Saturday, July 12, 2014

Writing Lessons from Shakespeare: Players

It's going to a 100 F today. I want to go to the pool. This month I wandering with the Bard. Why? I've been trekking off and on to Shakespeare at Winedale for over 30 years and thought I might do some wandering here, over my back fence.

The Bard taught me one of the big writing lessons: all characters must count. This lesson leaps off the pages of his plays. I'm going to chat about that today.

Shakespeare knew how to cast a play: Foolish suitors, faithful servants, long-lost relatives, evil noblemen, wicked kings, betrayed best friends, quarreling pals, drunk dignitaries, saucy spinsters, war weary soldiers, fresh young things, demanding queens, trying tricksters, etc. He mixed dynamic characters, stereotypes, and foils to create a potent mix. I love to write stories with complex casts and using every member to great effect. I love that Shakespeare will give a great line to any one of his characters.

And now for some play. Shh, the Bard and I are backstage and he's sharing his secrets. Here is a little of that conversation.

The Bard whispers in my ear, "Every character counts. Use that."

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts

I whisper back, "OK."

He whispers in my ear, "Everyone does stupid things. Leverage that."

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

I whisper back, "OK."

He whispers in my ear. "Rattle your characters until they roll."

He would drown the stage with tears,
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty, and appall the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears.

I whisper back, "OK."

You might consider going backstage with the Bard and seeing what he tells you. I will be back next week with another lesson from Shakespeare. 

Oh, yeah, the doodle! "Backyard Tree."

A quote for your pocket too! 
Soule of the Age!
The applause! delight! The wonder of our stage!

Ben Jonson
Now PLUMB CRAZY news: I have a guest blog at the Dragon Blog about my fan fiction roots. Check it out.

PLUMB CRAZY will be out as paperback soon. I ask you to support my work -- buy a copy, share the news, request the book at your library, ask me to blog for you. I'm open. Thank you.

To buy the ebook: Here for a copy from Amazon US. Here is Amazon UK. Here is Amazon Australia. Here is Amazon Canada. Try here for a copy for your B&N Nook .

Also consider participating in my upcoming book tour. Here is the link.

Posted by MollyMom103 at 4:38 PM

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