While writing for my most favorite writing assignment for TV: Utaran..
(No double “t” at least when one has a choice!! )
I face this question quite often. How is Ichchha going to behave? What will be Damini’s reaction to a given situation? As a dialogue writer, the situation is provided by the screenplay writer. And then one faces the task of giving words to the characters. I am learning it through this professional assignment.
When I was involved in writing the promos with the colors OAP team (Monica Nair, Shyamkant Dhaorkar and Ashish Mathur), I had a wish that I should get a chance to write dialogues too. Subconscious had a strong desire and the color programming team gave me this fabulous opportunity.
Back to my question:
Who decides what the characters would do and say?
My answer is the characters decide it. How successfully one does is for others to judge, especially the audience. But as Chekhov once wrote to his friend and contemporary writer, M. Gorky…
Write, write write! It is necessary. Even should the play fail, don't let that discourage you.
One keeps on writing dialogues.
4 episodes a week!!
And I am lucky I am not working with a team where each writer writers a separate track. It might be feasible for those who have command on their technique. I don’t have it. I am learning it.
Each time there is an emotional scene between Jogi, Tapasya, Damini, Ichchha and Divya, I loose confidence. Few scene I keep on postponing for they drain me out. I will always remember a scene when Ichchha is caught and punished by Damini. I had no choice but to let Damini decide as a mother what is the best punishment. Screenplay demanded her to slap. She was unwilling to do it. She didn’t lift her hand and threw Ichchha out of the house for few hours. This is worse than slapping.
It was a long afternoon.
Scene 39/12 (For audience the episode numbers are different. )
It took me 6/7 hours just to write one scene.
But satisfaction was for ever. On top of it when someone from the creative team calls to pat you, one feels top of the world. It’s more than the pay cheque you get.
(This is one thing that writer seeks, “appreciation”, but in today’s jet set go speed of rolling software for Television, no one has time to do it.. and some times even look back at one’s work. But that is the reality of today’s world. )
Apologies for wandering away from the question….
In TV I don’t know. But in theatre I have read the process of writing shared by the playwrights.
More about it later... Today or tomorrow