Our Editor, Jennifer Richards, has taken up the challenge to write a play in a month as part of our #WrAP initiative. With Week One done, she checks in on how it’s going so far…
Something that’s really stuck with me was from the first day of #WrAP, when we were asked ‘Why do you want to write this play now?’
That question has led me to write my first play about my disability (and robots!); it made me realise that I want to write a story I feel it’s important for me to tell and for others to hear, which is making me much more motivated as it feels more urgent and important than any other story I’ve told.
Though my normal writing strategy involves a lot of post it notes and covering my walls in scene details, when you’ve got to write a whole play in a month, all time for planning goes out the window!
Instead it’s straight onto writing the first scene. This was difficult for me as openings have always been something I’ve struggled with. I want to make sure my audience get to know my character but without turning the opening scene into a Q&A…
So #WrAP’s top tips for an opening gave me a great starting point for how to even tackle this first scene. (I mean it’s what’s going to convince a Literary Manager to either kept reading or give up – so no pressure then!)
Instead of providing context or background information, I just decided to drop my audience straight into the middle of the scene with no explanation. Usually I would want to make it obvious what characters’ roles are & even where and when the play is set.
Yet this time I steered clear of all that and instead just let the audience learn what the main character was like by how she reacted from the situation. I didn’t even make it clear who she was, instead only dropping small hints to encourage someone to keep reading (or watching!)
This approach is certainly new to me but means the story is coming a lot more organically – which is impressive considering it’s a play about robots set in a future universe…
Not planning means I haven’t entrapped myself into having to tell a certain story I’d already decided on; rather I can tell the story that feels right both for me and for the character.
I’d love to know how #WrAP’s been going for you, both the successes and the things you’ve been struggling with. Tweet us at @LDNPlaywrights using #WrAP2018 and let me know.
And if you haven’t signed up for #WrAP yet but would love to still take part and get going on your 2018 writing goals, you can find out more about how to become a member of LPB and join in with the initiative here.
Roll on Week Two!