One of my Facebook friends posted this graphic on her Wall a couple of weeks ago. She said this “felt like her life.” I don’t know who created this bit of wisdom, but I think them most clever.
Several local actors/players and I have been rehearsing for a historical play we will present in two weeks. I signed on for the narrator part because I had no delusions that I was an actress.
Well, guess what? This narrator has to throw in a wee bit of acting gestures and movement. “But I’m not an actor; I’m the narrator!” didn’t get me very far with the director.
‘Everyone has to start somewhere . . .’
I have never been one to say, “I want to be an actor because they have such an easy job.”
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that the average citizen has no idea how hard actors practice and work to convince, scare or amuse us. To be able to tell us something with a simple shift in their eyes, or a casual hand movement that suggests approaching danger—and make it look natural. Until you try it, you won’t realize it isn’t easy.
The same applies to writing. We pick up a novel read the first few pages and we’re in the Appalachian Mountains, or overlooking the harbor off the docks in New York or feeling the terror in fresh blood running because of a writer’s well-chosen, well-timed wording.
Another friend of mine wrote the following to me as we discussed editing challenges I’m experiencing with cutting/keeping work on a manuscript:
“When I was in Barcelona and Paris this year, I went to quite a few art museums. One of the displays that fascinated me was a Picasso one where they showed a very detailed painting, and then showed Picasso’s experimentation based on that painting.
This display had about a dozen associated paintings where he was trying to select the basic elements of the picture without the detail. I hadn’t really realized that his modern art was more of a minimalist view of the world – trying to answer the question ‘What are the basic elements that have to be in the painting and have it still tell the story?’”
An editor reminded me that I’d have to kill some of my darlings. I knew it was true and I knew it would be hard.
Anything looks easy–until you give it a serious try.
(Thanks to friends Melinda and Sandi for the astute graphic and thoughts this week.)