So, I didn’t finish SAAFire yet. When I made the deadline for a week (ish) after NaNo to get the thing actually done, I forgot to account for one little three-day event:
I actually volunteer regularly for Phoenix Comicon and I tend to work the entire event, putting in days so long I have to shove my dog off with my parents (they not-so-secretly love it).
So, while I hung out with awesome actors, artists, and attendees, I did absolutely NO WRITING and only some reading.
I’ll finish by…next week. Probably. Definitely.
I did have some great conversations about creativity and creative expression, though, that really got me thinking. One such conversation was around how most actors are always seeking work—it’s a second full time job. They are usually competing for a role with people equally talented and suitable, even if they’re all friends. I don’t know for sure yet but I have a feeling that the writing world is like that, too. New writers are all vying for agents, publishing deals, etc., and they may all be amazing but not everyone can be supported by the same person or company. Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean complete failure, it might just mean someone else was better—and then you’ve got to be better the next time around.
I also had a wonderful conversation with three separate actors about creating characters. Each has their own way of bringing a character to life. Sometimes, they work really hard only to find that, on set and in the shot, the energy changes and the character changes. Sometimes their interpretation of a character doesn’t match the writer’s or casting director’s and so they don’t get the part in the first place.
As writers, it’s our responsibility to build characters such that the reader understands them and would expect them to do the things we have them to go on and do. For this to happen, the writer also has to “get” the character. Almost every writer I know has had a scene planned out or a character set and then they get to the blank page and it all changes. We have to be able to go with the flow if things don’t work out exactly as we had intended.
Now, if we don’t interpret the character “correctly,” we still get to write it, but it might be harder to publish if our interpretation results in a stiff, unpredictable person who is often out-of-character.
I guess what I really learned this weekend is that, on television and movie productions, writers and actors collaborate (with many, many others) to bring a character to life. But, as a writer, we have to trust ourselves and then learn to trust our own external influences (editors, beta readers, critique partners, and personal Motivators). Creative expression is creative expression, whether you act in a movie or write a novel that may someday be turned in to a movie.
I’m off to write, since I didn’t write all weekend! See you Thursday!