May. 4th, 2016

ljlee: (dance_muzi)
[personal profile] ljlee
A lot of us spend time working on the practice and theory of fiction-writing. But are there skills that don't have to do directly with fiction writing that are nontheless helpful? I've heard of art being useful to writers, for instance, and a musician I know is guided by her musical skills and inspirations when writing. I know another writer who's also an actor, and have heard anecdotally of actors making good writers. Andrew Robinson, who played Garak in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, wrote the novel A Stitch in Time about his character's background that I found wonderfully moving and evocative, not to mention great world-building of Cardassia. I can see a direct connection there between the two skillsets since acting is about expressing characters, like much of writing is.

While I am not an actor, I found my experience playing and running roleplaying games highly useful for understanding characters and keeping track of storylines in my writing projects. Roleplaying has also given me a perspective of stories not as something that comes from me but from the characters' own motivations and interests. When it comes down to it I have to inhabit these characters and play them, an ethos that I apply to writing as well.

Are there non-writing skills or experiences that you find useful for writing? Have you observed others using different skillsets when writing?

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