Monday, August 22, 2005

August 22 Part II

I’m as restless as a cat in a lightening storm today.

I received a couple of emails asking me about the playwriting process, in reference to my wish to work someday with Alan Rickman and Sean Bean.

Obviously, the most important item in place needs to be a damn good play. And it would have to stand on its own, rather than being written with them in mind. Because you never know you the universe brings to you, and often, you wind up with an actor that connects better to the role than the actor you originally for it.

I’ve definitely written plays for specific actors. Those were usually people with whom I worked on a regular basis and formed solid friendships. There are several actors – not celebrities, but working actors – that I know that I would like to write for, and with whom I’ve had discussions. But it hasn’t clicked yet.

I miss playwriting. I miss the writing of it, and I miss the rehearsal process. No matter how well the piece turns out, it’s always difficult for me to sit through something I’ve written.

The material dictates the form, and I simply haven’t been struck by stories and characters lately that demand their tales told in play format. When it happens, I will do so.

Also, when I write a play, I need to sit down and write the entire first draft in one go, without a break. Which means a chunk of uninterrupted work time, and it doesn’t matter if it’s convenient or not. Because if I try to put it aside, the way I can with regular prose – it’s gone. The Muses grant me a single opportunity. If I blow it, I never get it again.

But then, the theatre is unlike anything else in the world. Or the universe.

It will then be revised and rewritten frequently, especially during rehearsal. When you get a live, three-dimensional actor (and I try to avoid the two-dimensional ones, or, worse, one-dimensional ones), you can throw away a good many words. Yes, I cut cut cut cut cut in the rehearsal room, often to the alarm of the company.

That’s where a good director comes in – both a person with vision and understanding, who isn’t just trying to make your work serve his needs because he can’t write, but takes the writing and performances to a higher level. And doesn’t let this writer cut too damn much.

Directors always laugh and shake their heads. Most of the time, it’s torture to get the writer to cut a single word. With me, they have to beg me not to.

I hope, at some point in the next year, I will find a story and characters that demand to be told in play form. I miss it, and I long to do it again.

But, for me, it is the most fragile of writing processes.

I had a decent writing day today. I worked on Periwinkle. Trina’s being bitchy, and I’m not sure why. I’m getting ready to start the section that takes place at the wedding rehearsal. Charlie is behaving –serving his purpose in the piece without overtaking it.

I worked on the two articles due on September 1. I have a good bit of information. Now I have to arrange and rearrange it so it makes sense, build bridges, and then massage it so it flows well. It can percolate over the next few days.

Got almost an issue of Tapestry done. It’s the final episode for this story arc, and then Nina heads to Chicago.

Wrote a few pages on Lighthouse Lady. Good pages. I’m pleased with the flow of the piece. However, in the rewrite, I have to fix some contradictory details.

I need to create a character book, with physical characteristics and quirks of my people. I have such a large ensemble, and, since I’m working on multiple projects, I need to keep them all distinct. Sometimes, after six or eight hours, they start to blur.

I really, really, really want to do National Novel Writing Month this November. Not to prove something to my own ego. 50,000 words in 30 days? I know I can do that part. But there are several novels that would like to be written, and it would give me the opportunity to buckle down and write. It’s only just over six pages a day.

A lot will be determined by what I do with the serials next contract cycle, and where I am with things by November.

But I really want to do it. For me.

If I don’t manage to get back on here before my trip, I wish everyone the best for the next few days, and I’ll see y’all on my return!

D.

2 Comments:

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Lara said...

Doing it FOR YOU is the best reason to do it!

:-)

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

Have a fruitful trip. d:)

 

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