Author Topic: Diggin Deeper, Method and other tricks  (Read 2047 times)

Offline Annmarie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3526
  • Got my kinky boots on. Watch out!
Diggin Deeper, Method and other tricks
« on: March 22, 2016, 04:49:04 AM »
Most of us are tight for time when we write, so it's important to think up ways to get in touch with the story, your voice and characters as quick as you can. What do you guys do to warm up or dig down?

I've been reading a bit about Method Acting -- I think Gyppo has brought that up before -- and thinking about how it applies to writers. I guess it's a light version of walking around in the shoes of your main character even when you're not writing. It's also digging into your own emotions and experiences to bring out authentic emotion in the character and the prose. Most of us do this, I think, but with Method-lite, it seems more extreme. A real tapping into the dark. I haven't taken this very far myself, but it's an interesting idea, especially with characters who are very different than I am, even a different sex, nationality etc.

I probably use music the most to warm up or focus, but I don't like to write while music is playing. Certain songs come to represent certain characters so I always think of them when the song plays. Sometimes it helps to ask why that song? What does it reflect about that character?

And of course there's warming up by just writing any old junk. Or marking in the text where you started so you can cut the dry or shallow stuff easier later. But this can be time-consuming when you're short on writing time.

Anyone have other tricks for really tapping into the story?



Work hard. Believe. Take a chance.

Offline Simple Things

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1824
Re: Diggin Deeper, Method and other tricks
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 07:17:50 AM »
I don't know if I have any tricks. I just let go of 'me' and 'my beliefs' so they don't interfere with the characters. I don't write with music, but if it is on, no biggie. The world is full of helpful settings, people walk the streets offering you their characters/characteristics. I'll use some of my friends ways to help colour in people in a story because I know them better than fictional - or at least I get to see their 'side' through their actions and so can write them even if they are in disagreement with how I do things.

Hard to say, Annmarie. Every story has its own level of difficulty. Some more than others.

Offline Vogel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
Re: Diggin Deeper, Method and other tricks
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 07:43:35 AM »
I like to close my eyes and actually imagine myself in the scene. Sometimes I'll lie down in the living room and close my eyes, and pretend I'm there. I do this at night when I'm trying to go to sleep, actually. It's a way to get my mind off of work. Fantasize actually being there, with the characters in the scenes I'm revising or writing. Don't know if that's weird or not, but some of the best ideas have come to mind when I do this.

I can't write with music playing. I end up focusing more on the music than the writing.

And I've found that the cure for writers' block is to pick up a good book and read. It gets me in the zone, even when I'm feeling dry.

Interesting concept, applying method acting to writing. I could see how that would definitely help get the creative juices flowing, maybe going to places where our scenes are based on, and trying to imagine ourselves as the characters. I might have to try that sometime.

Offline Annmarie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3526
  • Got my kinky boots on. Watch out!
Re: Diggin Deeper, Method and other tricks
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 05:26:27 AM »
I don't know if I have any tricks. I just let go of 'me' and 'my beliefs' so they don't interfere with the characters. I don't write with music, but if it is on, no biggie. The world is full of helpful settings, people walk the streets offering you their characters/characteristics. I'll use some of my friends ways to help colour in people in a story because I know them better than fictional - or at least I get to see their 'side' through their actions and so can write them even if they are in disagreement with how I do things.

Hard to say, Annmarie. Every story has its own level of difficulty. Some more than others.

Yes, not all stories need to go as deeply as others. It's not so easy to let go of "me," that's why I have to trick myself into it sometimes. It's like I have to sneak up on the story or the characters from the side, so they don't see me, and I don't interfere. :)

I like to close my eyes and actually imagine myself in the scene. Sometimes I'll lie down in the living room and close my eyes, and pretend I'm there. I do this at night when I'm trying to go to sleep, actually. It's a way to get my mind off of work. Fantasize actually being there, with the characters in the scenes I'm revising or writing. Don't know if that's weird or not, but some of the best ideas have come to mind when I do this.

I can't write with music playing. I end up focusing more on the music than the writing.

And I've found that the cure for writers' block is to pick up a good book and read. It gets me in the zone, even when I'm feeling dry.

Interesting concept, applying method acting to writing. I could see how that would definitely help get the creative juices flowing, maybe going to places where our scenes are based on, and trying to imagine ourselves as the characters. I might have to try that sometime.

That's not weird at all. I do that too, imagining myself in the scene, imagining myself as this or that character, even if it's not the POV character. Sometimes it's helpful to imagine the scene from different perspectives if it's not working or unclear.

I guess the "Method" next step to that is seeking out little things that link us the authors with our story world or the characters. For instance, I'll be going to a tango/cha-cha night with a friend at an old ballroom in a few months. There's a direct link between that experience and the background of one of my characters. I'm even looking around for the appropriate vintage dress! Not to go overboard, but to just have a flavor of something important to the character. It'd take too much time to do this kind of thing really thoroughly or for multiple characters, but a dash of it helps, I think. It'll be fun, anyway.  :D
Work hard. Believe. Take a chance.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: Diggin Deeper, Method and other tricks
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 09:40:38 AM »
Asking myself the big "IF" question is often a huge help to me.

Question like "IF I lived in her/his time and location, how would I overcome this or that challenge? If I had the courage and daring of X character would I be able to find a way to do what they need to do to overcome such a hardship and get away with it unharmed or at least only a manageable injury?

There are all kinds of "IF" questions I can ask about characters and situations that help me along the way. Some of them have me doing some digging and writing details for myself alone with only snippets making their way into the story that will hopefully read by others at some point.

 
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi