I think the reason I love writing and voice acting is because they both have certain things in common. For me, the main similarity is knowing what’s been and what’s coming, even when it isn’t on screen.
When I write, I tend to know how a referenced scene would have played out. I know I have to understand what truncated lines would have been if they had been allowed to finish. (I also freely admit that I have truncated a line, simply because I knew the character had to say something, but didn’t know what they were saying.)
It turns out that actors have to face the same thing. (I focus on voice actors since I spend so much of my free time watching or listening to animated pieces.) They have to know where a character just came from, even if it wasn’t mentioned. They have to believe they know where a character is headed when they leave the screen, even if it wasn’t mentioned. They have to know what their character was saying, even if they are cut off by another character.
I really hadn’t thought too much about it until recently. I was listening to an interview given by voice actor Dan Green where he actually talks about having that kind of understanding and why it’s so useful in his profession. Now, I’m working on a piece, and that part of the interview actually plays through my mind as I’m constructing my scenes and dialogues. It’s just incredibly true of any situation where a scene is being created and played out.
If you want your work to be loved, you have to draw your audience in through believable background and foresight.