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Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 29, 2017 - 11:48am

So I'm listening to this explanation of the Hindu (and subsequent Eastern religions) way of thought as to what God is. He compares it first to a dream that you could control, and how at first it'd be blissful and wonderful dreams, but then when you got bored of that you might have a little adventure... and eventually to make it a real thrill, you'd let yourself forget it was a dream while dreaming. But all along, those characters in the dream (i.e. us) were all just a part of the same thing: God. He goes on to talk about how an actor in a play might truly lose himself in the role, and thus forget who he is. (As might the audience.) And of course, this is what we humans do, forgetting that we are, in fact, God, or a part of God, or whatever, etc. (But backstage, in the green room, where the audience doesn't see, things are different.) It reminded me of method acting. And, it might be noted, this is when truly exception acting can occur. (Daniel Day Lewis is a method actor.)

So then I thought this dreaming/play-acting analogy was parallel to authorship. And it occurred to me that when you're writing something truly good, and truly immersive, you lose yourself in that world you're creating. Not unlike reading a great book, or watching a great movie, when we're so immersed we lose that sense of self and exist in the movie, in our own minds. And do we not always call ourselves gods of our own world when writing? 

A lot of thoughts come from this. For example, I've always thought that when people have trouble writing dialogue, it's because they don't really know their characters. They're more objects than people to the author at that point. Maybe, then, the goal ought to be being your characters in the moment of writing them. 

Anyway, have a listen if you're intrigued, I found this fascinating.