Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for September 1st, 2018

How not to get out of a room

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In a scene where the character says, “I have difficulty getting out of the room,” I try to offer several reasons why, not just one. I baffle the impulse to leave the room: first, by tying the character’s foot to a table; then by putting a wall between him and the door; and finally by blinding him so he cannot see his way out of the room. This strategy overloads the context. It focuses attention on the impulse to leave the room, blocking the spectator’s normal tendency to think: I know how he can leave the room—he can walk through the door. If the spectator is offered a clear solution to imagine (exit through the door), his focus will be on the mundane object (“Will he get through the door?”) rather than on what is happening to the character’s body and soul, or on how the character’s life is changed when it is filled with the impulse, “I want to leave the room.”

Richard Foreman, Unbalancing Acts

Written by nevalalee

September 1, 2018 at 7:30 am

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