Confession: I’ve had unshakable Blogger’s Block for about a week, and I considered offering up my spot to a guest more than once. None of the topics I came up with felt quite right.
How much I dislike pre-release PR activities? (Very true. Not very empowering.)
How I’m rediscovering Goodreads? (Meh.)
The importance of rich backstory? (Don tackled that well, and recently.)
How about why WordPress doesn’t recognize “backstory” as an actual word? No? Okay, then.
I was saved yesterday by a New York Times article about the film Saving Mr. Banks, featuring an interview with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. In case you need a primer, Saving Mr. Banks is the story of how Mary Poppins made it to the big screen. Not easily. Because the author of the story, P. L. Travers, wasn’t keen to see her book turned into a Disney flick.
The interview is interesting and filled with gems that writers should appreciate.
- On listening to tapes of Travers trying to collaborate with Disney’s composers: “You can hear the distress, the tension and the resistance, just the purposeful sabotage in her voice.”
- On Travers’ appearance: “She had curly hair, which she cut into a bubble bob, which she wore for most of her life. It kind of suited her…There’s something tightly coiled about her and tightly coiled about her hair.”
- On how Emma Thompson tapped into Travers’ character: “She was a tough nut to crack. When I’m creating a character, I sort of do a brass rubbing, sort of put some tracing paper over the character and rub it and then think, ‘Which bits?'”
But it was this part of the interview, referencing Travers’ youth with her alcoholic father and Thompson’s experience with her own father, who was a writer, that got to me. Said Thompson: