Having our script writing classes with Duncan Sarkies this week has been a really great experience. I’ve enjoyed the way we’ve been able to write down our ideas for stories and characters, real or made up, with just about no restrictions. There have been some exercises that have pushed me out of my comfort zone, such as “expand and advance” where a character name and location were the only things we had to begin a story with and our partner would tell us when to expand on an object and when to advance the story. That particular exercise pushed me out of my comfort zone because I like to take my time to describe things and really think out where my story is going. Duncan explained that the point of the expand and advance exercise was to create a world and to think about the things that drew us in and caught our attention.
My favourite thing Duncan has had us do so far has been to think of a photograph that means a lot to us and write about it describing in detail what is in the photo and why it means what it means. I wrote about a photo of my Grandpa that I particularly like. Here’s a little of it:
An old man, a grandfather, stands tall and proud, dressed in his thick, well worn swandri. His legs are covered with the dark green of his favourite overalls, his trusty redband gumboots wrapped around his calves and feet. He stands on a cracked concrete footpath, shepherding stick in hand, a smile set on his face that says his life is fulfilled.
I really enjoyed this exercise because it made me think really hard about the details of the picture and immerse myself in that world. There were a couple of details that I wrote about that I’m pretty sure aren’t actually in the photo, but I don’t think that matters too much. What I think matters is that they were details that I related to the picture and are some of the things that make the person, the place and the memories important to me. Those sort of emotional connections to ideas and stories make them worth telling I think.