I promise this post is only as geeky as the title itself; Multi-Classing is a feature within Dungeons and Dragons that allows a hero to, once they’ve reached a certain level of experience, branch out into a different category of expertise.
As a writer, we’re often focused solely on our craft. We write, therefore, we must be writers, and only writers.
Sure, you can learn to be an even better writer by writing, reading, and doing more writing, but you’ll only become gifted within a very narrow scope. Be more than a writer. Take up drawing, music, filmmaking, photography, knitting, martial arts, dance, anything – find a different perspective and skill set that you can reinforce your writing with.
I recently finished a film-making class, and one thing continually reinforced by my professor, Hezekiah Lewis, was flow. He said at one point, “people get too hung up on details, like cigarettes in the wrong hand or something like that. Don’t let the technical aspects block the flow of the story. If you have a great take and it flows, but the cigarette’s wrong, who cares? Use it. You shouldn’t be concerned with accuracy. The performance comes first.”
When a friend of mine, Branson, came down to visit, I cajoled him into giving me some brief art lessons. I learned more about drawing feet in that afternoon than I ever had before, but that led me to draw more. And more. And then, when I read this blog entry by one of my favorite artists/creators ever, Chris Sanders, things came together. I made connections between the way I would draw people and the way I would describe these drawings – which, in turn, made my words more vibrant. Thinking visually and working visually helped me to write visually.
And now, instead of getting caught up by thoughts on technicality, I think more about capturing the moment. Who cares if it’s right, as long as it’s written? You can always take care of these things in post-production.
-Ryan Lynch (is a Level 10 Writer / Level 2 Artist / Level 1 Filmmaker)