25 July 2009

What I Learned from HGTV

My husband and I are addicted to HGTV and other home and garden and remodeling type shows, which is kinda strange since we rent. But dreams are free, and we hope to someday buy our own home. I guess that when we do, we’ll be ready to do some serious decorating. Or at least have a nice place to watch our favorite TV shows.

One of our favorite home and garden type shows isn’t on HGTV. It’s A&E’s Sell This House. In case you aren’t familiar with the show, it’s all about a team de-cluttering, painting, rearranging and decorating a house in order to increase the odds of selling it. The show is interesting because you see how much little things matter when you’re trying to sell your house. The thing that blew my mind, however, was that people coming into the pre-decorated homes couldn’t see past the clutter or the color of the walls to visualize the potential. I complained bitterly for a while, until my husband looked at me and said, “Not everybody has your imagination.” Well, duh. And from that I leaned the importance of description in fiction. We writers have to lead the readers into our world and show them around. Which can be fun, actually.

Another thing I’ve learned from this and other home and garden type shows is how different one person’s perception is from another. To one person, a bright red bedroom is the ideal. To another, the red represents lack of sleep and/or a lot of work with primer and paint. Or how one person can see a tiny New York City apartment as large, and another think a five bedroom mansion is small. Different people, different perceptions. Like those who think paranormal is too unrealistic. Those people lack the gene to see beyond the vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and aliens to the human story underneath. We can try to show them the way, but I think that’s likely a waste of time. They just don’t get it. Oh well, more for the rest of us.

Enjoy your weekend!

Cheryel Hutton
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