Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Working in the wet...

With the wet Auckland weather I've been working away on my novel for the last few days. It's tougher to nail your backside to the chair in front of the keyboard when it's sunny and the beach beckons.

Been working mainly on bringing character insight out in seemingly small moments. When working on a novel it's too easy to get cluttered by the big stuff - meta structure/character arcs in the wider sense - and not pay enough attention to the small details which so often just encapsulate our sense or feeling of someone in a story. Giveaway clues. Gestures, subtle pieces of body language that speak beyond themselves.

In these moments in critical to visualize your scene, in the way a film maker would. And look for small gestures, listen to the sounds in the room, the contrast between stillness and movement. In the film 'Remains of the Day' Anthony Hopkins plays a couple of pivotal scenes where he's in terrible emotional turmoil and he moves barely a muscle, using a rigid posture (he was a stiff-upper-lip) butler/valet and having just his eyelashes flicker or his face visibly tighten or twitch. This showed both his turmoil and his obsession (which ultimately cost him meaningful relationships) with maintaining decorum and poise.

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