Method Dabbling

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Method acting comes under the spotlight in my cupboard at The Dabbler this week, and I thought it would be interesting to write the piece using the technique of Method writing. The idea is to induce in oneself a state of mind where the only “writing” which exists is the tracks of birds in snow – marks that are at once meaningless yet numinous. In this state, “literature” has yet to come into being. Prose has to be invented anew. It is as if one were Jeanette Winterson!

To get the hang of the momentous task before you, it is a good idea to make a copy of the bird-tracks in the snow, for they are fugitive, and when the snow melts, they will vanish forever. Go to a stationery shop or a post office, and buy a pen and paper. When choosing a pen, say of the ballpoint variety, make sure the tip is about the size of the primitive ganglia which constitute the brain of a lobster.

Out in the field, learn how to make marks, with the pen upon the paper, which match precisely the patterns made by the tracks of birds in the snow. This is the beginning of writing! Back at home, sat at an escritoire, continue making such marks, but rather than mere copying allow yourself free rein. Sooner or later, you will discover that the marks you are making will, as if by a miracle, form literate prose!

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