Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fiction and Theatre/Fraternal Twins

When the doctor delivers that first unique baby, all
creamy and pink, you gasp, you cry, you laugh, you
remember the pain to get where you are in that particular
moment in time. Then, another cry and whoa!
“Hey, there’s another baby in here!”
Okay, maybe in today’s technological hospital setting,
this wouldn’t be a big surprise, but in my day—forever ago,
it was frequently a surprise. And some women
got Twofers. Some—identical twofers and others—fraternal.
Enough alike to be related, but with
unique enough characteristics to be different.

Much like what we all want when creating the perfect work of fiction.

Another art form does primarily the same thing, in its
own inimitable way, it utilizes many of the same qualities that are
used to define a work of fiction. This second art form is theatre.

Both forms are created to entertain, educate, amuse, and delight.
Whether you are imagining the sinister characters in a book or
seeing them played out on a stage depends on your viewpoint.
Do you like to see the story enacted live, or
see the story in your mind's eye where you are able to control
appearances, settings, and strength of emotions?

Why fraternal twins?

Fiction and theatre encompass many of the same attributes without being identical. And, as writers, we can learn a lot of the principles of showing by studying the acting craft. When watching Wait Until Dark, it’s easy to understand how suspense lurks in every corner of the dark room. When Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman attacked in her home has to hold her breath in order to hear the men chasing her, we hold our collective breaths as well. Will they catch her? Will she show them just how independent she is and save herself in time? As writers, how can we transfer that same fear onto the pages of a book without the reader actually seeing the terrified woman trying to function in the dark? But that’s our job. We are called to make the reader see the action as surely as the director and actor show the theatergoer.
You’ve heard
SHOW, DON’T TELL.
Starting Saturday, we’re going to explore how an actor and
a director prepare themselves to make the stage come alive,
and see how we can use their methods
to make our stories be viewed with a
blind eye and still sparkle.
Anybody ready for a Tony?

6 comments:

  1. Interesting! Have a great week. :O)

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  2. Great post. I love the theater (behind the curtain, never in front) and am looking forward to your posts starting on Saturday.

    Stop by my blog when you get a chance. You won a book we were giving away last week.

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  3. Woohoo! What a surprise! Thank you.

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  4. I love this parallel. I have had to study hard to see what I see when watching people or plays etc so that I can put it to paper. Never easy.
    I'm glad you and your hubby's experience was short-live:) I would never wish this on anyone!

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  5. This is a great analogy Linda. I'm looking forward to your post. :-)

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