Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Personal

It's difficult to bare your soul in writing or speech to a readership or audience, but I have come to realize that it's essential. In my detective novel, I give speech to the characters and, in order to do that, I have to draw on my own experiences of how people speak, how they interact, how they ask questions, how they give answers. I have to think: how would I go about those things? How would I face situations my characters are confronted with? How I would feel if what happened to them, happened to me? Bits of my personal experience cannot help but come to the fore.

In the novel, what happens may be based on what I might do, or think I might do, in some situations, but there is a distance between me and the characters. In comedy, it's different. You have to be yourself and there is no barrier. Write satire and it shows what you think - if you're having a go at the tabloid press (and who wouldn't want to?) by writing a piece as a tabloid journalist, your intense dislike of that journalist and everything they stand for will be laid out, clear for all to see. Get up on stage to do stand-up and it's all you. That's what people have come to see. You and what you want to talk about. What concerns you. What worries you. If you don't show any personality, there is a problem. I wasn't confident enough as a stand-up, almost a decade ago, to give all of myself to the audience, so I struggled to win them over.

As time goes on, it gets easier. I have just written a rant about something that could affect me and many other people I know, not to mention many other people across the country, if some government plans are implemented. I disagree strongly with these plans, which isn't surprising, since my politics are the polar opposite of the current government's. So I decided to write something about it, which I may post on here. I started the rant by stating what is planned and why it demonstrates, as I see it, an injustice. I then went on to set out how I think it happened and how I would rectify the problem, my way. As pieces of satire go, it's not exactly a snappy tabloidesque piece, although, weighing in at under 1000 words, it could hardly be termed a tome.

It was quite an enjoyable experience. Rather cathartic, in fact. I would urge anyone to have a go at having a go.

Have a lovely weekend!

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