26 October 2009

Writing and Acting

Earlier this year, I published a couple of posts comparing the craft of writing to the craft of acting. I recently discovered I'm not the only person who sees the connection. Author Alexandra Sokoloff has an excellent blog on the craft of writing--one of the best I've seen. Among her excellent advice about creating a protagonist, she states:

But I do think there are things that are teachable about creating character. My best general advice is always – take an acting class. Take a lot of them. Read books on acting and creating character – Michael Shurtleff’s excellent AUDITION, which is about so much more than auditioning, Stanislavski’s acting series, Michael Chekov. Learn how to develop and play characters yourself, even on a basic level, and it will translate to writing.

She has similar advice regarding antagonists.

I think this is good advice. While you don't have to have a theatre background to be a good writer, I think it can help. If you know how to get into a character's head on stage, then it will be easier to do on the page.


lesleylsmith said...

Ah ha! Now I know why you act stuff out during critique group. :)
But you raise a valid point.
Plus, now I know all that time in my misspent youth as a thespian was actually good for something! :)

Deb Smythe said...

Live the adventure, baby. Live the game. That's what we did in my neighborhood back in the "pre-gaming" day.

I'd create a World, with rules, set up the objective and throw out problems along the way. Everyone would invent their own persona/character and we'd act out the adventure. Props help. Bikes, woods, bull-dozers and half-built houses can become just about anything.

It seemed natural to extend my love of reading and writing fantasy and sci-fi to the physical world. I don't know if it helped my writing but it was fun.