playwriting

worried cat

The Wide Margin: Tell the Cat to Beat It!

Writers today are obsessed with structure.  I’m not talking about the traditional beginning-middle-end style structure.  I’m talking about the micromanagement of page counts as typified by anal retentive “techniques” like “saving the cat.”  I’m pretty sure Paddy Chayefsky never thought in terms of a beat sheet, assigning plot points to script...

The Wide Margin: A Writer’s Carnal Knowledge

“So, that’s one for “Cah-nahl Knah-ledge…” That’s how they sold tickets at the old Hahvahd Squah Theahter Harvard Square Theatre where I first saw the classic Mike Nichols’ film.  The Harvard Square Theatre – before succumbing to the sweeping home viewing revolution – used to host both old films (different daily...

The Wide Margin: A Writer’s Rules, A Writer’s Tools

Hello.  I’m Kevin. And I’m a writer.  I have never thought of myself as a playwright.  Never thought of myself as a screenwriter.  Nor a novelist.  I’m not an essayist.  And I’m most certainly not a blogger because – let’s face it – until the Internet was invented, “blogging” was what...

Story Talk: Playwrights Have It Better Than Screenwriters—or Do They?

We’ve all heard the laments: why are playwrights more respected than screenwriters; why do playwrights retain copyright and screenwriters don’t; why do screenwriters get treated like dirt  and playwrights like gods; why can’t you change a single word of a playwright’s work, but it’s okay to completely rewrite a screenwriter’s script?...

Play Structure Made… OPTIONAL!

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...