You’re writing a play. You’re half-finished. But you have a crazy job with a boss who calls you up at all times of day. And you’ve set aside a week of leave. Unpaid. Paid. You forgot to check. But you don’t care.
Because there’s your play. You have notes for all of your characters. You have a half-completed manuscript. You’ve lined up all your playwriting ducks. You sense a finish line. Your dreams focus upon horizons and flight.
You just have to finish off a couple of things at your ‘real’ job before you get back to your script. Continue reading “How to Finish Your Play if You Take a Holiday”
I have a bit of an involuntary tick when it comes to seeing questions in drafts of plays – whether those plays are mine or anyone else’s. Why? What have I got against questions?
In everyday life, we ask questions all the time. How are you? What’s that over there? How about that, huh?
When we do it, we’re often not interested in the details of the answer. We’re doing it to get along.
It’s a mode of talking that linguists call “phatic”, confirmation that we’re alive and that we’re showing/feigning being interested in being in the company of the person we’re talking with.
But if you’re trying to write a dramatic scene, I’m not sure it’s a great idea to put questions in the way of either character.
I’m going to work with an example here. A first draft of a scene I made especially for this exercise – but if you’ve ever read or written the first draft of a scene yourself, you may recognise some of the sorts of questions that come up. Continue reading “What’s That Question Doing There? (a few thoughts #17)”
Bumped into a playwright friend recently and asked how she was doing.
She said she was three-quarters of the way through her play’s draft, and she was lost and didn’t know if it was crap or not.
I’m the sort of friend and fellow playwright who nodded enthusiastically and said, “That’s great!”
Now, why would I do something like that? Am I some sort of bullying psychopath? Continue reading “Just because you feel it doesn’t mean it’s crap (a few thoughts #16)”
In the world of novel writing, NaNoWriMo is buzzing along, with thousands of people aiming to write a 50000 word draft of a novel in the month of November. It’s a yearly event and I look forward every year to hearing of people attempting to start AND finish their work.
Theatre abounds with stories of the play written in a weekend, or in a fit of anger or inspiration over a caffeine-laden night.
While I’ve written some plays very quickly in the past, there’s only one play that I’ve written in two days – Who are you, Mr James? which turned into Post Felicity and won me my breakthrough awards and productions. As I’ve explained elsewhere, that two days and nights of writing was a culmination of around five years of thinking and failed starts.
When you’re writing a play alone, independently of a deadline and/or commission, what’s a feasible timeline? Continue reading “A 13-week recipe for writing a play (a few thoughts #14)”