Playwriting

Like dough, George….

30 Days of Development: Lindsay is writing every day for thirty days, and submitting every day for thirty days, and blogging about it every day for thirty days. Whew! Can she do it? Stay posted….

DAY TWELVE

Writing: Beauty and the Bee.

Thoughts: The writing is long and slow today. This type of slow is the good kind. Not river sludge. Not the tar pits, not a black hole. It’s the slow piecing together of a puzzle to create the bigger picture. One piece at a time. One word. It’s the slow rise of dough to create the magnificent loaf of bread (like potato bread perhaps? The slow and winding path toward a purpose. A complete thought.

It takes a long time to work through this type of writing. You need a lot of breaks. It’s a good thing there’s baking going on today (cheesecake brownies anyone?) because it provides think time. For me, think time is almost as useful as pen and paper time, or computer time. It takes time to let ideas gestate. Roll that idea around, kneed it, let it grow.

I think on the move the best; on a run, on a walk, on the bus…. it’s what makes me a poor driver. Thinking when I should be driving and next thing you know someone’s bumper is in your front lap. That’s just an exaggeration folks, I’ve never ended up with a bumper in my front lap. Almost maybe, but never the actual physical thing. Truly. I’d never lie to you.

When I’m moving toward ‘the complete thought’ of a play, I’m looking for and listening for, and feeling for, a rhythm in the writing. When everything comes together, there’s a rhythm, a pattern, a sense of timing. The individual puzzle pieces have been sounding out separately and are slowly starting to come together. To gel. To create rhythm. It’s a aural rhythm and a visual rhythm. I see it undulating before me.

It’s why it’s hard to define when someone asks ‘how’s the writing going.’ How do you say ‘It’s going well, I see the rhythm?’ It’s why it’s never a good idea to say to a writer ‘you should write a play about that, oh I bet Lindsay’s going to write about that’ because you’re probably suggesting something that doesn’t come together like a puzzle, that has no pattern. That’s what I’m really looking for in a play.

It’s hard to explain when people ask me how I know when something’s wrong with a play – I can’t very well say ‘the rhythm’s off, the pattern’s not quite right.’ Say what? Maybe I should stick to baking. Speaking of which, doesn’t this potato bread look good?

It’s why writers (and artists in general) can’t really explain what they do. We just do it, it’s in us.

It’s why, while it’s always possible to make a writer better, and it’s always beneficial to have the arts in your life and to work at it, I don’t think it’s possible to create a writer. You are, or you are not. Cause we have kooky things like rhythms and patterns.

Well, they’re not kooky to me. But my normal is not normal at all. Hmmm, someone should write a play about that.

Submission: Leaves of Grass to Theatre Aurora. It’s nice to have a Canadian opp. They are far and few between…

About the author

Lindsay Price