Quick acting lesson: “Method” actors draw on personal experiences to create a lifelike portrayal of emotion.
I get that.
I’m sure we’ve all poured our emotions into our WIPs. We know what it feels like to be sad, angry, ecstatic, and we use those memories to describe how our characters feel. Some people are really, really good at it.
My books have a lot of action sequences, and lucky for me I get to experience them first hand. I’ll say to my husband, “Pretend you’re attacking me from behind.” Then we act out the scene and I go back and write it down. It works beautifully (and it’s the only time he participates in my writing).
But I realized last night (through first hand experience) that I describe blood incorrectly. I’ve always thought of it as sticky and viscous — closer to syrup than to water. Yeah…fresh blood is really drippy. More like kid’s apple juice. It’s not even as thick as fruity V8.
And it doesn’t “plink” on hard wood floors, granite counter tops, or dishwashers doors. It may plink against tile, but I didn’t make it that far when I sliced my finger while emptying the dishwasher.
Oh yeah…and really deep cuts don’t hurt immediately. There’s a sort of a mental delay. It took my body a few seconds of me actually looking at the wound to feel the pain.
While I plan to store these memories for later use, I’ve made a pretty definite decision. I’m only going to use “method” writing for emotions. There’s only so much suffering I’m willing to do for my art.