🕒 1 minute read
I’m re-starting the My500Words challenge. Why? Sadly, I can’t go to either of my writing classes any more. Script East has moved too far away for me to walk to at night and the previously free, ‘Read, Write, Chat’ has started charging, so I can’t afford to go. I don’t have any paid work at the moment and I’m struggling to get by, so even £4 is £4 too much.
It would be easy to feel sad, but actually it’s liberating. Meeting to write was too tempting a reason to write. I shouldn’t need a reason and a place and a time. I have everything I need right here.
So I am re-starting the #My500Words writing challenge to get me back into a writing habit. To kick it off I’ve started a new blog over at www.mariecooperactor.blogspot.com
🕒 2 minutes read Today I am writing a short piece for a character I will be playing tomorrow. I don’t need to. It’s not necessary, but I thought I would combine day four of #My500Words challenge with my research and preparation for the role.
I have been provided with a brief which contains a bit about the history and personality of the character I need to play, and what her motivations are. I am going to take the main facts and creatively write prose from my character’s point of view, as she goes through the experience that has been created in the text for her.
I will be creating her character tomorrow as an actor anyway. This is what I do, taking clues that the writer has put into the text or playwright has created in the dialogue. Investigating the words to determine where my character came from, what it is she wants, what action she is going to initiate to get it and what is standing in her way and how she is likely to react. I would use all the clues to dig deeper into the truth of who she is so that I can bring genuine emotions from my own experiences to make her real, aiming for verisimilitude.
But today, I am going to start with the facts and attempt to invent her internal reality, in words not actions, mind not body, enveloping the emotions into the text, as opposed to digging into the text for her emotions.
I am very much enjoying experimenting with words on the page. I think that the way that I build my characters and explore emotion is going to be advantageous to my writing, and that getting back in touch with the writer in me is also going to contribute beneficially to the richness of my creativity and make me a better actor.
🕒 1 minute read
Writing at the last minute
I am not sure which planets happened to be in alignment yesterday, but Friday the 13th definitely wasn’t unlucky for me, as for once, my writing actually flowed. I had foolishly left my ‘Read, Write, Chat’ homework until the very last minute, but I knew I would have, at least, an hour or two between meeting my ScriptEast group in the morning, to the café meetup group in the afternoon.
Prose to Dialogue
So I sat in the coffee-shop, set a timer for ten minutes and free-wrote a piece of prose based on the prompt I had been given. Instead of a random piece, I merged the prompt with another idea I had floating around in my head and it ended up becoming a prose version of a scene from my play. I then got so engrossed in changing the prose into dialogue that I totally lost track of the time and was almost late for the meetup.
Write it and it will come
I was in such an elated mood from that point onward. I don’t know whether it was excitement at getting a really touching scene for the play initiated, having already met #My500Words challenge, getting too little sleep the evening before, having not eaten properly since breakfast , too much coffee, finding someone to play Talisman with, the most excellent choice of writing exercises, spending time with great company with open hearts and minds or all of the above but I didn’t get writer’s block at all yesterday. Progress! If you get Writer’s Block, I can’t recommend joining a writing group enough. It can be so beneficial. It both frees and focuses the mind.
🕒 2 minutes read
A Room with a View
Squeeeeee! What a difference a day, a break to the cinema and a change of location makes to my writing. I am now working with the view of my garden, with fresh air coming through the window and my aloe vera plant peeping over the top of my keyboard, rather than plonked in the middle of the dining room, staring at a blank screen and wall.
It has made a whole world of difference. I now have a 525 word synopsis of my story and a two sentence premise written down – more to help me gather my thoughts than anything else – which it really has. I can see much more clearly now how the story and scenes are going to flow *happies*
500 Words Writing Challenge
I also signed up to Jeff Goin’s My 500 Words challenge last night on Facebook, in an attempt to become more disciplined with writing. The challenge is to write at least 500 words per day. Like I said previously, I am an actor, not a writer and being disciplined in learning lines and finding a character comes much more naturally to me. I just do it. I fill up as much of my time as it takes to much sure that the work gets done.
I’ve kept the writer in me locked up for so many years it feels a bit weird letting her out again. But it is getting easier and my confidence is growing, every time I see words that I have written performed on stage and the positive reactions.
I’ve smashed the challenge for day one. I hope I can keep the word count up when it comes to writing all of the dialogue. If I can, then getting this project complete by the deadline will not be looking like such an uphill struggle after all.