What Can Theatre Do For You?

A Guest Post
by Benjamin Steele

Some time ago I was approached by my mum, Carolyn Steele, who wanted my opinion for a blog post. She said it was about characters, what makes them flat or page-leapy, and how we feel about our creations. She had to stop me when I started to ramble about Stanislavski, and we decided there might be a post in how an actor’s method could benefit the fiction writer. I would like to share with you how my experience as an actor and playwright helps my development of prose characters.

So you’ve got a character that comes off a little flat, a little boring—he’s just zis guy you know? I’ve heard all sorts of tips for giving characters a little more life: the most common being physical or personality quirks, and rich backgrounds that shape their development. While these are undoubtedly useful tools for both the writer and the actor, I consider them to be traps. These should be supplementary tools, second to the arguably most important influence on a character’s action: Dreams of the future. Continue reading “What Can Theatre Do For You?”