Monday, August 23, 2010

Embrace The Idea

Let your heart be without words, rather than your words without heart.

It has been said the reason for Shakespeare's abiding success as a playwright is because he loved all of his characters, even the nasty ones. I think that's true. How could he have written the serpentine maneuverings of Iago, the flamboyant character of Richard the Third or the electrifying ravings of Falstaff if he didn't thoroughly enjoy their company.

And yet I think there was probably a lot more to those characters in his mind than he could include in his limited traffic of the stage. Once the image moves from the mind and takes it's place in the heart the writer is faced with carefully crafting the words and engineering the plot to tell the stories of those characters. But their lives remain in the writers heart.

In my novel, "Brian and Christine" (which someone had better publish one day soon because it's damn good) I introduce the character of Mother Magda, the faux nun and arch villain of the story. When I first invented her I sort of knew what she looked like and how she sounded. She doesn't appear until late in the story. You only know about her as a silent voice on the telephone, which means all you know of her is how the main character reacts to talking with her. She gradually took shape. When she finally does appear she doesn't say much but you are ready to treat her with the disgust she deserves. I love that character.

I have been asked who I fashioned the character of Christine on. The answer is no one. She is a pure invention of mine. I don't know any 10 year old girls. Unlike Mother Magda who gradually came to life in my thoughts, Christine showed up magically, right away with no invitation and quickly won my heart.

That is the way it is with writing, art and any worthwhile endeavor. The idea must live in one's heart until it becomes beloved before the words and deeds that truly articulate it can be found.

Dana Bate
The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

Only 7 responses so far.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I love the fact that you can create characters, that is a situation that I cannot readily duplicate.