I am very excited to learn about playwriting because I feel like it could be another great rout of creative expression for me. Even though I have no experience in playwriting, I did take English in high school and I have always been excited about theatre and acting, so I figured that it wouldn’t be much of a problem for me to write a play. In fact I thought it might come easily for me.
However, it is difficult. It is hard to decide on what message I want to present, and how I want to make what I’m saying different than everything that has already been written. Also sometimes I find it difficult to write material that is do-able on stage that is new and isn’t just conversation.
To get started, I just try brainstorming for an idea. Brainstorming with other people is really fun, and I get excited about talking about writing a play and throwing ideas around. I could throw around ideas for hours maybe, but still when I get home and try to tap it out on the keyboard the actual writing always proves to be a challenge. I need to learn to decide where I’m going in my writing before I begin. I am always trying to think of that awesome idea, but it seems like I think up the same old stuff, and it isn’t good enough.
In the exercise where we used our classmate’s wants and the locations on the board to write a scene, I started off blindly with no idea where I was going (because I couldn’t think of anything good). Often I will start writing my scene even when I don’t have an exact idea of what I want to happen mapped out. I just start writing, follow my lead, and let it happen, hoping that a story will unfurl. However, I don’t feel like that is an adequate method to writing plays. When I look back on what I’ve written, I see that if I had done it a different way then it could have been more meaningful, or more interesting.
Basically what happens in my two person scene exercise is a mother and her son are in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, and the mother responds very well to her son’s bad behavior. When looking back, I could have made her unable to handle it. That might have given the story the ability to have a little more bulk.
What I would like to focus on is coming up with a very interesting theme that I want to express. The big idea, the why what happens in each scene in respect to the piece as a whole is what is important. What do I want to say, and how is it different from what other people have already said?