Thursday, August 27, 2009

Problem II: Inspiration/Dramaturgy

I was just thinking about something 99Seats said the other day:

Where is the sense of our work as art, as something to discuss, to consider, something that's created with forethought and precision and consciousness?

The discussion was in the context of playwrights' writing from their "subconscious", and the dangerous view that

we, the artist, are just the vessel it passes through, the "voices speak to us and we just write down what they say."
I agree strongly with his criticism, although with the caveat that some people should write that way in the first draft. The first time I sit down to a play, it starts as a gut-instinct conversation between ideas in my mind, or an image that I imagine that sweeps me up in the moment and I try to transcribe it. If I don't have that, and try to simply write down an idea I had, I very rarely will get beyond the first page, because, well, even I won't give a shit.

On the other hand, at a certain point, that inspiration will only get you so far. That's when you tap your cerebrum on the shoulder and go "Hey dude, what needs to happen next?" And then the cerebrum builds a structure for more inspiration to fit into, so that the next time you get inspired you can fit those inspirations together into something that means something.

Anyways, so with that discussion in mind, the sentence also caught me off guard because I remembered that the thing I love most is the art of it, and in-and-among my own art policy, I need to actually think more about the art--the aesthetic of it. Maybe that's why I haven't written much creative over the last few months, I've been thinking in blocks of rational prose.

On the other hand, my output of rational prose has dropped off lately, and my creative work is picking back up. So I'm going to ride that wave and get back to thinking about aesthetics, structure, and everything I love.

Thanks, 99Seats!

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