Carrie has talked about this in her blog before, but we decided that it’s time to talk about it in the podcast thanks to an inspiring presentation writer Sami Main made for the Writing Barn last week.
It’s about one of the basic tenents of improv comedy and how you can use that for your writing and/or your life.
Do both! Overachieve.
Anyway, it’s amazing how Patricia Ryan Madson’s Improv Maxims, apply to writing and life and love and all that sexy stuff.
Her first maxim in Improv Wisdom (New York: Belltower, 2005) is basically, “Say Yes.”
In improv, when two characters are doing a scene, both characters have to be positive, to say yes to each other’s suggestions.
If one guy stands up there and says, “Let’s go party.” And then the other guy says, “No way.” Well… the scene falls on its face and everyone goes home saying they hate improv and the improvers think they suck and everything is just BAD, BAD, BAD.
So, writing is like that too.
When our characters want to take us to new unexpected places in the plot, we just have to go with it. If we don’t, our story stagnates.
We have to be willing to say “yes,” to take risks with our characters and our plots and our language.
According to Madson, “Saying ‘yes’ is an act of courage and optimism; it allows you to share control. It is a way to make your partner happy. Yes expands your world.”
I could go on about this forever. Like, how we get in ruts. Such as, my characters always have a love interest. And it’s always a boy. How cool would it be if the love interest were a cat? Or a hamster? Or a fig tree?
Okay. I know. Banned book.
Or, how we get into habits with our writing just like we get into habits with our lives. How cool would it be to break a writing habit and make a better writing habit? To get out of the safety of routine, change our process and expand? To just say yes?
Writing Tip of the Pod
Say yes to new ideas. Don’t be in a writing rut or hold to your preconceived notions of what your story or writing life should beDog
DOG Tip for Life
Try new things. Eat food off the floor. Go for it, humans!
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
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Last week’s episode about poop, dentists, surgery, flavored alcohol and Jung.
This week’s episode about generalizations and what men want.
Last week’s bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart!