I’m sure by the title you were thinking I had something exciting or terrible or both to tell you.
I hate to disappoint, but instead I am writing about characterization and dialogue.
I believe I’ve written a post about talking to yourself to work out blocking and dialogue. I have to admit, I do it for working out conversations and issues in my real life, and that’s what I’m talking about in this post. I’m further exploring between writing and real life for the writer.
Somehow it’s not necessarily insane to use writers methods to work out issues in your life. At least, I prefer to think that it’s not necessarily insane, but if you walk around seeing everything as part of a novel, as we learn from an episode I just watched of Matlock, you’re bound to have issues. So maybe you won’t be brutally murdered, but you can have any variety of issues.
So where do we find the line between reality and what’s acceptable in the bleed from writing into reality?
Well, the thing about a bleed, which any of you who have ever screwed up a load of laundry will know, there’s really no clear line between one color and the other. This means that any line must be one arbitrarily built.
As much as method acting has delivered some of the greatest performances known to man, it can also prove dangerous. Example, that one episode of Monk where a method actor was playing him. Real life examples can be touchy, so I’ll not mention any, but I’m sure you can all think of a few. Well, method writing can be the same, especially if you write like the Mistress of Dark Emotion and are constantly writing about the darkest spaces of life.
So as a method writer, I have to create an arbitrary line to keep myself from going absolutely nuts and letting my writing take over my life. Because no one really wants to live like the desperate housewives and crazed victims we see on television drama and read about in thriller novels that sell so well and write so wonderfully. It’s a joyous thing to write and read, but living it is not the way life is supposed to be. We’d all go nuts really fast.
That line is going to be different for everybody, but it’s good to have a non-writer to bounce your concerns off of when trying to find that line. If they think it doesn’t sound insane, it’s probably okay.