I love to lose myself in other men's minds.
Welcome to my dungeon.
I was in a playwriting workshop where the teacher gave us some very interesting exercises. One of them I won't forget. It was very revealing about how important the authors are to the play. He assigned several students the task of each writing a one act play using the same characters and the same plot.
When the plays were finished they were read in the class. It was amazing to hear how diverse the plays the three different students had made out of the exercise. At a another time he assigned just four characters and no plot line. The result was even more amazing. The story had to come out of only the relationships among the characters.
I already respected playwrights, but those exercises gave me a greater respect for them. When working on a script I would now ponder why the author chose that particular way to reveal the plot line and why he chose those special words to express those special characters and tell the story.
I once heard a lecture from a playwright who said "A playwright is one who if she changes a single line it is a major rewriting of the play." I learned to understand that. Compared to prose, a play is a very sparsely written thing and every word has an important meaning to it because there is no chance for the playwright to explain or elaborate. There is no going into great details as a novelist can. Everything is said with dialogue and action. For the actor it's crucial to understand why the author has chosen that particular word or group of words from the universe of words available. And it explains why most playwrights are very upset when an actor doesn't stick to the script.
I carried this alertness to words and phrases over into reading other types of literature: fiction and philosophy. As a writer now myself I know how one can ponder over the choice of a word or phrase to make sure the reference is clear and to the author's point. To appreciate this pondering by other writers means that I can think with them as they work their way through a description. And I can truly get lost in the author's mind.
DB - Vagabond Journeys
May you have a springtime blessing today.