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20 January, 2014

Naked in a room

Writing is about being transparent. I love movies that make me laugh out loud, and make me cry. The actor is able to take the writer's words and create a performance that moves me. But for the actor to do this, the writer has to step up to the plate. I am a huge fan of Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch, and Martin Freeman. The end of season two had me in tears. Sherlock jumped from the building. I will not spoil the season 3, opener for those who haven't seen it yet. The writers of that show have shown me what it means to build a flawed character, that is love able, but not needy; how to put plot twists and engage the audience in solving the mystery. I am in awe of those writers. They bring everything they are to the table every week to write for this show. Think about the last movie or book you read that you were unhappy with. I bet the first thing you said was "the character". I think to write an amazing character, you have to be willing to be naked. You have to go deep within to pull all the not pretty parts out, put them on display. Doing this frees you as a writer. It's like being naked in a room-there's nothing left to hide, so you might as well be yourself. I have looked back over screenplays and novels I've written and found I have slapped my own hand a few times, and hindered my own nakedness. That nagging dissatisfaction that has plagued me at the back of my mind for more than six months has surged to the forefront. I have chosen to be naked. All those words and actions my characters wanted to say and do, that I would not allow before, I let them. It is so freeing to be naked. It can be scary, but once you've been naked in a room, there's nothing left to hide. Show it. Flaunt it. Be proud of it. Write it.

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