|'The Work of Angels', rough draft|
I'm interested in process, the process of creating new work. I had a conversation recently on the many different ways of doing this, with a young man studying theatre directing in Adelaide South Australia. He talked about wanting a platform for experimental theatre directors in Adelaide, a platform where unconventional theatre directing is public, and supported as process, of being something positive outside of the mainstream - maybe the equivalent in writing is e-zines? I agreed, there needs to opportunities for experimenting in directing. There seems to be a healthy platform for this in SA for visual arts. I was recently at The Tooth and Nail Gallery, at an exhibition of 3 young visual artists. They stated in the program - this was 'Experimenatl Photography of The Sky' . Maybe the same kind of advertising needs to be made for theatre - 'Experimental Directing of XYZ'?
Let young directors be bold and support them in their experimentation. Let them break rules! Surely this is essential for nurturing excellence. And there's no reason why Adelaide can't be a place for nurturing world class, excellent theatre directors. It's the perfect place really. There are Thinkers in Residence. There's space to breathe and move and contemplate. The hills are purple. There's an island named after Kangaroos. That's extremely unusual.
Our conversation continued - "Why can't there be more transparency, by example, of what happens in the creative process?" he asked. "In writing for example. I'd love to see how a story is constructed, from the very beginning through all it's drafts, right to the end."
It's a good question. Are writers blogging this? Am I? A history of those very first notes (Tim Winton calls it 'swill draft') through all the drafts of constructing a story, to final draft? Are there writers brave enough to show all of that? Am I?
I like to have a framework for a story until I show it to anyone else. And even then, I'm still reluctant to show it to anyone whose opinion I don't trust, who (I suspect) doesn't understand the messiness of creation, how bad it can all be at the beginning (and it can be SOOO bad). It feels like a delicate, murky phase, the beginning creation, and the less public exposure, the better. God, surely, would have wanted some solitude in the very beginning of 'let there be light'. S/He woudn't have wanted anyone to see her fuck-ups. And there's bound to be some. There's a certain vanity to God, after all.
Perhaps a recording of this process is all that's required, then? Maybe when a final draft is done and dusted, I'd be ready to expose the warts and all of early drafts. Even then, my stories begin all over the place - not just in a single neat journal - so it would be a task in itself to trace all the thoughts and notes, scraps and images (the longer the work, the longer the visual diary) - to put it all in a neat little traceable place. And would that also take some of the mystery out of discovering this stuff for yourself - you, creator, writer, herr direktor?
The photo you see is a small segment of swill draft of a short story. I typed it up as a first draft (yesterday) and gave it a working title, 'The Work of Angels'. And I have to say, I feel vulnerable. Not that I'm God or anything (?) I'm just not sure I want to expose any more of this story in a public forum, at this stage.
Happy fringe and Adelaide Writers Week!