“If you want to be at your creative best and create a memorable character, you better be thinking about it 24/7. While eating. While running errands. While talking to your friends. You better live your character’s life at the cost of appearing obsessed.”
I got this piece of advice from Norith Soth. And, at first, the idea of obsessing over a fictional character seemed repulsive.
Then it occurred to me this is what so many great actors are doing. To name a few – Marlon Brando, Angelina Jolie, and Leonardo DiCaprio -they immerse themselves so much into the world of their characters that they inhabit their skin.
And haven’t we all seen the magnificent results of actors going to such lengths?
Given the evident success of this technique, why shouldn’t novelists and screenwriters give method writing a try?
What Is Method Writing?
Method writing is an immersive approach to a creative process. Inspired by method acting, it focuses on the organic process and truth to create a unique work of art. It is different from the formal approaches to novel writing. It is not rule-bound.
To understand their protagonists, method writers dive deeper into their character’s heads – understand their perspectives, live their emotions, and absorb every aspect of their lives.
The Skills Needed To Be A Method Writer
- Ability to channel another character’s emotions
- Confidence to live someone else’s life
- Creative insight into different experiences
- Dedication to express various emotions in an artistic way
- Ability to challenge fears
- Enthusiasm to invest time and money to study a story-setting up close
- Ability to test how much YOU can learn about your character and their story
Harnessing a character’s emotions is a skill in itself. It can be challenging. So, let me walk you through a few tips on how you can become a method writer.
Getting Into Your Character’s Skin
When you’re ready to create your next great story, take time to get to know your characters. Tap into their potential through your imagination. Ask the character about their feeling when they walk into the scene, understand their mood, and then colour the scene with a sensory image that mirrors the character’s emotion.
Case in point?
Step into your character’s shoes. Talk their talk. Walk their walk. Put on that skin. Eat their food, put on their clothes, do what they’ do, and go where they’d go. Embody their state of mind, their fears, and their personality. Be them.
I know it can be challenging to feel something unfamiliar. If an experience is queer, target a sensory memory from the past when you felt a similar emotion. You’re an artist. It’s your job to exercise your creative muscles.
Living The Story Like It’s Your Own Life
I get it. You cannot go and kill someone to live the experience of a killer. But there are many ways to get up close and personal. You can do your character’s job for a while.
If your protagonist is a doctor, see if you can convince a doctor friend to accompany them at work. Do that job, absorb the details, the menial tasks, and take notes. Go to the locations of your story. Or tap into your memory if you’ve been to a similar place in the past.
Over To You Now
I know. Method writing and the effort it demands sounds like a big deal. And there are chances you’ll get influenced by traditional authors. People may call you obsessed and crazy.
But here’s a thought: If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough.
Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.
Thanks! I’l be uploading some more articles on writing tips. You can take a look at those in a couple days.
Very interesting articles and useful tips for writers and book lovers. Keep up the good work.
Thank you 😀
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