Sunday, May 22, 2011

Writing the Drama with No Drama, guest post from Christopher Alexander


Ironic? Hypocritical? Really doesn't make any sense, 
right?

Well, the fact is that most things in life that we do
end up with some sort of consequence and we always
hope for the best and never the worst.

Writers, my peers, do you know why the stereotypical
writer is a "tormented soul" fast-bound to some sort
of short life over loaded with cigarettes and whiskey?
Well, as someone once said, "we kill ourselves as the
price we pay for playing God in our creations."

Sounds epic, doesn't it? And not the Ke$ha (insert
eye roll for word-generalization) kind, but think of
it, why do we think we have to be so tortured and
conflicted?

As Carolyn has stated time and time again, as a writer
you are not your character. But, let me tell you, as a
writer you must ask yourself if you write for
entertainment or closure.

Sounds strange, right? Heh, maybe even freudian..?
Anyway~

The reason why I've boiled it down to those two areas
is because a writer who writes for entertainment is one
who is going to write for fun, think of funny/crazy and
things they find really interesting. The other kind of
writer, the bull's eye-hit or miss are those who write
as a way to cope and deal with something going on in
their
life. Which is why the character(s) and story
are really
awesome and powerful or... really awful
and emo.


The tricky part is, figuring out how to master that
emotional vulnerability and make it detached from you.

I started out writing for fun, I had been writing dumb
little stories since I was in elementary school and
picked
it up again towards the end of high school. The
thing that
very few people, if any picked up on, was
that some thought
I was writing about me and my
situations that were going on
at the time. After all,
it was high school. When was drama
not involved?
Anyway, I think you get the point, and I never
knew why
someone would even think that.


After a good while I realized I was writing for closure
but
not the characters as myself and the people involved,
but I
wrote the situation as a way to deal with it in my
own life.
I even had a professor say that she did the
same thing when
her daughter had to go over seas with her
husband for work,
which made her really scared.

See? We all tend to do that at some point but there is
a
point in which being too involved within that self-
created
coping mechanism that suffocates the story you've
already
began telling. Of course that means the readers
and the
story pay the price because you were too involved,
which
means the story became about you and no one else
to be able
to enjoy, relate, and read.

We use anything and everything in our disposal to create
our
own work of art, a story, book, poem, or something
along those
lines that requires creative energy and just
a little bit of
our soul for art. But we should write
only what we know, right?
Its the best way to be
trustworthy for the reader, but if we
know dramatic and
traumatic situations then we can write about
them, right?
Of course! I encourage you to do so because
already
you're going to have a flow of conflict to carry the

story along. And that's what makes things interesting,
the
conflict!

You always have to remember what your audience wants to
read,
that's if you have an audience already reading your
work. If
you don't have an audience yet, time to think of
what your
target audience is and pull the trigger!

Being detached once you get started with your drama (in
the
story of course), prevents hitting the hurdles
head-on of,
"oh crap, this is me. I couldn't do these
things, why should
that character do them?" Or, "this
hits too close to home...
my own drama isn't over, how
can I ever wrap this story up?"
Or better yet, "I give
up... why put this character through
what I'm going
through. Its not fair for me and not for them."


Don't they really sound awful?

I think we've all bumped into those hurdles and really
hit
the dirt and then the guilt hits us from starting
something
and then axing it. Or better yet, the story
keeps going on
and remains in the "planning" stages
that is itching to
come forth and live.

That's why its important to remove yourself in order
to let
the story flow on its own course and be the
middle-man just
telling it as best you know how!

And like Carolyn has always said, no one knows your
story
but you.

Now, write from the heart, tweak with your wit, and
edit
with your audience in mind.

Use your drama to remove the drama in writing it!

5 comments:

  1. Great post. We used to have a thing where we would obsess over what our characters did for a living and how would we show it, then we realized nobody cares! It was about the story. Good lessons indeed.

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  2. Christopher AlexanderMay 29, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Yup! They both matter, as its a formula to get the story gping but we can't forget the bigger picture. Its a balancing act that we sometimes forget, and editing fixes that. XD Lol, well when done right or when we show someone else so they can help us see what we're blinded to. :)

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  3. Ha,,!! really a great work which make a good atraction on writing something realted to DRAMA..it is not relly a drama ,,I am a writer but I ever write the drama work, my last work is for a thesis writing service provider for US student.

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