Writing or Acting

The process of writing fiction has all the craft techniques in common with writing in general such as books on travel, history or technical books for most disciplines. The creative process of fiction writing seems to have more in common with acting than most of the other creative arts such as painting or sculpture for example.

This came as a surprise as I had envisaged acting as a more reactive activity being dependent on the written word as a starting point. However, the process of getting into character is just that which the author has to do if the fiction is going to flow onto the page. This is surely why writer’s can easily lose control of their characters and, sometimes must follow where the character demands to go.

It is easy to tell when ‘the magic’ is happening, you get into the characters head and see and hear what they seeing and hearing, but you can only listen to what they are saying. You know that if you are ‘into character’, the revision process will be much more extensive. Here an author has an advantage over an actor; the revisions by an author are finished in private but an actor will often be working on the fly at each performance.

Larry and the Bear cont’d.
The Wood

As he got to the trees he paused and looked back, there were no lights so he could get a drink at last. The first juice box was broached and his thirst quenched. He stuffed the spent box back into his monkey-pack, as he’d been taught not to litter, slung the pack on his shoulders and went down the path. The further in he went, the less he could see in the dappled moonlight. The shadows were bad, but the night noises were worse with the rustling of small mammals were transformed into noises from wolves or bears in his mind. The sudden hoot of an owl made him crouch by a tree, clutching the trunk and hoping whatever it was wouldn’t see him. When things seemed still enough to risk moving, he scrambled up and ran along the path, tripping and getting up, tripping and getting up until he saw that it was lighter ahead. He’d come to a track.

Panting but feeling a little safer, he looked along the track and saw an old Corolla sedan parked and no one was in it. None of the creatures stalking him in the woods could get in; he would be safe in there! He opened the rear door and looked in. The interior lights had stopped working long ago, but he could see some blankets between the front and back seat. As he climbed in, the door closed behind him with ‘whumpf’. For a moment he panicked and tried to open the door, but the child lock was on and he was stuck inside. He hugged Snuggie and told him,
“Don’t worry Snuggie we’ll find a way out in the morning, and we’ll be safe ‘till then.”
He put his monkey-pack on the floor for a pillow and covered himself with one of the blankets. As he lay there with his eyes tight shut and hugging his bear, the smell of the Brownies in his bag helped make him feel secure and he fell asleep.

At one o’clock Kevin Waites opened the driver’s door and got behind the wheel. He pulled his door shut as quietly as possible, as did Suzie King who had slipped into the passenger seat. Neither wanted to attract attention of anyone who might happen to be around. As Kevin started the engine and drove off, the boy woke up and hugged Snuggie tighter. He kept as quiet as possible not knowing what else to do.
“The weed will be ready to harvest in a couple of weeks,” said Kevin as he turned south along the highway.
“Yeah,” replied Suzie, “it will be good to get that finished and the buds distributed to our group of medical users. It’ll be a nice bit of cash!”
There was no more conversation for a while and the steady low engine noise, lulled the boy back to sleep leaving Snuggie on guard.


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