Weinstein Gives Presentation On Writing As Improvisation

Posted on 11/13/2014 6:05:06 PM

Daniel Weinstein gave a presentation, "Inside the Mind of an Improvisational Writer" at the 2014 World Conference of the Applied Improvisation Network in Austin, Texas.

"Inside the Mind of An Improvisational Writer" describes a largely unplanned and intuitively directed individual writing process that draws inspiration from improvisational performance structures.

In this approach to writing, writing is seen once and for all a process of discovery, a search for what to say and how to say it, that integrates improv games into a loosely intentional scaffold of more formally-conscious writing activities, the writing of which is similar to the performance of improvised scenes; yet even these are still playfully written with attention to mentor or model texts.

Routines such as random input, a pattern game, role plays (such as the self-interview), monologues, and various forms of wordplay prime the pump and take the writing in unanticipated yet compelling and useful directions. Recourse to an inventory of writerly (rhetorical) moves and dispositions allow a composition to arrange itself almost like a collage. In addition, the writer makes use of time and intervening experience to cultivate new selves to serve as collaborators in the process.

Besides being fun and productive, Weinstein noted, as an individual practice this improvisational approach to writing also functions as a vehicle for personal creative growth.

Department of English