Friday, May 14, 2010

Write What You Know

I'm doing a fair amount of writing these days. It's amazing how many hours there are in a day when you have nothing to fill them. It's equally amazing how easy it is to piddle those hours away with useless, meaningless crap. Facebook, I'm looking at you.

I'm also getting in a lot of reading. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Sparrow and Children of God, Good Omens, Of Mice and Men. And the odd book on writing or acting. Or both.

The book I'm reading right now, The Blunt Playwright, is proving both enjoyable and thought provoking.

In particular the comments on knowing what the protagonist wants. This shouldn't require that much thought, should it?

But when I often don't know what I want in real life I guess it's not that surprising that I have trouble writing characters who know what they want too.

I mean, it works. Sometimes very well, because I think a lot of people go through life not knowing what they want. The trouble is that when you're writing a story, it has to go somewhere.

The people in the story have to want something badly enough to change their lives for it.

Which is also something I don't think I do on a regular basis. I don't know if I want anything outside my current sphere badly enough right now to change my life.

The wonder and beauty of writing, though, is that I am provided with catharsis and voyeurism on a daily basis. I live a dozen lives a day, lives where I do want something, badly enough to kill; where I fight, am angry, am gentle and soft; where I make sense of a confusing world and where I succumb entirely to the chaos, to the moment. Lives that end and lives that keep going. Moments captured and moments lost.

It's a challenge. It's an incredible release.

Even with this post, I don't really know what it is I want to say.

Just that I'm writing, I guess. And it's wonderful strange and hard all at once. I am so lucky to be able to just sit at home and write.

I should put that as my status on Facebook. Be right back...

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