When I sat down to write after Thursday's class, I began to rework a scene (or rather, mini play) that I had written, and began to realize that one of the best things one can do for their work is mess with the chronological structure. (Even if one ends up staying with a direct timeline, it offers a lot of insight to your work, revealing things that maybe you as the playwrite didn't know or consider too deeply before.) Think about it- a lot of the most compelling works possess timelines that are all over the place. Rarely does a narrative that simply goes down the line of its story capture my attention more effectively than a piece that takes risks (unless the story in the narrative is just a million times better than that of the show that takes risks, but that's another post entirely).
When I mapped out the events of my scene/play, I was at first completely excited, then, torn, because I had too many different ideas on how to rearrange the scene. What's more is that all of the ideas yielded different results, emphasizing separate themes of the original text. Well, how do you choose? If two or three arrangements are really good, and they are each highlighting your purpose in writing the piece in the first place, what criteria is used to keep the best and trash the second best? Or, even better, how can one fuse the two? You know, reach a sort of compromise that brings the drafts together, making a sort of super-extra-awesome-scene/play-where-all-of-the-time-is-scattered-all-over-the place-but-holds-more-meaning-and-intrigue-than-the-original.