Playwriting Exercise: The Wildie


EC: In the silent films, they had a story conference where they actually brought in a guy called the “Wildie,” which was a lunatic, not a figurative lunatic but a guy —

JC: Someone from the insane asylum who’d sit at the story table.

EC: He’d interrupt with just insane eruptions that had nothing to do with anything, and the writers would go, “Oh, yes, right. We could, y’know…”

Over at Time to Write, there’s this above excerpt from an  interview with the Cohen Brothers. The notion of the Wildie may or may not be true, but damn is it an awesome idea for an exercise.


Write a scene for three characters that takes place in one location (bus station, living room, restaurant, library) in which, for no reason, a character says something out of context and ridiculous every fourth line.

How do you keep the scene one track? How do you channel out of character outbursts? How do you take something insane and keep the flow of the scene going?

Go Write!

About the author

Lindsay Price