Sunday, June 29, 2003

On Saturday, I shot a scene with my mammy.

On Sunday, I re-shot a scene with my niece-y.

Today, I will shoot a scene with Frances Krull, a fellow LeMartian and Postal Playhouse favorite.

Started thinking about my writing... follow my self-obsession...

So I like characters, right? Who doesn't? Everybody likes characters. Even writers who write really bad characters will still say they like characters. I'm probably one of them. But whatever. SHUT UP!

Anyway, when I write, I'll concentrate a lot of my time and energy on characters' behaviors and hang-ups and speech patterns and worldviews. Yes. Worldviews.

Most of all, I want my characters to be able to have some sort of identification with its audience. Not in a "Oh, I really identify with this character" sort of way, but more like... "Oh, I recognize people like that. I've seen people like that. People like that actually exist." I like actuality. And some sort of honesty.

Because, you know... art never lies.

I would never lie to you, Jackie.

So, I've noticed that my desire to show characters in their natural, untapped state is sort of... bullshit. Because as much as I like honest characters, I also adore plot mechanics. O. Henry stories will always work. "Back to the Future 2" will always be better than the first. And "Three's Company" will always floor me with its pristine, air-tight plot constructions. This cannot be avoided. I am a boy and it is engrained in my foreskin.

But aren't these two opposing forces? I mean, can a character exist truthfully and honestly when it's constantly being manipulated by plot mechanics? I know that to some extent, a character will always be at the will of a writer's storytelling, but... for me, I'm having a really hard time finding a compromise between the two.

Because in a lot of the stuff I write, there's a major shift of events in the "last act." Some may call it "contrived," but I call it... "contrived." And in the end, these characters who were going about somewhat truthfully are suddenly thrown into a situation that's... less-truthfully.

I don't know. I'm struggling with this because "David Mows Yards" is pretty contrived at the end and I'm trying to come to peace with that.

But it has to be contrived.

To prove its point.

And that point is?

I'm a poor writer.

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