Playwriting

The Process of Writing

Today I sat in a coffee shop to do some work on a new script.

I love writing at home. Many people ask me how I do it, that they couldn’t because home is too distracting. While this is true, it’s still my favourite place. I have a great corner, a great chair, and pens galore. Writing truly requires the right pen. Different pens affect creativity. Craig has recently stated that I’m a pen addict. Potentially a pen hoarder. I have no defense. :)

Having said all that, sometimes I need a change of place, a different location to be able to see a script in a fresh light. It’s always lovely to write at home, but leaving the house to write gives me a thrill too.

The murmur of voices surround me, around and over me. It’s comforting and at a nice level. On other days I might pull out my journal and eavesdrop; quickly jotting down real world conversations. (Want to write real dialogue, listen to people!) But today, I’m completely focused on the page. I can’t hear a thing. It’s me and the words and the energy in-between.

I’m reading a play that’s about ready to go into the workshop/try out stage. Past the creative pile on, onto the craft. Whether it’s a fluffy comedy or an issue play, it’s all got to have craft. At this stage, when I read I’m looking for a very specific rhythm. There’s a rhythm the reading that I have to feel as I speak the lines aloud in my head. No rhythm, and I know there’s something wrong. I can ignore that all I want, but it won’t change things. Sometimes I work so hard on a play and the rhythm is completely missing. Nothing to do but wipe the slate clean and start over. I have one play that I re-started three times, before finally (I think, I hope) getting it right.

But today everything flows so smooth. I’m grinning like an idiot, nodding my head to the rhythm only I can hear. I’m sure I entertained all the surrounding customers! The energy from me to the page and back to me is as sure as a bubbling stream.

There’s nothing like the satisfied sigh when I’ve reached the end of a play feel the work is good. Better than chocolate. Better than french fries. Pure satisfaction. Ready to move on to the next stage, which in itself is a whole other ball game. Nothing makes a writer cry more than when the words that work on the page, fail when they come out of an actor’s mouth. But a play is not a book and out of the actor’s mouths they must fly.

Can’t wait…

About the author

Lindsay Price