On Storytelling, the Process of Writing, Ice Fishing...
Requiem for Laurens van der Post
The following extract is from a statement made by a Bushman convict in
the 1870s; it was quoted in the introduction to "A Story Like the Wind"
by Laurens van der Post:
"Thou knowest that I sit waiting for the moon to turn black,
that I may listen to all people's stories... For I am here, in a
great city-- I do not obtain stories, I do merely listen, watching
for a story which I want to hear, that it may float into my ear...
And I found the following entry about the process of writing in the book "A Voice of Her Own: Women and the Journal Writing Journey" by Marlene A Schiwy:
"The process is after all like music,
-- from Kathe Kollwitz by Muriel Rukeyser
Before concluding these remarks, I must
mention one of the amusements of the place which has particularly
struck me. I had repeatedly observed a long lean fellow perched on
the top of one of the towers, manoeuvering two or three fishing-rods,
as though angling for the stars. I was for some time perplexed by the
evolutions of this aerial fisherman, and my perplexity increased on
observing others employed in like manner on different parts of the
battlements and bastions; it was not until I consulted Mateo Ximenes,
that I solved the mystery.
I have been thinking that writing is very much like fishing... perhaps it resembles ice fishing most... putting a journal out on the internet is most certainly a kind of fishing for readers...
"A play should take its protagonist through a series of experiences which lead to a climactic moment toward the end when he learns something, discovers something about himself that he could have known all along but has been blind to. This discovery comes as such an emotionally shattering blow (and that's the key word, emotionally) that it changes the entire course of his life-- and that change must be for the better. If he's changed for the worse, the audience will reject the play, as they do Troilus and Cressida, and all other failures. The audience must feel and see the leading man or woman become wiser, and the discovery must happen onstage in front of their eyes. And that doesn't mean a happy ending. If the hero is to die, then he must make the discovery before he dies. Of course, the classic example is Oedipus. But it's true of Hamlet and Macbeth and down the line even to Jeeter Lester in Tobacco Road and De Lawd in Green Pastures. You'll find it in every successful play. For when the protagonist has this revelation, one which raises his moral stature, the audience can grow vicariously along with him. Thus people leave the theatre feeling better, healthier-minded than when they arrived. It's an exciting experience. And that excitement makes plays live."
I've used this Golden Rule, to some extent, on every play and film I've done. It has strengthened the strong ones and quite often saved the weak ones from disaster. George Axelrod, who did the fine screenplay when I directed Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop, still calls it Logan's Law.
From Josh, My Up & Down, In & Out Life By Joshua Logan
The Madwoman's Journal Index of Entries.
Meditation 1: Ties, Men...
Meditation 3: Love, et al...