Five Things Authors Can Learn From Drama Classes

A Writer's Path

by Lissa Oliver

We’ve all read those wordy introductions to a character, the type that run “ever since she’d suffered the two miscarriages and had failed to conceive since…” or one of the characters conveniently filling in the reader on a back story, “how long is it now since your wife died? Four years? I still can’t believe how that taxi driver fell asleep at the wheel…”

Yes, well, we still can’t believe how a couple of friends would sit and chat like that, but it doesn’t stop it happening in book after book. Or film after film, for that matter. Screenwriters seem to be among the worst culprits when it comes to squeezing in as many facts as they feel we need to know, in the shortest possible time. They’re working to a 90-minute time constraint, but as novelists we have no such restriction and should know better.

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