If you’ve seen the movie Marathon Man, then you’re familiar with the scene where mad-doctor-Nazi-on-the-run Laurence Olivier is torturing innocent-grad-student-sucked-into-a-conspiracy Dustin Hoffman. I guess Hoffman is one of those method actor types – and I’m sure, being a young pup at the time, he wanted to impress Sir Laurence. So, at least according to this story I read, the night before they shot that scene, he stayed up all night and did all sorts of things to make himself feel uncomfortable and miserable. When he showed up on the set the next day, Olivier looks at him and says, “You look horrible, ” and Hoffman explains what he’d been up to the night before, and then he asks Olivier what he did to prep for a scene, and Olivier responded “I pretend, old boy. That’s why they call it acting.”
Well, the last couple of days, I guess you could say I’ve been practicing method writing. See, it’s really hectic right now. Day job is bogarting my ass, and there’s some family shit going on, and it’s all leaving very little time for the novel. So I’m snatching fifteen minutes here, half an hour there, trying to keep the ball moving. But when I’d try to get into a longer scene, it wasn’t working. Just when I’d start getting into the groove, I’d have to quit. And some of the scenes that would normally be next on my agenda, they’re more thoughtful. They aren’t shot-‘em-ups. And they didn’t fit my mood, because my mood right now is pretty much pedal to the metal. So what I’ve done instead is jumped ahead to some action scenes that I know I have to write eventually – frantic, helter-skelter stuff, which exactly fits my mood. And that’s worked out pretty well.
So, what say ye? Method writing? Does it help if your mood is lined up with what your doing? Or am I just coming up with excuses for a blog post?