Friday, November 13, 2009

“Grab Your Gear.” Creating Unique Characters the NCIS Way

Image Source: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/ncis/about/

While chatting with Ruthy, Audra, and Tina at the ACFW conference in Denver, the subject of NCIS came up. Crazy, I know! However, my enthusiasm for the show may have bubbled over a tiny bit. Tina invited me to be a guest blogger at Seekerville, so here I am. Thanks, Tina, for the fun opportunity!

So, yes, I have a need-to-watch-it-daily-so-I-don’t-have-a-meltdown kind of NCIS addiction. For those of you who don’t know (gasp) what NCIS stands for, it’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service—a federal organization that investigates crimes with Navy and Marine personnel.

How many times have you had critique partners, contest judges, agents, and editors say your characters all sound the same? Well, my friend, NCIS shines because of the incredible characters and can provide a solution. Watch the show. Listen to the dialogue. Study the team dynamic and the way they interact with each other.

What makes the team so unique?


Special Agent in Charge Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon)
  • Team leader
  • Father figure on the team
  • Drinks only Starbucks coffee
  • Gruff exterior, soft heart
  • Says little, but one look can speak volumes
  • Loves children (his only child was murdered by a drug lord)
  • Has a thing for red heads
  • Cynical about marriage
  • Married 4x—widowed once, divorced 3x
  • Had only one true love in his life
  • Builds boats in his basement—how he gets them out is still a mystery

Special Agent Anthony “Tony” DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly)

  • Comes from wealthy family
  • Overgrown frat boy
  • Quotes lines from movies
  • Does voice impressions
  • Team PITA (pain in the a—behind)
  • Jock

Agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo)
  • Former Israeli Mossad officer
  • Trained killer
  • Tough exterior
  • Seldom shows her vulnerable side
  • Killed her half-brother to save Gibbs’ life
  • Goofs up common American idioms & colloquialisms

Special Agent Timothy “Tim” McGee (Sean Murray)
  • Computer guru
  • Plays online role playing games—Elf Lord
  • Degrees from MIT and Johns Hopkins
  • Close to Abby
  • Former Team “Probie”—Ziva now has that honor
  • Writes under nom de plume Tommy Gemcity
  • Allergic to cats

Forensic Specialist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette)
  • Goth
  • Forensic scientist
  • From Louisiana
  • Affectionate
  • Addicted to Caf Pow
  • Sleeps in a coffin
  • Deaf parents
  • Stuffed fluctuating hippo

Medical Examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum)
  • Scottish
  • Lives at home with his elderly, yet very wealthy mother
  • Cultured
  • Talks to his patients while he autopsies them
  • Often shares his long-winded life experiences and keeps talking even after people walk away




Even with their differences, the team work so well together and creates a vibe that has kept the show on the air for going on seven seasons

Since characters are the backbones of your stories, what unique quirks can you add to make them more well-rounded and set apart from one another?

  • Study your characters’ histories and pull out bits of backstory to add to their make-up. Why does Gibbs go for redheads? Maybe they remind him of his deceased wife and by dating redheads, he has a tiny reminder of her?
  • Take those stereotypes and twist them up. In the seventh season premiere, Tony described Abby as the “happiest Goth you’ll ever meet.”
  • Give your characters language and dialogue that fit their personalities. A computer geek will talk about packets and bytes, but an overgrown frat boy will crack crud jokes and ogle hot chicks.
  • Give your character endearing habits. Gibbs’ kissing Abby’s cheek shows his softer side. Ducky’s rambles make you say “that’s so ducky.” Ziva keeps a picture of her siblings with her when she goes on missions. Tony hides his emotions behind jokes and movie quotes.


Writers are told to create unique, three-dimensional characters. Static characters with the personality of cardboard will give your reader a great reason to set your book aside and not pick it up again. So, in the infamous words of Special Agent Jethro Gibbs, grab your gear and create memorable characters who will stay with your readers long after the last sentence has been read.








Bio:

Lisa Jordan has been writing for a decade, taking a hiatus to earn her degree in early childhood education. When she isn’t writing, she is busy running an in-home early learning program, raising a husband, who decided it was his turn to finish his college education, and two teenage boys—one of whom who had the audacity to leave the family nest for his freshman year in college, and directing her church’s children’s ministry program. In addition to writing Christian fiction, she is a bi-monthly contributor to PG (Parental Guidance) Magazine, bi-monthly My First Sale columnist for ACFW’s Afictionado ezine, and the Forum Coordinator for Susan May Warren’s ever-expanding My Book Therapy storycrafting site. Her novel, Draw Me Close, placed second in the contemporary romance category of the 2009 Genesis contest. Visit her website at www.lisajordanbooks.com




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64 comments :

  1. Lisa:

    This is one of the few shows I watch.

    Great analogies.

    Thanks

    Helen

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  2. As a huge fan of the show I think this is fabulous! As a huge reader I cannot help but love the correlation you made. My favorite books are the ones where the characters stay with me long after I have finished the book (more than once probably!) And on a second read of the book you catch even more of the character's nuances....that's the good stuff :)

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  3. Best show on television (okay, at least of the ones I've watched). Because of this outstanding cast and the clever writers who created the characters. You'd think fast paced investigative drama would be about the plot, but for me it's the character interaction. (Or maybe it's the theme music that makes me respond like Pavlov's dogs)

    Lisa, I love how you listed the traits for each character. I think I'm going to do that with my current WIP and see how I do. Haven't done character sketch since the beginning of it.

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  4. Oh, my little chickadee, this is marvelou. You did a great job of not only breaking down their individualities, but showing why it's so important to stay in character while writing.

    Wonderful, young Grasshopper. You too may now walk the ricepaper.

    Sorry, wrong show.

    So.

    Gibbs.

    He doesn't have to talk. He just uses that angled look, the calm gaze. Occasionally a hint of squint to his right eye.

    Oh, be still my heart. What the heck were those wives thinking????

    He is the quintessential hero prototype. The guy you want to heal. To save with quiet love. And maybe some not so quiet love.

    Tony... he's the kind a girl wants to bring to his knees because he's that in love with her because it's SO unlikely to happen.

    And Tim...

    His kind heart makes him a great beta with enough muscle to be totally endearing.

    BUT... And this is odd for me...

    The biggest reason I love this show is Ziva. I wasn't drawn to it like this with the first agent, Kate...

    But Ziva...

    Cote de Pablo plays this role so you can totally feel the girl inside the woman, the struggle, the urge to be nice even though she's a trained assassin. You root for her to be successful because you know she's flawed.

    She took the show up a notch to the amazing 'team' it is now.

    Kudos to the producers and writers to see that they needed to up things a notch. Of course poor Kate took a bullet, but hey. It's fiction.

    :)

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  5. I FORGOT COFFEE!!!

    Oh my stars, mention Leroy Jethro Gibbs and my mind goes blank.

    Hey, a shout out to Starbucks for their attentiveness yesterday. Good job, guys, and in honor of Gibbs' coffee habit, we're going to maintain the Starbucks cafe' bar today.

    And it's Friday. All day. And then it's Saturday.

    I'm so excited!

    So coffee is here, and TEA/CHAI/ETC. for non-coffee drinkers.

    Also have breakfast sandwiches for the non M&M eaters amongst us. You can have ham, sausage or bacon (nice, thick bacon from Sam's Club... So yum...)

    And hash browns, Irish style. Lots of garlic, onion, green pepper and fried nice and crisp, then turned and fried crisp again. DO NOT THINK ABOUT OIL AS THE ENEMY. IT'S JUST A VERY SLIPPERY FRIEND.

    Ruthy

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  6. Eeek! Lisa, I only have time to watch three shows and NCIS is one of them. You're so right, their characterization is very strong and they do an awesome job of creating real people and not stereotypes.
    Awesome post!!! btw, I'm behind two episodes and I'm SO annoyed. I have to catch up. The last one I watched almost made me cry, because of everything going on with Ziva.
    I love shows that can have cool plots, action, and still deep characterization.

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  7. Lisa,
    Great post. Sad to say, I'm not a big NCIS watcher...I like House and Big Bang Theory ;-)
    But you really drew my attention in with 'team' descriptions. Wonderful - and a great analogy to character development.

    Now I'm going to have to try and catch a glimpse...maybe...
    when it's a choice between writing time and watching t.v.
    writing wins :-)

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  8. Helen,
    It's one of the few shows I watch, too. Thanks for reading!

    Crittyjoy,
    That's another thing I love about the show--seeing new things with very familiar characters. I watch reruns on the USA Network. Even if I've seen the ep many times, I've often found new depths to the characters. Books are the same way--if the character stays wiht me long after the book has been read, it finds a spot on my keeper shelf. Thanks for reading!

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  9. Thanks for the great example of characterization, Lisa! It's nice to have you at the helm this morning!

    I've never watched the show. I can hear your gasp, but I'm fascinated with the quirks of the characters. Great examples on how to dig deeper to make ours pop off the page.

    After reading your bio, I must say--you're one busy woman!

    Ruthy, the bacon breakfast sandwich is delicious!

    Janet

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  10. Debra,

    I read an interview recently about NCIS that stated the show is character driven. No wonder with such a terrific cast. In the seven seasons NCIS has been on the air, they've had the same team of writers. That helps maintain character quality and consistences.

    Listing traits for your characters is a great way to show their layers. Plus, you can create contrasting traits between your leads to provide necessary conflict. What if your hero loves cats and your heroine is allergic? What if your heroine eats Twinkies for breakfast and your hero is a health nut?

    Thanks for reading!

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  11. Oh, Ruthy, I could sit and discuss NCIS all day with you, my friend!!

    Gibbs--sigh--you know M.H. ages so nicely. Such a hottie (can I say that here?) in his younger years, but now he's such a distinguished silver-haired fox who is up their with Sean Connery. You asked what were those women thinking--my assumption is they weren't Shannon, his first wife. He married to fill the lonliness in his life...and other things, but he wouldn't let the women in. They may have had great times, but he didn't open up, so eventually they left him.

    Tony--remember when he fell in love with Jeanne Benoit while undercover. Great way of showing Tony vulnerable with a girl. When Paula Cassidy was killed and he cried on Jeanne's shoulder...can I get an awwww? I think he's now in love with Ziva. In the seventh season opener, while injected with sodium penathol, she asked why he came for her and he said "maybe I just can't live without you" Can I get another awwww?

    And, by the way, Tony's father makes an appearance in December, I think! Tony doesn't talk favorably about his dad, so that should be an interesting character layer.

    I gotta tell ya--Tim is hot this season. I'm not sure what changed, but I see a new machoism in him. I nearly cried in this week's ep when his excitement turned out to be so disappointing. Poor Tim--someday he'll get the girl.

    Ziva is incredible!! Her ability to turn things off in public and display them in private shows her emotional range. Family is so important to her, yet she killed her brother to save Gibbs. The team is her family.

    I really liked Kate, but she and Tony didn't have the same chemistry that Tony and Ziva have. Kate was more of a little sister to Tony.

    Ok, I've babbled more than I intended--See I told you I could talk NCIS all day. :-)

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  12. Morning Lisa,

    Great post, as I too am an NCIS fan.

    I started mulling over how I could make my characters more individually quirky, then I moved on to how they could star in their own show ..great food for thought.

    I have Polly as the heroine's sister in another book I am working on. She is such an excellent character.

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  13. Jessica, I won't spoil the eps for you, but you're gonna love them!! I admit I don't really watch for the plots. I'm married to a former Marine, so I love military dramas. While we're watching, Hubby will often point out inconsistencies. I laugh and remind him it's part of the script. I do not watch for plot, but for the characters. Thanks for reading!

    Pepper, if you wanted, you could still catch NCIS because it's on Tuesdays and doesn't conflict with House, which is another great show for characterization and dialogue. You can watch reruns on USA Network, or watch current episodes online. Thanks for reading!

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  14. Janet, I will admit NCIS may not be for everyone, but no matter what shows or books you read, characters need to be well-defined to become three-dimensional. I'm sure you will agree! Thanks for reading!

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  15. Tina!

    Thanks for inviting me to the Seekerville island. I have to admit I was quite nervous, but talking about Gibbs is calming. LOL!

    I wrote a novel about a woman searching for Mr. Right and found him right under her nose. In one of the beginning scenes, she is watching her brother at his wedding and remarks to her brother's friend about how nice it was to see her brother finally happy. That one comment made me wonder why the brother was so unhappy. I did some character digging and the brother ended up with his own story!

    I struggle with creating unique characters, but by watching NCIS, I'm learning how to blend their traits with other characters in my novels so they do have their own voices.

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  16. Lisa,

    I only started watching NCIS this summer. Now I'm hooked too!

    Great post!

    Roxanne

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  17. Ziva. A dream role/ character. She's my favorite too. I loved the shows when they were in Israel with dear old Dad.

    But Abby needs to get a new do. I mean don't we all change our hair at least a bit over 7 yrs? And my teeth hurt from watching her drink all that syrupy stuff. But I love how Gibbs lets her get away with stuff.

    What show was Mark Harmon in back 20 yrs ago or so when he first married Pam Dawber (and are they still married?) This is all writing related of course. . .

    I miss Lauren Holly but I'm getting over it.

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  18. Welcome Lisa! Ah, to start your day, and end the week with NCIS - you are too good to us : )

    I absolutely love the dynamics between these characters. And I love that they accept each other for what they are.

    There are times I want to smack Tony up side the head, too.

    Don't you just want to hug Abby?

    Gibbs can build a boat in MY basement any day...

    Ahhhhhhh.

    Thanks for planting the great daydreams in my already overfertile mind, Lisa : )

    Gotta go to a class all day, so all I'm bringing to the buffet today is a tray of Krispy Kremes and standard black coffee. You guys can doll them up.

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  19. Hi Lisa, Great job in breaking down the characters. Watching movies and television shows is a great way to analyze story structure.

    Thanks for joining us at Seekerville. I did enjoy meeting you in Denver.

    Thanks for the goodies Ruthy. Since you've left the bakery job its given you more time to cook for us. Yum

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  20. Mark Harmon (Gibbs) was the naughty boy doctor (Tony to the nth degree) on St. Elsewhere...

    And he was naughty!

    But still very cute.

    Better now.

    Totally.

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  21. Great post, Lisa! I've been thinking a lot about what makes characters memorable and quirky and how to create unique characters. Reading all of Jane Austen's books in six months will make you do that.

    This is wonderful. I can't believe you've learned all those things about those characters! Amazing. And what does "Stuffed fluctuating hippo" mean?

    I had to ask.

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  22. Hey, Lisa, good morning and great blog!!! Although I have never watched NCIS, I did walk through the room one time when it was on and literally stopped dead in my tracks (I LOVE Mark Harmon!) and watched like a zombie till the commercial came on (still standing). But then I high-tailed it out of there because I cannot afford to get hooked on a show (at least at that time as I was WAY behind deadline).

    BUT it sounds like I need to sit down and watch it after your wonderful blog and all the comments. That and Castle ... which I STILL haven't watched yet, Tina, but really want to.

    "Character-Driven" is the buzz word that lights me up because I absolutely LOVE anything character-driven. Plot? Yeah, it's nice, but man alive, jerk me through a book or movie with characters that crawl inside my brain and never me let me go!!

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  23. Roxanne, I watched NCIS on and off, but it wasn't until April or May that I started watching regularly. Once I found the syndicated eps on USA, I was hooked. Thanks for dropping by!

    Debra, I would like to see Abby with a new do, too. Something funky and playful to match her character. And, yes, Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber are still married. They're a testimony to many of the disposable Hollywood marriages we read about.

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  24. Audra, after a crazy busy day with my munchkins, NCIS is my down time. I can de-stress by watching their interaction. Plus, they help me to write stronger characters...I hope. :-)

    I'd love to hug Abby. She has such a sweet personality. Actually, I'd love to hug all of them. LOL. My dream would be to have dinner with the cast and pick their brains about how they breathe life into their roles.

    I read an interview with Micheal Weatherly. In it, he said if Tony is a pain in the behind, his character is a success. He acts like an overgrown child at times, but that's part of his charm. :-)

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  25. Sandra, I loved meeting you too!

    I went to Susan May Warren's storycrafters retreat last month in MN. She used a movie as an example to break down story structure. Quality movies and TV shows are great resources for writers.

    Melanie, a flatulating hippo is one that, well, when you squeeze it, it making passing gas noises. Yeah, it's kind of gross, but adds comic relief to the scene.

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  26. Julie, Mark Harmon is one of the best actors on TV, in my opinion. His work ethic and devotion to his family enhance his personality. When you're not on deadline, tune into an episode or two...you'll become hooked.

    Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Castle, too. It's all about the characters in my book. The chemistry between Richard Castle and Kate Beckett...sigh. But that's a different blog post. However, you can still pull out each character's traits and see how well they play off each other.

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  27. Melanie, I forgot to mention, reading Jane Austin novels is on my to-do list for 2010. I love Jane Austin movies, but haven't read her stuff. Shame, I know. :-(

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  28. Of course you all know you can go to the CBC site and watch full episodes on your computer. FREEEEE!!!!

    How convenient!!!

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  29. JUUUUULIEEE you can watch Castle on the ABC site.

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  30. I have GOT to watch Castle. Imagine me, not watching Castle! But I never watch TV. What night is it on?

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  31. Okay, it's another cop show. Never mind. I thought it was about a castle.

    I told you I never watch TV!

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  32. Lisa,
    I think Tony and Ziva have been circling the attraction ring for a while. The first NCIS I ever watched was, I think, the third season, when Ziva first came on. My mom bought the whole thing so I watched it all and there was a lot of chemistry between Ziva and Tony. Then there was the thing with Jeanne, which was really sad, but I'm kind of glad Ziva and Tony are circling each other again. :-)

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  33. Okay, NCIS and Castle ... now officially on my TBW list (to be watched).

    Lisa, I think you won your choice of book in The Daughters of Boston series, but I don't have your address OR e-mail. Can you e-mail me at gsusatcharterdotnet and let me know your address and which book you want signed and sent to you? And at the risk of sounding like a nag, please keep in mind that this is one series that really should be read in order, okay?

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  34. Lisa, I'm ashamed to admit I've never watched NCIS, but it was fascinating to read a run-down of the characters. I'm in the outlining and character development phase of my novel, so this post was very timely for me. :-)

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  35. Well, first of all I don't think I've ever seen the words 'Stuffed fluctuating hippo' in a sentence before.
    So that alone makes the blog post an event. :)

    And I'm always sayin' Give your character a voice. His dialogue, his THINKING, his backstory, all of it needs to fit his voice. His lines of dialogue need to be words only HE would say, said in a way true to his character.

    And when people say back to me, 'Well, they're all from the same place and talk the same."

    I say, "Well change that."

    You put it all in a great way, Jordan and I'm going to go dig deeper into my characters in my WIP right now!!!!!

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  36. Melanie thought the show Castle was about a castle.

    I love it. Why would anyone NOT think that? LOL

    I've lately been really almost watching The Big Bang Theory.

    Such a load of crazy geniuses. Very funny.

    I should try NCIS. I also got to watchign House last year but now have lost my way.

    I watch 90% of TV with a book open in my lap. I find, for the most part, I can read a book and watch TV and not miss much in the TV. I mainly look up with things start exploding.

    You know, that sounds a lot like my books...........

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  37. Okay, I know I should be embarrassed for thinking Castle was a medieval show about a castle (which would be a really great show, BTW. The characters would all live or work inside the castle or the castle courtyard. There's tons of plot possibilities coming to mind right now, not to mention quirky character possibilities, knights, damsels in distress, secret princesses dressed in rags, it'd be awesome) but I did think I saw, a few months ago, some previews for a new show set in medieval times. Maybe called Merlin or something like. But like I said, I never watch TV.

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  38. Hey, Lisa! Thanks so much for posting today! I loved the post. What a great reminder for making our characters real, fun and memorable. Now I'm dying to see this show!! (Yes, I have to admit I've never seen it. Don't shoot me!) :)

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  39. Lisa, are you allowed to tell us what's going on with your Genesis finaling novel and what else you are working on. Or is that TOP SECRET??

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  40. LOLOL, sometimes you just gotta laugh at yourself...sigh.

    A sweet friend sent me an e-mail about this post with a gentle correction...Abby's hippo is flatulating...not fluctuating :-) I *knew* what I meant. I just spelled it wrong. I'm blaming it on the cold meds I've been on while I wrote this post.

    Melanie, does that make more sense now?????

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  41. Lisa we actually REQUIRE our guests to take a heavy dose of cold meds on the day of their post. It really livens up the blog.

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  42. I adore this show! What a fun way to incorporate it into writing...I'll tell my husband it's all RESEARCH! :D

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  43. Jessica, yes, they're definitely circling that relationship wagon. I'd love to see them kiss or something, but if they got together as a couple, that would ruin their dynamic. Save it for the final episode when the show goes off the air someday.

    Julie, I will email you. I think I have the first two books in the Daughters of Boston series, but I will double check to make sure. So excited that I won!!! Thanks!!

    Sarah, there's no shame in admitting you don't watch NCIS. It's not for everyone. Believe me, I watch enough for a roomful of people. Tiny bit obsessed, but I so love those characters. :-)


    Mary, it should've been stuffed flatulating hippo...I was half brain dead when I wrote this due to being so sick. I'm surprised I could type my own name. Catch an episode and see what you think. At least watch a few minutes to see how the characters interact with each other!

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  44. Great post, Lisa, about the way to bring characters to life.

    An interesting side note: one of my daughter's friends loved NCIS so much she decide to major in Criminal Justice. Right now she is in Washington D.C. doing an internship with the real NCIS! But it all started from her love of the show.

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  45. Missy, you should catch an episode just to watch Mark Harmon (sigh) in action. The cast is very talented and play their roles extremely well. Right now it's rated the #1 show on TV. If anything, check it out for the characterization. :-)

    Erica, I'll have to remember that when Hubby suggests I should be writing instead of watching. I'll remind him I'm doing research. :-) Actually, I do write while watching the show. Otherwise I'd never get any writing done.

    Oh, and Hubby has started quoting lines, so I'm not the only obsessed one.

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  46. Tina, you asked about my Genesis finaling novel...

    I met with Tina James at the ACFW conference, pitched it to her, started crying when I told her the end (I so love my characters, especially how they come together in the end) and she requested the full. She said it had all of the elements she wanted to see in a SH novel. I was so thrilled.

    The next day I met with agent Rachelle Gardner, pitched the novel to her, told her about Tina's request, and it finaling in the Genesis contest. She asked to read a few pages, so I handed her the first chapter. She asked me to send the full to her before I submitted it to Tina.

    When I came home from the conference, I had an email from Rachelle, asking me to send her sample chapters. I sent her the first two chapters, one-page synopsis, and one-sheet to show the other books in the series. Two days later, I received a request for the full manuscript as soon as it's ready.

    I've been very sick for the last 2.5 weeks so I haven't been writing, but I will have the manuscript ready to send to her by Thanksgiving. She said no rush, so I want to make sure it's as perfect as I can possibly make it.

    Thanks for asking. :-)

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  47. Teri, great to see you! That's fascinating about your daughter's friend. I'm told the real NCIS is not quite as exciting as the TV version of the show.

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  48. Congratulations to you, Lisa. Now lots of vitamins and get better asap.

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  49. NCIS is, without any doubt in my mind, the absolute BEST show on television! I'm seventeen, and write as a hobby(whether it will ever become more than that, God only knowss), and I would love to read books with strong characters such as those of NCIS. So many romance novels give such sterotypical heros--and heroines. Yuck. =) But, when I watch NCIS, I smile because I love those characters! The writers on that show are beyond talented.

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  50. *knows and *stereotypical

    I cannot stand spelling errors. Ha!

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  51. Oh Mary,
    I'm hooked on Big Bang Theory because of all the social screwups that take place. WONDERFULLY funny.
    I use clips from the show in teaching one of my graduate level classes on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Starting off with humor in a 3 hour lecture class, really helps relax the atmosphere AND reading social cues is a toughy for kids on the Spectrum, so it works.

    I used to watch Criminal Minds, until it had a few really freaky ones that stayed with me all night - then I decided - I'd rather write.

    I just started watching Castle because my hubby's into it. Funny show and love the main character.

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  52. Courtney, you know it's a writing blog when people revise and edit their comments. LOL the whole rest of the world seems to DELIBERATELY fill their comments with typos.

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  53. I think the CSI shows will be like Law & Order was for me, Lisa. It was on the air six seasons, and in syndication on cable, before I ever watched it. But once I did, I was hooked. Now I'm an L&O junkie--all varieties. Part of why I've stayed away from CSI. I do not need another reason to spend time in front of the television. When L&O ceases to exist, I'll hop on the CSI train.

    But I'm wondering. I see Rocky Carroll in the picture, of whom I'm a fan. What's his character?

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  54. Does it make more sense? A stuffed fluctuating hippo, or flatulating hippo ... It's a toss-up, Lisa.

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  55. Exactly, Mary! And I cannot stand typos, but they always happen when I type. For instance, I meant "heroes" not "heros".

    Geez.

    I'd better stop now.
    :0)

    (My point was NCIS is AWESOME!)

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  56. I confess, Lisa, I am seven seasons behind you watching NCIS. But you--and this blog post--have intrigued me!
    And now I need to go make my characters quirkier!

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  57. How fun to find one of my VERY FAVORITE shows as the topic of today's blog, Lisa! I love NCIS! We've been watching it since it spun off of JAG, which was another favorite. My husband and I are always commenting about what a super job the casting directors have done in putting together such an intriguing mix of characters to play off each other.

    And sometimes I do wish I had Ziva's martial arts skills, not to mention her fearlessness. But I also I love it when they show her softer, more vulnerable side. My favorite, though, is the way she twists American figures of speech!

    Oh, and I can't leave out Ducky. I was in love with him as Ilya Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E.!

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  58. Lisa, in case I don't make it back tonight..thank you so much for sharing the world through NCIS with us. And take care, we want your msc finished asap.

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  59. I'm so late with my final comment. My son had his very belated 16th birthday party tonight and the house is finally quiet.

    Thank you, Seekers, for having me! I loved talking about my favorite show and the amazing characters. :-)

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  60. Lisa,
    I'm stopping by late. Great info about the TV program. You've got me thinking of ways to go more deeply into my characters! Thanks so much.

    BTW, you're one busy woman!!! Alwlays a joy to see you on Seekerville!

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  61. Lisa, I think you were reading my mind yeaterday. I have been trying to get in depth with my characters and your post was music to my ears!

    Kerri
    ps I now want to watch that show :)

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  62. I'm so glad to know that someone else is an NCIS diehard! Interesting story: When we took our first trip to Las Vegas in September, we "previewed" a tv show...that's sitting in a dark room in front of a computer with an evaluation dial to let the producers know what you like and don't like about the show. We had a blast...and the best part? It was the premiere episode of NCIS: Los Angeles!!! I was asked to participate in a focus group the next day, but it was the same time as our flight to California....but we have some great memories!

    PS My dial stayed above "90" most of the show!

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  63. Wonderful post!
    I love NCIS. I got mad at them when they killed off Kate. I enjoyed the interplay between her and Tony. Diva-not so much, but she has done much to redeem herself in the past season.

    My favorite one was where Tony was singing information he was gathering to Jenny. "Jenny, I think I've been made. . .do you see what I see?" Hehehe.

    This article has some wonderful tips I intend to implement. Thank you so much~!

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