Film Director Mark W. Travis puts out a Directing Thought of the Day on his Facebook page that I just love.
On March 14th, he used this graphic and said the following: When we’re in trouble with a scene or the scene is not coming alive our tendency is to push it forward.
We go to the actors and ask them to inject something (more energy, more passion, more emotion, more pace, etc.) into the scene. But what would happen if we chose a different direction?
What would happen if we elected to go backward?
What if we just said to ourselves: ”I’m going to get out of the problem area and go back into the core of the scene (what is the scene all about) or the core of the characters (what do they really want? what are they fighting for? what are the risks?) and see what I find, what I discover that might give me new insights into the event that we are attempting to create?
Remember, it is not how the scene is ‘played’ that is important, it is what the scene reveals about the characters and their relationships which is crucial.
Is that freaking great writing advice or what? Go, Mr. Travis! If you want more of him, Like the Facebook page I mentioned above or go to his website.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received? Are there questions you ask of your characters that have proven helpful? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!