Today is day 10 of Naplwrimo, which is National Playwriting Month. The deal is simple – write every day for the month of November, check in at the website, and submit a play of at least 75 written pages on November 30th. I am working on a modern adaptation of sorts of The Gift of the Magi. I think adaptation is the wrong word, it’s really a play inspired by the O. Henry short story, is there a word for that other than adaptation?
I have spent the first 10 days doing a lot of find the time writing – Writing at six in the morning, writing in the car on the way somewhere, trying to take a day off and writing in bed, writing in-between workshops. I have always been good at writing wherever and whenever rather than at a set time every day in a set place. If I have no set time and place, who cares? The important thing is to always be writing. I’ve been working primarily with pen and paper, jotting down everything and anything that comes to mind about the theme of the original story, how I’m going to make it work for a high school group and most specifically how I’m going to expand the cast. The aim is for a larger cast (15-20) full length holiday play. This is why it’s an inspired play and not an adaptation – I’m not really using the story as the shell of the play, I’m using it as a building block.
Even though there’s a looming deadline for this project (even if it’s not a real deadline, only one of my own making) the first week has felt like the honeymoon phase. Lovingly so. It is impossible to write anything wrong or in-appropriate so long as I’m filling the page. It is words on the page that make me a playwright and when I’m just starting out, all words count. Every single one, no matter how long or how short. There is no self-censorship, no re-writing, only words on the page. It’s freeing, it’s glorious, I feel like a writer. It’s awesome.
I’m trying not to think about the fact that I’m not sure this idea will fully flesh out into a full length. I’m trying not to think about how I’ve developed a intricate past/present scenario that may not stage well. I’m trying not think about how after today there are only 20 days left to turn words on the page into an actual beginning-middle-end product. Well, I guess that’s the end of the honeymoon phase. Time to get to work….