You’ve had your reading. You’ve heard the comments and the questions. Now what?
I was sitting in the Los Angeles Farmer's Market recently doing a script consulting session, when the subject of multiple casting arose. It's hardly uncommon in these days of tight theatre budgets.
You're finally ready to submit your script to the theatre company of your dreams. So it's time to throw your play in an envelope, address the envelope, wait in the endless line at the post office and away it goes. Right? Hold the phone.
No matter how they're actually divided, plays, like movies, have three acts. In the first act, we introduce characters that want something, who are in conflict. In the second act, they try to get it, with lots of resulting complications. In the third act, the play picks up speed and races...
Generally speaking, the more I write, the better I write. Why? Because writing, just like playing a sport, requires certain muscles, and the more you exercise them, the better you get. So in the spirit of improving your writing fitness, here are exercises that, unlike with pro wrestling, you can try...
If you followed the instructions in the Joys of Rewriting, Part One, you should now have a tight, professional-looking manuscript. Of course, your rewriting work is just beginning, and you're about to sully that pristine script.
Some playwrights believe in coming up with elaborate histories for their characters, exhuming every tiny detail of their lives, before they write a word.
Every once in a while, a "big" play like Angels in America comes along, but many (if not most) of today's playwrights, and particularly the less experienced ones who watch too much television, are writing smaller and smaller plays. Too many plays have become insular, relationship-centered affairs.
You ever wonder why one-person plays got so popular? Sure, they're the ultimate vehicle for an actor, and, in fact, several of the best plays I've ever seen have been for one performer. But it sure is cheaper to pay one performer than ten, isn't it?
Whenever I finish a first draft of a play, I take a deep breath and may even wander to another project for a while, but sooner or later, I plunge back in. There's an old saying that says something to the effect that most writing is rewriting. It's true.