METHOD WRITING –from Jude’s post on the Sisters in Crime National Blog
METHOD WRITING–WE’VE ALL HEARD OF THE STYLE OF ACTING TAUGHT BY Stanislavsky, and the Actor’s Studio. The kind that famously made monsters out of mild mannered actors who became demons and maniacs in order to play them on stage. Well, there is something to that for writers–at least for this writer. I recently discovered method writing–I was stuck, couldn’t get to the next point, and wallowed in the attendant slump. For some reason, I got it into my head to slam around the house as if I were the soon-to-be murderer that I was writing about. I imagined myself in a frenzy of jealousy and betrayal because of a weasel-cheat who was doing me wrong.
I’m not saying this is good for the crockery, and one lovely gravy boat may have taken one for the team, but I managed to work up a head of steam in which I found words. Good words. Words that I immediately put into the story. They were fiery words that packed some wallop.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but sometimes I just fall out of my character–she stops whispering to me, or taking me over. That’s when I call upon Method Writing. I get myself angry, crazy, to a pitch, thinking about revenge, or the horrific acts that would delight me, and make me a murderer. I start to write all the mean and nasty thoughts that would follow and voila! Soon, I will have found my flow again. But lord help my poor sweet husband who interrupts in the middle of the Method Rage!
If you try this, to recapture the life of a character, you may find yourself way out there in a cathartic frenzy of emotions that were lying in wait for just such a moment of power. You’ll feel good, Cleansed. You’ll probably have to edit it down. And take a shower. And apologize to innocent bystanders. But it’s all part of Method Writing.