Playwriting

We just missed National Punctuation Day!

period-smDarn it. September 24th was National Punctuation Day and I totally would have celebrated. Totally. There was a baking contest and everything. I could have made Apostrophe rice krispy treats. We could have sat around the office eating our sweet treats and remembering our favourite misused Apostrophe stories. Oh the stories, the stories.

Punctuation is a playwright’s best friend. Characters and story are your family, dialogue is your music teacher who you either idolize or hate, and stage directions are….oh wait I’m becoming sidetracked by personification. Back on track, if you please.

Punctuation is a playwrights best friend. Writers need punctuation. Need it. Everybody needs a best friend to set you exclamationpoint-smstraight and tell you not to wear that pink top cause the stripes don’t do anything for you. You’d be lost without a best friend and a sentence is lost without punctuation. Punctuation makes a sentence complete. Makes it honest. How is an actor supposed to know how to say a line without punctuation? Is it a question? A statement? A meandering thought? What’s the speed of the sentence? The pace? The power? The stillness?

Punctuation is my best friend. There’s nothing that makes my day (which says something about me, but never mind) than deciding between a period or maybe a few ellipses, ooooh or maybe it’s much more emphatic than that. I don’t always use punctuation properly, Queen’s English all correct like – just ask Craig what it’s like to edit my stuff. Actually don’t ask him. He’ll probably tell you I suck at proper punctuation. Nonetheless, I do know that punctuation is necessary and needed. I know how needed and necessary punctuation is to a good play. To the sound of a good play.

And nothing gets my goat more than playwrights, more specifically of the teenaged variety, who write without thought or consideration for punctuation. Who leave sentences dangling willy nilly without an end in sight. Who leave punctuation stranded at the mall because they got a call from Billy Windemere and forgot all about meeting up at the food court. My playwrights of the teenaged variety, you know I love you all, and I love how you write, but never put a boy before your best friend!

I know, that’s what ‘the kids’ are doing these days – no one writes in full sentences anymore, let alone thinks about periods. I know, it dates me and makes me look old. Guess what, I am old and I want my sentences punctuated. Hmft.

Ahem.

So this National Punctuation Day has a cool website. I’m off to learn about the proper use of the semicolon….

About the author

Lindsay Price