Playwriting

The First Draft Process – Three

Tuesday – 4 hours – 15 pages handwritten, which turned into 8 pages typed

A very civilized day. Worked on one scene focusing on Franklin’s view of the brain. He admires the brain but now hates it with every fibre of his being. The polaroid idea that I mentioned yesterday worked really well. At this point in the play, I don’t think I’m going to explain the significance of the pictures not developing. I think I’ll just let it happen and the perhaps bring it up again when the injury is explained further.

I also have Franklin getting caught waltzing with the jellyfish in the aquarium, which is very interesting – Franklin finds the jellyfish soothing and peaceful and I was looking for a way to physically represent that. It took about three passes of longhand writing of the scene to get something that I was happy with – the writing flowed very nicely today. I accomplished my goals of doing something that focuses more on the science aspect of the play and also the imaginary world that Franklin lives in. I asked myself the question: what does Franklin want? What he wants is for everything to go back to the way it was before his accident, which is impossible. How does Franklin deal with this? He hides – both mentally and physically.

Something interesting happened today in the process – Franklin’s sister entered his imaginary world. I think tomorrow I’m going to have two version of his sister in a scene – his inside version of Mackenzie and then the real world version. Looking forward to seeing what happens!

Wednesday – 6 hours – 4 pages of dialogue, but also came up a structure for the first 10 pages.

It is so hot. It’s amazing anyone can get anything done! But a very productive day. Came up with a very simple but I think very effective image for the opening with two of the characters acting as Franklin’s left and right brain. I’m also striving toward more fantasy in his imaginary life. I’ve been starting the writing day off by just writing over and over again what I think the play is about, what Franklin wants, how does the science play into the story. By having what I want on paper and out of my head, it’s easier to bring the work to fruition.

I think it’s going to be interesting to see if having two versions of Franklin’s sister works out. Didn’t get to the Mackenzie/Franklin scene because this flash of an opening came to me and that worked itself into constructing the first ten pages of the play which I worked out on the computer. Finally a bit of structure!! I’ve worked up to the Franklin/Mackenzie scene and I can’t wait to see how it goes. The imaginary version of Mackenzie (called Scotty – she and Franklin only refer to each other by nicknames. Franklin’s nickname is beans) is an outspoken firecracker and the real version will be quite the opposite. How will they play off each other?

A wonderful side note:
I won the 24 hour contest!! What a great feeling. It was pretty exhilarating to get that chunk of writing out in such a short period of time. I was very happy with the final product and it’s nice that others saw the promise in it as well. I think that the contest is a great way to explore a larger project.

Thursday – 3 hours – no real pages….
Very interesting thing happened today. I decided that since Franklin has a strong physical movement (the waltzing) and Cara does as well (her stress reliever exercises) that Mackenzie should too. Something perhaps to put at the beginning ( I can’t get away from the beginning!!!) to show the three in action since they are all parts of the real world triangle part of the play.

So I was thinking about what kind of action and could it be related to the mind in some way. The first thing that came to mind of was running – it is an incredibly mental sport. So I had her doing plyometric jumps as her image and also wrote a monologue where she talks about how she and her body have to beat her brain and take control of it. Otherwise her mind overwhelms her with thoughts that she’s no good as a runner, that she’ll never make it to the Olympics and that she should just give up. Stuff about her body being smarter than her brain because her mind tells her she’s not a good runner, but her body knows otherwise.

Well, adding this to Mackenzie’s character has blown her up to be something completely different that what I had in mind. Now she’s confident and powerful and it brought me up short. I’m not sure I like this character change and I’m not sure what to do about it… it’s derailed work because I just couldn’t get beyond this new Mackenzie. I have to decide either to change her and give her a new physical action, or….find a way to include the new Mackenzie. I really like the monologue I wrote about her taking control over her mind, it’s just an added facet to the issue. Hmmmmm.

Friday –
still thinking…….

About the author

Lindsay Price