It occurred to me the other day that script editing, and indeed script reading is like peeking into someone’s bedside table drawer. Why? Because more may revealed about the writer than they might have planned.
When I read someone’s work, I often spot either their small interests or bigger personality traits. For example, I recently read ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ by Elizabeth Haynes. This book is a highly recommended page turning experience. But as I read, as often happens, my inner script editor took over. I analysed as I read. My conclusion about Elizabeth Haynes, who I should point out, I don’t know from a bar of soap, is that she likes to drink tea. A lot.
There were repeated lip-smacking references to a brew. And key scenes were punctuated with mentions of the way her protagonist likes her tea as well as descriptions of tea’s refreshing nature. Thus I would hazard a guess that it’s not just Ms Haynes’ central character who likes a cuppa. I wonder if I’m right.
A while ago, I worked with a writer who wrote some of the most brilliant action sequences I’ve ever read. However, when it came to the big emotional confrontational scene, the writer skimped it. Even worse, at the poignant end of scene moment, where the reader should be in tears, there was a gag.
When the writer and I met, I delved deeper: ‘I bet you twenty quid,’ I said. ‘That when you have a fight with your partner, you either avoid the moment or try to make a joke.’
When the writer agreed that this was exactly what happened in the relationship, I felt like Sherlock Holmes
It’s oft said – or at least I oft say it – that writers need to be prepared to take off their clothes in public. In other words, prepared to expose their fears and frailties. And indeed, explore their darkest corners.
But whether they want to or not, the act of writing is exposure and that’s why the reader engages.
Do other people ever spot those tell-tale writer passions?