Author Journey

Method Acting & Writing

Can acting & writing go hand in hand?

I come from a screenwriting background. Grabbing my MA in Television/Radio Production, I wrote my fair share of screenplays, and even read tons more during my internship at a production studio.

As an aspiring writer, getting into the world in which you create can sometimes be a harrowing task. You come to a certain point where the flow just isn’t there, the context seems off or the words are just not matching what you want the reader to experience.

This is where method acting comes in to play.

What is method acting?

According to Wikipedia.org;

Method acting is a range of training and rehearsal techniques that seek to encourage sincere and emotionally expressive performances, as formulated by a number of different theatre practitioners.

developed by the Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski. In the first three decades of the 20th century, Stanislavski organized his training, preparation, and rehearsal techniques into a coherent, systematic methodology.

This method has been adapted over the years by a number of theatre greats, such as Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler, but the basic building blocks still remain.

This method, or adapted versions of it, suggest that to envoke an emotional response, an actor/actress must recall sensations involved in experiences that made a significant emotional impact on the actor. Without faking or forcing, actors allow those sensations to stimulate a response and try not to inhibit themselves. This could be invoking a response to the situation as a whole or allowing to stimulate the actor’s imagination through the use of “as ifs”, which substitute more personally affecting imagined situations for the circumstances experienced by the character.

So how can method acting and writing work hand in hand?

Getting emotionally involved in writing is make or breakpoint. Throwing yourself into the character’s situation, imagining the responses they would make or the feelings that would be evoked by the situation or actions that are being taken, can really help you develop the context and flow of your story.

Now, this technique might not be for everyone, but I highly recommend trying it. For me, I find myself taking on the life of my characters, saying what they would say and letting my emotions flow naturally in response. It really does help me find the right words and actions they might take throughout the story, and also, really get to know my characters on a deeper level.

I must say, doing this for my female characters is A LOT easier than my male ones, but the method remains the same. And if you are nervous about pulling off a method performance to your book in the light of day, just remember, you are a creative.

Different techniques work for different people.

I myself, am a visual storyteller, I need to physically feel things and experience them in order to envoke the right words and feelings I need to make my fantasy world come alive. I can’t read a book on how to write a book and absorb the information I need from it. I need to experience it or share in my experiences.

I hope this post helped you think outside the box a little bit on how to approach your writing.

May Sol’s Light Shine Within You –

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4 thoughts on “Method Acting & Writing”

  1. Yeah, I can relate to what you’re saying. I try to put myself in my character’s shoes and imagine what they must be going through at the time. With my MC (Hotaru) it’s easy because I put a lot of my own personality into her. For everyone else, I try to not only incorporate their current predicament (the one I’m writing at the time) but their history and what sort of experiences they had prior.

    For example, say I’m writing a scene where the character is being held at gunpoint. Is this person a soldier, have they ever been in combat before? Has this person ever been in any sort of related conflict whatsoever? Are they even a fighter? Are they a pacifist? Are they stubborn, strong-headed, short-tempered, etc. All these details matter (not that you needed to be told this).

    Then again, sometimes it’s not that easy. Personally, my attitude completely changes when I’m scared. When I’m calm, I tell myself I’d be a hero when the time calls for it, but sometimes I fear that I’ll be more likely to pick up and run instead…I pray I never am confronted with such a situation.

    Anyway, I’m going way off topic here, sorry. I think Method Acting is a great practice…then again, I’m no actor. 😛

    Like

    1. Putting yourself in your character’s situation is INCREDIBLY HARD to do, I totally get that. You are hoping for a certain reaction and sometimes you just don’t know if you hit it on the head. BUT I do think you can get damn near close enough right?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have discovered the more drafts I do the more emotionally involved I become. This applies to the side characters, not the protagonist. I usually have them down. For me, the key to writing a novel is to become emotionally involved. If I can’t feel it, I can’t write it.

    Happy to have found your blog. Fun stuff over here.

    Like

    1. I totally agree. Being emotionally involved is so important, especially when you need to portray certain emotions for your characters. If you can’t relate to them, you will never be able to tell their story right.

      Thanks for poppin’ on over!

      Like

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