Playwriting Exercises: Death

I love words and how we use them. I love complex words with interesting means. (e.g. agelast: someone who never laughs. That is an awesome word and definition.) I love it when there are multiple ways to say one thing. I love it when one sentence tells a whole story.

Over at Vast Public Indifference, there is a catalogue of different synonyms for “died” that was gathered by looking at pre-1825 tombstones. A little grisly perhaps but such a fascinating list of words. And so many stories:

Part 10: Slain by the Enemy

Part 11: Departed This Stage of Existence

Part 12: Went Rejoycing Out of This World

Part 13: Submiting Her Self to ye Will of God

Part 14: Fell Asleep

Part 15: Changed a Fleeting World for an Immortal Rest

Every one of these sentences tells a story. Every one of these sentences describes a life.

Playwriting Exercises: 

  • Look at the list. Choose one as inspiration for a scene. My favourite one from above is “went rejoycing out of this world…”
  • Take a look at something you’re writing. Can you condense it down to one sentence? What is the one story that tells the life of your main character?

About the author

Lindsay Price

1 Comment