“That’d make a great movie!”
Have you ever looked at something you’ve written and thought that? I know I have. Oscar acceptance speech…done!
It’s correctly been said that you need to read a lot to become a great writer. Conversely, no one’s become a great writer by watching a lot of movies. But I don’t think spending time with quality film would be a detriment to your writing skills. A great actor playing a compelling character could really inspire one’s creative juices.
(But before you pop in that Diff’rent Strokes DVD, I’m referring to quality films with gritty characters that reflect the true base of human strengths, frailties, struggles and triumphs. Think Scorsese.)
Like most writers, I try to document the important physical details of every scene. Is it dark? Is it cold? Does it smell? And I think like an actor when my characters enter the scene. What brought me here? What do I think of this place? What do I want here?
The only challenge is that an actor only has think for his or her character. The writer has to think for them all.
I’ve taken several acting workshops and they’ve definitely helped me with character development. Everything from their individual motivations right down to their actual dialogue can be realized by becoming the character, just like an actor would do. I’d recommend acting workshops not only for screenplay writers but novelists as well.
In short, I always have that mental motion picture going. Who knows?…maybe I’ll see one of those motion pictures on an actual screen one day. Stranger things have happened.
If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!
Richard Todd is an author, blogger, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.