said...

I can't stand "Reality TV." First, it doesn't resemble reality at all. There is just too much forced drama. And I have just never cared about the people.

As far as your writing idea, I thought there was already something like that done in Great Britain. Something like American Idol for writers. I vaguely remember reading something like that a while back.

Angie Muresan said...

Pitch the idea to Hollywood, Janna! I would go back to watching a TV if there was such a show.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Fabulous idea! Why don't you send the idea to a publisher or reality show producer? :)

Glad you're feeling better. Strep is nasty.

Blessings,
Susan

Stacey Graham said...

ShadowFerret, there was something like that in GB (but I can't find the name on Google now), I'm not sure how it panned out though. Janna, you're on to something, let's call Simon Cowell. :D

Hey Tom, bitter much? You're taking yourself (and a blog idea) much to seriously, my friend. Who knows what will be the next big hit? Don't squash someone's idea because you don't see the possibilities. Poorly done, Mr. Stephenson.

Tamika: said...

My heart is sooo palpitating! That is a superb idea!

Hurry write Fox, NBC, someone!

Melanie Avila said...

I love this idea! I think even the writing parts (and the facebook parts, lol AB) would be riveting -- at least for all of us writers.

As for the idea issue -- there are ALWAYS people willing to set that aside for a chance at publication and/or fame. That's why we HAVE reality TV.

Glad you're feeling better. :)

Tom Stephenson said...

Stacey - I don't take myself that seriously, as you would know if you saw what I did. Besides, how can a squirt like me squash another's idea? I merely warn that any contributors to a show like this (and there would be millions of applicants, squashed before they ever hit the screen) would be squashed by far more professional squashers than I could ever hope to be.

Maybe I just forgot to say that I hope Janna is over her strep throat?

Kara said...

Glad you are feeling better, strep can be wicked! And I love your reality tv pitch:)

Adam said...

Sounds like a good idea to me. :-)

Glad you're improving! :)

Adam

Stacey Graham said...

LOL, it's all good, Tom. Don't sell yourself short though, words on a blogpost can wound as fast as any critic. ;)

Cheers!
S

Kathy said...

Janna, did you know we did something similar to this on AW?

Back in 2005, Jenna created AW Idol. There were about 300 entries (people submitted stories or excerpts); we had 3 judges, they narrowed it down to 10 finalists.

We had to compete. Each week Jenna gave us a different topic and we only had a week to complete the story or essay. Members voted for their favorite story each time. I got eliminated in the second round. But it was a lot of fun.

So obviously I think it's a great idea!

Susan R. Mills said...

I think it's an excellent idea! I'm so sorry to hear you were sick. But, I'm glad you are better.

Janna Qualman said...

It's definitely not something just anyone would watch. It'd lack draw and drama, like, say, The Bachelor on its finale. ahem

Great comments! Thanks, all.

Janna Qualman said...

Kathy, I did not know that. How cool!

Tom Stephenson said...

Good luck with The Bachelor, Janna. I wasn't trying to be hurtful with my original comment, just another back-fired attempt at being humorous...

Capri K said...

Prayers availeth much! Glad you are back on your feet!

Janna Qualman said...

Ah. Well, thank you for that, Tom. I know all-too-well that sometimes sarcasm doesn't convey like we hope it will. ;)

Jody Hedlund said...

Oh, glad you're feeling better Janna! And your idea for a reality TV show sounds fascinating!!

thedomesticfringe said...

Pitch the idea to Hollywood. All they could is no...

I think it's a great idea.

-FringeGirl

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Great idea! I`m not a television watcher but I would tune in for this one!

5kidswdisabilities said...

I LOVE reality tv. Don't know why. I even like the real estate shows where they are selling houses I could never afford to buy. And I don't watch it with envy, just with curiosity. What kind of people can afford these houses?????

WendyCinNYC said...

Sounds way better than the real Book TV, that's for sure.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm in! Not a reality TV fan, but I'd definitely go for this one. Send it in - send it in.

septembermom said...

So glad that you are feeling better! I would enjoy that show a lot. I do find myself gravitating towards reality shows. I'm a big Project Runway fan. Do you remember a show called "Project Greenlight?" It was about watching a screenplay develop into a movie. I enjoyed that show too.

She Writes said...

I like it!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Janna, I'm glad to hear that your feeling better. Still praying for you that it doesn't rear it's ugly head again. Sometimes strep can be pesky and want to return all too quickly.

I love your reality tv idea for writers. I'd go for the mountain retreat location.

Jessica said...

LOL I would LOVE that show!!! Great idea, Janna. :-)
The reality tv I like are the ones like Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, and Top Chef. I really love those ones.

myletterstoemily said...

i would totally watch that!!!!

Deb Shucka said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better.

I love this idea. Sign me up. I've thought for a long time I'd like to be on Amazing Race, but this sounds way more fun ( and not so painful and exhausting).

Nadine said...

I love this idea! I would totally watch it!!