In the Beginning...

It's hard to remember when I started making up stories.  I was an only child and expected to keep myself entertained when not dragged to adult meetings my parents attended.  I obviously had the opportunity to work on a vivid imagination, helped along by plenty of books and possibly that imaginary friend my mother told me I once had.  I had no idea at the time she told me what she was talking about, and I still don't.  Nor do I know at what age I was at the time this "friend" appeared.  Me?!  An imaginary friend?!

You can read my bio on my website, but a short version is that I wrote plays when I was old enough to string a few words together, and then forced the neighborhood kids or my cousins on holidays to perform them, quickly leading to them getting tired of me bossing them around.  I wrote a couple of War and Peace length novels after high school graduation, and hope they found a home in the trash somewhere.  Yes, they were bad, but I had a blast writing them.  I never considered being a writer, at least not that I remember.  It was just something fun to do.

By sophomore year in high school, my passion was the stage.  After being given the lead in the annual Style Show--a semi-play within a stage show of girls showing off the clothing made in Home Ec--I sadly missed winning the part of Zaneeta Shinn, the mayor's daughter in The Music Man, and instead played in the pit band.  That wasn't such a bad thing, since I could sneak out often to go neck with my boyfriend. ;)  Junior year proved more successful drama-wise (boyfriend-wise was a mixed bag), when I was given the role of Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, thanks to the fact that I was the only female who could do a decent cockney accent. The following spring, I was Vinnie, the mother, in Life with Father and was to play Annie Oakley (my childhood hero) in Annie Get Your Gun the next year, but our drama teacher had a nervous breakdown, and it was called off.  (I told those boys to stop trying to sabotage the production!)

But what does all that play-acting have to do with writing?  I've come to the conclusion that I'm more comfortable being someone I'm not than being who I am.  When acting in a role, I become the character.  When writing, I become ALL the characters!  I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't some kind of serious mental disorder.  But I suspect that no one cares, as long as I remain harmless to others.  As for writing romance, is it possible that it stems from sneaking out of pit band and rehearsals?  Hmmm....

12 comments:

Joan Vincent said...

Rox, in a way we are writing a play when we write our books. Don't you "see" and "hear" your characters? So acting is a part of writing. As a writer I am a different person--freer, less confined. I don't know if I've ever become one of my characters by my characters definitely take over my writing at times.

Roxann Delaney said...

I only see and hear in the beginning, then I'm in the heads of the characters, feeling, thinking, moving, speaking. Well, on a good day, at least, when the fingers are flying and I move into "The Zone." Other times I'm fighting to get in their heads and arguing with them. They often win.

Starla Kaye said...

Thanks for sharing your writing "roots" with us. I always enjoy learning more about my fellow WARA members.

Like Joan said, when I'm writing, I feel much freer. I can be anyone, anywhere, and create the perfect man for "me" (or my heroine) in any situation. I love writing romance...so many men, so many ways to maneuver them just the way I want them. Ah, the power!

Reese Mobley said...

Rox, I also see my books play out as movies, but I'm no actress. You are a talented person!

Melissa Robbins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Robbins said...

I never would have guessed you were an actor. My sisters were the actors, not me, at least not in public.

I like to act out scenes in the comfort of my own house. My kids find this amusing. Sometimes my oldest kid asks, "Who are you talking to, Mom?"

Nina Sipes said...

Rox,
I think acting is easier than being yourself, they give you the lines. No uncertainty on how things are going to play out.

Nina Sipes said...

Rox,
I think acting is easier than being yourself, they give you the lines. No uncertainty on how things are going to play out.

Roxann Delaney said...

Melissa, I helped form a community theatre group in a small town after my kids were old enough to drag them along. Well, the 3 oldest, anyway. The theater lasted for 3 years. Not only did I get to act, but I finally got to try my hand at directing. What fun to boss everybody around! LOL

Roxann Delaney said...

Oh, and I constantly talk to myself. I have conversations with myself. My family is now used to it and some have even picked up the habit a little bit, too.

Roxann Delaney said...

Nina, acting is easier than being yourself, and I think we actually take on different "personnas" with other people. It's all a part of the many facets of our personality. Acting is a good way to overcome shyness. :)

Penny Rader said...

I didn't know you liked to act, Rox. How cool is that!

I have a phobia about talking in front of people. (Oh hush - it's true! Till I get to know you, then I babble on and on and ....)

When I was in my high school clothing class they told us we had to model our creations in an upcoming fashion show...so I made outfits for my baby sis and my skinnier-than-me cousin. ;D