A review by Lynn H. Blackburn
I’m going to tell y’all something that I don’t make a habit of sharing. I wouldn’t even tell you, except, well, you’re writers.
So, I’m hoping you’ll get this.
I stand in front of my mirror and act out my scenes.
Does anyone else do this? Anyone?
Here’s the thing . . . If you can’t fathom acting out your scenes, then you probably won’t love the advice from Brandilyn Collins in her book, Getting Into Character…Seven Secrets aNovelist Can Learn from Actors.
I’ll confess, she does not specifically recommend my method, but she does recommend talking to yourself, er, your characters. Out loud.
All you nonfiction writers . . . go ahead and grab a paper bag. I know you’re about to hyperventilate.
In Getting Into Character, Brandilyn Collins takes seven approaches “method” actors use to develop their characters and adapts those approaches for novelists. There are chapters delving into the following secrets:
- Action Objectives
- Coloring Passions
- Inner Rhythm
- Restraint and Control
- Emotion Memory
Each chapter begins with the method actor’s technique, followed by the novelist’s adaptation. After exploring each secret in detail, she concludes each chapter with study samples—text from books you’ve probably read that highlight each technique and her own breakdown of how the author incorporated the methods into each scene.
I’ve read a lot—A LOT—of books on writing. Most of the time, the material presented isn’t all that new to me. It may be presented in a fresh way or with a new approach that I find useful, but the basic information is similar.
Not so with Getting Into Character. This book was full of ideas that were new to me and I can’t wait to put them into action.
So, how about you? Ever acted out a scene? Talked to a character? Want to give it a shot?
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Word Weavers, Greenville. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.