Lessons 22 and 23:
Class was in session and I decided to play hooky on this lesson because I’m at a different place as an author. David Mamet’s next two lessons are on acting techniques, casting actors, and methods. Don’t get me wrong, David shares valuable advice with fellow writers but I’m going to save these lessons for a later time. I’m writing a novel, not a play and I’m not at the point of casting actors.
What else is helpful for writers? Many of the techniques that actors use can be applied to writing. They research their characters, dress like them, and spend hours trying to embody them. We should do the same.
If your writing is feeling flat or you’re not connecting with your characters, then spend the day as them (unless it’s illegal or going to hurt someone else). Playing dress up and using method acting are steps I’ve taken to understand what my character would do, say, think, and eat. Actors and writers need to be their characters.
The world of writing and acting is a co-dependent relationship. Writer’s shouldn’t cringe when it comes to casting. We should help them become the character by sharing our process that it took to create them. Actors need writers to stay employed and they can share their viewpoint.
Still stuck? Give your script to an actor and get their opinion. They’ve read and acted out thousands of words. Bring them into your beta reading group.
Our lessons will wrap up at the end of this week, and then it’s time to only focus on writing. A word of advice, if you’re going to blog, you’ll need to carve out specific time to get your novels completed. Running social media is a must for authors these days but it takes up a large part of time. Even the large publishers will ask you to your social media updated.
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