NEW WRITING: A PONDERING OF PRESENT

新 寫 作: 一種對當下的琢磨


PI: Do you have any suggestions for the beginners in new writing? Do you have any suggestions about training, courses or books?

RD: Yes. The one thing I try to encourage the writers, is before they come to present the idea to us, make sure you live with that idea. As storytellers, sometimes we can get lost in the technique of writing; you go to courses, workshops, get MA, MFA degrees, and all you concentrate on is the dialogue, character, details, structure… The thing that I suggest is to sit down with your idea, go out to the world, listen to what’s people taking about, talk to your family and friends and interrogate what for you is that urgent story. And once you got that, you will then find the way of transiting that to your audience. So, think about the question you at the central of your play and how is everything else feed into that question.

Watch international cinema, visit art galleries, go to a walk to a part of city you’ve never been to, go to a bar on your own, take a plane journey somewhere on your own. Do experience the world and document all of that, write it down and then work out how you are going to tell the story.

Look outside the theatre, otherwise it will be a conversation between theatre makers. We need theatre makers committed
to outside contemporary world. Theatre in this country used to be quite literally the place for social debates. You would go to a theatre to understand much more what’ s happening around you and around the world. We are a country where theatre historically has made a lot more than having a nice night out.

Read a lot of works. Go to see good plays and bad plays. Become an expert in theatre history, understand why Shakespeare
is brilliant; don’t just read the Bible or Conrad, but go read interculturally, works in translations from China, Japan, Australia etc. Not only engage with western or English literature, also understand how Twitter works, and all these of things that we are living through help you create interesting and dynamic stories.

About getting responses. I once worked in Geneva for an international writing conference. There was a novelist who
said that you need two types of critiques: the first is somebody you knows quite well, normally a friend or a parent. Give them everything you write and ask for their feedback; all they’ll tell you is that you are great, your writing is amazing; that will keep on writing. Second type of critique should be someone who
has no emotional connection to you whatsoever, who can say anything to you without upsetting you, and that feedback could be important for you to develop your work. These two types of critique are important for a writer.

PI: 能否給那些沒有足夠的勇氣或不知如何開始的新手們一些建議? 有 沒有推薦的課程、相關的培訓或者書籍?

RD: 當然,參加工作坊、接受相關學位課程,固然能獲得角色、細節、結 構等技巧方面的培訓。但我的建議是首先,坐下來思考,理清你的想法, 因為最關鍵的,是你的問題,那個處於整個作品核心位置、整天讓你起床 睡覺都為之神魂顛倒的想法。戲劇中心的疑問是什麽?我不希望聽到一 個模糊搖擺的答案。所以盡管參與課程很重要,但我的建議更重要的是 感受世界,去城市裡未曾到達的地方散步,看展覽,獨自去酒吧,乘飛機 去某個角落,將這一切記錄下來,然後思索如何架構和講述自己的故事。 在英國歷史上,戲劇遠不至於一個打發夜晚時光的愉快方法,人們去劇 院也是為了更好地理解周遭和理解世界。

然後是廣泛的涉獵。閱讀好的和不好的作品,理解莎士比亞的偉大之處;了 解 本 土 的 、國 際 的 、不 局 限 於 西 方 作 品 。自 己 去 發 現 ,例 如 推 特( T w i t t e r ) 是如何運行的,故事有多豐富。努力成為各個方面的專家:戲劇史,社會 史,經濟體制,社會辯論…

其次,到外面去,和更多的人探討自己的想法。接受更多地回饋。我在日 內瓦的時候曾經聽到這樣一種關於劇作家如何接受反饋的建議:劇作家 應該和兩類人探討自己的作品,第一類是熟知你的人,第二類是陌生的 人 。前 者 ,如 家 人 朋 友 會 告 訴 你 有 多 棒 ,鼓 勵 你 繼 續 下 去 ,而 後 者 ,會 給 你 更中肯的建議,讓你變得更好。

之所以要向外看,是因為歸根結底,舞臺就是關於你周邊發生的事。這也 是我們熱愛戲劇的理由,它為你打開一個新的世界。所以,新作家們,大 膽地思考吧。


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