Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Secret to Great Writing or Performing

As often, as possible, surprise the reader or listener with something different that's at least as good as the expected. Examples:

In writing dialogue, have the protagonists say the non-obvious. Of course, the dialogue must be credible and true to the character's personality.

In writing music, look for opportunities to use a non-obvious chord or next melody note, as long as it doesn't destroy the piece's ethos--don't be different just to be different.

In performing dialogue or music, look for non-standard ways to say a word or play the phrase. The classic example of this is when a furious actor whispers, or a performer allows an unexpectedly long breath between sentences.

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