The interpretation of words

I know I’ve been holding out on ya’ll, and some of you have noticed, but now I have officially been given the go ahead to talk about the super top secret project I’ve been involved in. Admittedly, I’m only allowed to talk in the vaguest of terms at the moment, but more to come soon, I promise.

For the last few months I have been involved in the creation of a local production, which has been amazing fun. It’s been many years since I have had any experience in film or television, and the chance to work on something from the start was too good to pass up. Admittedly, the stress has not been good for me, and the self doubt hit me like a truck a couple of months ago and I seriously considered pulling out. But I’m glad I didn’t because the learning experience has been immense.

But what I really wanted to talk to you about today is how words are interpreted by other people.

It’s been a very strange experience hearing my words spoken by strangers, and listening to how they bring them to life. At times it’s been amazing and all sorts of wonderful, and at other times it’s been frustrating and upsetting.

Why?

Well, it’s all about how someone says things. The words and phrases they put emphasis on, the tones they use, the actions that accompany the words. Sometimes those words don’t come across the same way as they had in my head, or the way I had intended them. And sometimes this is good, but sometimes it;s not.

It really made me realise that we, as writers, don’t always have control over how someone interprets our work. What was quite frustrating and strange was standing to one side and not being able to step in and say ‘no, that’s supposed to be said like….’ because it wasn’t my place. I got to see in action how we have to let our work go and trust other people to see the things in it that we want them to. It really made me realise that we have no control over those things.

As a learning experience it was humbling and sometimes dealt a huge blow to my ego when something I had slaved over was casually reworked on the fly. I’ve learned to let things go a little more, and not to take editing and changes so personally. I’ve also learned that hanging around to watch the read throughs is going to require me to put on my big girl pants and leave my inner snowflake at home.

Still, how hard can it be?

Til next time,

Love, etc

C

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