Playwriting

Writing to the Edge

By Richard Outram

I write in a very specific niche. Plays for student performers, that can be performed in schools and classrooms. These days, niches are important. Even smaller than that, niches inside of genres. If you’re going to strive to make a living as a writer being good at one specific thing is easier to sell than trying to be a TYA writer or a mystery writer, or a comedy writer or an abstract writer, or someone who does musicals. The more specifically you write, the more you can find an audience who enjoys that specific thing. And with the vast outreach of the net, it’s easier than ever to reach an audience.

But, you may ask, isn’t it boring to write the same kind of play over and over and over again? From my personal perspective, while I’m writing for a specific group and a specific location for the plays to be performed in, I feel that writing for high school has many opportunities. There’s an almost bottomless pit of creativity available – I say almost because certainly there’s some off limit topics. But there’s really no off limit theatrical elements and that’s what I love writing about. If you find what is limitless about your niche, you’ll never get bored.

Over at Write to Done, there was a post about writing to the edge of your niche. I love that concept! The post talked about Blogging but really it applies to all areas of writing. Find a niche, be specific in your niche, and then find the limitless aspects of your niche. Stretch the boundaries. It’s been over 15 years and to date, I’ve never been at a loss for ideas. Primarily I think it’s because I stretch the boundaries. Sure there are times when I need a break but that’s when I write something outside my niche, which is helpful in its own way. The bottom line is to keep writing…

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Lindsay Price