by Park Theatre

The other day, a well-known actress said to me that the last time she attempted to write a script, she felt like the characters were about two inches high, standing there on the page, looking up at her pleadingly and making desperate hand gestures at their mouths as if to say, 'Give us something to say!  Let us speak!'.

She was powerless to help them.

With me, lately, it's been a somewhat different problem.  At least my friend's characters popped up in 3D; one of mine has been refusing to even stir himself that far.  All I could do was struggle on, waiting for him to deign to speak to me. 

One night this week, however, I think I heard him.  I went to a reading, met the actors, and the voice of one of them stuck in my head.  Suddenly that lifeless character started to breathe.  It's not that my character is similar to any of those I saw that night, nor is that particular actor necessarily suitable for the role; but there was something about him that seemed to give my man a gentle kick up the arse.

The lesson, I guess, is that when your writing seems intractable and slippery, all you can do is carry on and remain open to influences from anywhere and everywhere.  Write every day, and your antennae will be constantly twitching - ready for something to float into your orbit and transform your work.

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