26 May 2009

Writing is Like Acting

In high school and college, I took lots of acting classes and performed on stage. You wouldn't think that would have much to do with writing fiction, but writers can learn from actors. How, you may ask?

1. Actors (at least those who use the "method" technique) learn to "become" the character they play on stage. Good writers "become" their protagonist when they are writing. They put themselves in the head of their characters so that everything they write feels authentic and natural.

2. Actors must learn to stretch their personal boundaries. They cannot let their inhibitions or the judgment of others stand in the way of their art. Writers need to do the same thing. They need to write what comes to them regardless of what others may think. Every time they put pen to paper, they need to think about how they can take what they are doing even father and go even deeper.

3. Actors must pour their soul into their work. Every night, no matter how many times they've performed the same part, actors must play it with the same freshness and energy they had on opening night. Fiction writers need to do the same when they pick up their pen. If writing becomes just another task or chore, it loses something important.


lesleylsmith said...

Interesting post, Editor Dave.
Now I understand why you keep acting stuff out at critique group! :)
But I did not know you used a pen. Talk about old-school! :)

Betsy Dornbusch said...

I love this post. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi all
Just found this site and thought it might be useful to chat to people who are trying to accomplish the same as me!

I spend too much of my life on the internet and look forward to chatting to you all and picking up and sharing ideas along the way!

Look forward to 'meeting' you all.