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wFriday, April 09, 2004



OPS Ophelia 22

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OPS Ophelia
Pang and Rohaizad, eating at a warung near DBP


I read a couple of chapters from my novel Potret. I wanted to cry. I didn't know that I had written all that I've read just now.

I think, I have to learn to listen to my readers. Sometimes I get so pissed off with my readers when they say they like reading Nafas when I hated that novel so much. I hate it when they ask me if the novel was based on my own personal experiences. The answer is no. I have to tell them time and time again that If I were to write a true story about myself, it'll be a story of a lonely boy living in a flat in Toa Payoh with his grandma. A grandma that he had detested so much but love with all his heart.

My grandma was a Nyonya. She spoke with a Peranakan accent that I undertood but I never use it in my own speech patterns. Come to think of it, Baba (my dad) speaks with a Kedahan accent, but I never use the same accent to speak to him. I use Singlish to talk to Bro. Malay to my two sis and Mom.

I don't understand why I feel more comfortable speaking in English to people around me, but I am compelled to use Malay when I communicate with my significant other. We only speak English when we are angry to each other.

I guess, that's why I write my novels in Malay. When I write my novels, I write as if I am writing a love letter to my significant other. I write with all my heart as if I want to tell him my inner thoughts through my stories. And perhaps, that is why I don't understand why some of my readers get so emotionally involved with my stories. Or why they keep on coming for more. Because I never have them in mind when I write my stories.

--

I am currently devising a new way to write my plays. I've discovered how beautiful works, which may appear to work on paper, falls flat on stage. I want more involvement from actors and directors. I want them to go deeper into the characters I've created and become them. I don't think this is new, but I am fascinated with the way I've discovered this method.

Here's an example of the sort of play I'll probably write some day.

Zaleha memandang ke arah Mansur. Dia tahu dia sudah lama tidak menyentuhnya, lebih-lebih lagi pada bulan-bulan terakhir sebelum mereka bercerai. Kini dia dapat merasakan seolah-olah dia sangat-sangat merindui Mansur. Jika boleh, Zaleha mahu menyentuhnya… Sekurang-kurangnya, memegang tangannya kembali seperti dahulu. Tetapi, perkara ini tidak mungkin dapat dilakukannya. Zaleha sedang berdiri bersama cucu mereka. Cucunya itu tiba-tiba mahu mendekati datuknya.

Mansur: (dia mendapatkan cucunya. Dia memberitahu Zaleha bagaimana cucu perempuannya itu akan membesar menjadi seorang wanita yang cantik seperti neneknya)

Zaleha: (Wajahnya berubah. Mungkin terkejut mendengar kata-kata tersebut terkeluar dari mulut Mansur. Zaleha meminta Mansur mengulangi kembali kata-katanya tadi.)

Mansur: (Mansur tersenyum, lantas berjalan beberapa tapak menjauhi Zaleha. Dia memberitahu kepada Zaleha bahawa dia ikhlas, walaupun dirinya merasa ragu-ragu. Dia kemudian menambah bahawa dia telah jatuh cinta dengannya dahulu kerana dia telah menganggap Zaleha sebagai wanita yang paling cantik yang pernah ditemuinya. Kemudian, dia mengingati Zaleha tentang detik-detik pertama mereka bertemu dahulu).


This is the kind of play that will require a lot of workshop sessions and rehearsals. I want to get the most from my actors and director. I basically want them to share their sum of experiences and stories to the audience. I want them to get deeper into their inner thoughts and I want them to become a storyteller themselves… not just a mere actor parroting a script.

Okay, enough of my own creative wanking. Got to go back to the real world and work!


posted by Nizam Zakaria at 9:55 AM |