Writing Light Episode Six: Write Like An Actor

Every weekend from February through April, 2011, I sit down in front of a camera and talk about my previous week’s progress writing my second novel “Light of the Outsider.” This week, I explore the similarities between writing and acting, and propose that to do either thing well you must be willing to dig deeply into your own (often challenging) life experiences.

What do you think? Do you care if your characters’ emotional lives are as complicated and rich as your own undoubtedly is, and do you pull on your own life experience to achieve that complexity in you writing? Please leave your feedback in the comments.


  1. Hey, Matt! Glad you’re feeling better, it’s going around – I’ve been sick all week. I got it from my kids :) I think this episode was great because you explained how involved you get with your characters. I have to admit that I never get ideas for characters, but always events that would happen in the story. That said, I think strong beloved characters will carry a reader through your story like nothing else. My wife and I just finished watching the final season of Prison Break on Netflix. We loved the first two seasons, the third was decent, but the fourth just dragged on and on. Even though it seemed like the story was written by writers who had kind of run out of ideas, we were invested in the characters at that point, and so we still wanted to see what would happen. Thanks for your insight, and sharing the story of how writing those tough scenes affects you – I think that is pretty awesome and I’m it will make for a great book. If it impacted you while writing it, it will impact others when they read it. I can’t wait to get my eyes on it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Tootles!

    • Dan, I apologize that it’s taken me so long to reply!

      You’re another one who (if I understand correctly) considers events and characters separately, it seems. That’s fascinating to me.

      If the writers of Prison Break couldn’t continue to find engaging stories from their characters, that probably means it was time to end at season three. Even if you structure an arc around a “big bad” — event or external challenge — the real danger and challenge and conflicts should be between the characters facing the big bad. In my opinion, of course.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This

Share this post with your friends!