I started a class tonight. Acting II. I took Acting I last year, and finally I'm back for more. Acting II is all about emotion. It's about tapping into, or conjuring, internal feelings and manifesting them through action. Notice I didn't say speech. Some people make the mistake of thinking acting is about delivering a line. It's not. It's about behavior.
And that's exactly why I'm taking this class. I want to refine the behaviors of the characters I create by tapping into the emotions that drive them.
In fiction circles, we talk a lot about GMC--Goal - Motivation - Conflict. In glass tonight, the instructor talked a lot about Objective and Obstacle(s). This scene-by-scene approach frames character study so that, even though I may know that my character's goal is to buy the hero's ranch, her objective in the current scene is to get him to notice her as a woman and not view her as just another ranch hand.
This,, of course is done through her actions. But it's the emotions that ensure we as writers chose the correct actions in the first place. Emotion is what enables us portray the actions in a way that makes a visceral connection with the reader . . . or not.
Have you ever read a scene in a book and thought, "No woman in her right mind would do that!" Frustrating, huh? Maybe the writer didn't have an accurate picture of the emotions coursing through the character at that time.
The assignment for the 20 of us that showed up tonight was to take 3 extreme emotions (as in: not anger but rage) and write down 5 ways our bodies react to that emotion when we feel it. In other words, 5 physical characteristics we display in that state. I'm thinking of selecting:
I'll keep you posted.