March 24th, 2021

charioteer

25 Days of Writing: Day 24

24. Would you say your writing has changed over time?

I like to think my writing has improved! Seriously, though, the obvious change is that a major part of my early writing was in the form of scripts (or a modification thereof) whereas now I write prose.

I think one consequence of the way I modified the script format so that I effectively transcribed what one would see on screen (i.e. with all the camera angles and edits) is that I had to learn how to visualize action. It wasn't easy, either! I could hear the voices quite easily. All I had to do was put the characters together, give them a bit of a nudge, and write down what they said. After that, of course, I had to go back and clean it up by removing ums and ahs and digressions; but that's pretty straighforward. However, I had great difficulty seeing things in my head.

Nevertheless, this was necessary, not only so that I could write out the larger things, such as car chases and fight scenes (which were relatively rare) but how people moved around the sets (which they do all the time). I also had to add in the small stuff you see on screen that is added by the actors in performance—the so-called "actor's business", in which they bring the part to life with such petty details as picking something up, scratching their nose, or shifting in their seat. As a result, I'm a bit better now at adding such things into prose fiction as well. Usually I do it as I revise the story. It helps me fatten up the bare dialogue.

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