The Playwrights Forum Home 
 

SEARCH STAGEPLAYS.COM
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PLAY DATABASE

  STAGEPLAYS BOOKSHOP NEW CYBERPRESS PLAYS PLAYWRIGHTING BOOKS PUBLISH MY PLAY AFFILIATE PROGRAM THE THEATRE BANNER EXCHANGE  
The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Work-in-Progress > Tough Time

* STAGEPLAYS WANTS TO PUBLISH YOUR PLAY *
click here for details

 Moderated by: Paddy, Edd
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
Tough Time  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Tue Feb 21st, 2012 11:51 pm
  PM Quote Reply
1st Post
RTurco
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 254
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Hey all.

So I'm working on a new piece, but its slow in coming to fruitiion. I've got like 30 pages down but I don't know where to take the story next. Ever happen to you guys? Its a history play and romance. A complex story of betrayal, murder, mayhem, and extremist politics. Any ideas? What do you guys do to clear your thoughts and making the moving forward part a little easier? Thanks.

Also, anyone ever hear from that Italian director that was on here a while back, I might be interested...

RTurco

Last edited on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 12:27 am by RTurco

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 12:17 am
  PM Quote Reply
2nd Post
katoagogo
Member


Joined: Fri Jun 16th, 2006
Location: New London, Connecticut USA
Posts: 902
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Man - I am in the same quagmire right now. I've been forcing myself to make a couple of pages happen tonight. I figure I'll worry about what to throw later.

--kato

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 01:46 am
  PM Quote Reply
3rd Post
JustGoWithIt
Member


Joined: Wed Jan 20th, 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 75
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Roy Peter Clark once said that when faced with writer's block, "Turn procrastination into rehersal." In other words, try and come up with stuff in your head before putting it on paper (or in Word).

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Thu Feb 23rd, 2012 01:11 am
  PM Quote Reply
4th Post
RTurco
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 254
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
And that's what I just started doing. Thankfully it seems to be working.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Feb 24th, 2012 02:23 am
  PM Quote Reply
5th Post
RTurco
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 254
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Okay so I've finished the first act (the first 10 pages are up on the forum to take a look at) and now moved on to the second. And I'm stuck again. It's just a matter of moving the story forward, but also making it long enough to constitute a full-length play. Uugh. Back to outlining to invent some new ideas to slow down the story!

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Feb 24th, 2012 04:11 pm
  PM Quote Reply
6th Post
Doug B
Member


Joined: Thu May 20th, 2010
Location: Eastsound, Washington USA
Posts: 94
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I'm sure you know that conventional wisdom says to introduce a new character and turn them lose and see what happens.

Here is one that has ALWAYS worked for me: I put a character into counseling. The scene starts with the character entering the therapists office and off we go. I'm always surprised where it takes me. I have never used the scene but it often deepens the story and gives me somewhere to go.  I can post an example if you are interested.

I have to share something that happened last night at a brush up rehearsal for a play I directed that is currently running. At these brush up rehearsals, I give the cast wide latitude on what they do as long as they keep to the words. There is always something that comes out of these rehearsals that we keep for the run. 

It is the story of two sisters and working through their long term estrangement. At the end of Act I, one sister tells the other that she has breast cancer. It is a serious scene about a serious subject.

Last night one of the sisters brought in a make believe joint and the two of them pretended to get stoned as they said their lines. (As a point of interest, the actress who brought in the "joint" told the other actress she had a surprise and asked if she wanted to know what it was.  The other actress said: No, surprise me.)  They cried at the right time and giggled like school girls at the right time. While the joint was too far out of character for the play, the dynamic range of the scene wasn't and we are keeping much of it for the last two weekends of the run.

The rest of the cast and I laughed our heads off but we also knew we were seeing a special moment of theater.

Doug

Last edited on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 04:17 pm by Doug B

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Mon Feb 27th, 2012 08:56 pm
  PM Quote Reply
7th Post
RTurco
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 254
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Hmm. A character in counseling, you say? Interesting. Might use that for when I'm stuck in the future.

Happy to say that I am almost finished with the play. I guess I was just doing a lot of belly-aching when all I really had to do was a bit of outlining and run with it. I don't know how good of a first draft it is, but I'll soon find out, I suppose.

Cheers!

RTurco

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Tue Feb 28th, 2012 02:21 am
  PM Quote Reply
8th Post
in media res
Moderator
 

Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 1912
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Nice idea, Doug.

Kind of interesting, because people often lie in counseling/therapy until one gets to the truth. which is what a play is.

A friend of mine I've known since college, who has been a therapist for over 30 years told me, "Over time, I've slowly lost almost all interest in theatre because I have great theatre everyday in my office."

But , again, a great idea. Lies/truth/deception, avoidance in every answer until one gets to the truth. Just like a detective.

Thanks.

IMR

Last edited on Tue Feb 28th, 2012 02:27 am by in media res

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Wed Feb 29th, 2012 08:29 pm
  PM Quote Reply
9th Post
Louisep at Playwrights Muse
Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 5th, 2011
Location: Seattle, Washington USA
Posts: 112
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I think about the highest-stakes moments in a character's life. Then I write a scene where that character tries to get what he or she needs.

I've also written a letter, in the voice of the character, to me, where the character tells me what's missing in my play from the character's point of view.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Thu Mar 1st, 2012 02:46 pm
  PM Quote Reply
10th Post
Doug B
Member


Joined: Thu May 20th, 2010
Location: Eastsound, Washington USA
Posts: 94
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Great ideas, Louise. Particularly the letter from the character. Will try that next time I get stuck.

Doug

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 08:37 pm
  PM Quote Reply
11th Post
Balzacfan
Member


Joined: Thu Apr 26th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 9
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I never try to push a story. If i get stuck, I let it go and go do other things. Then on and off,  over long periods of time, ill reflect on aspects of the story in the back of my mind. I have seen many people who want to do storm braining a story. I'm completely against brain storming or any form of forced method to write a story. Brainstorming gives the impression that a writers and angry and writing something out of anger. That in turn gives the impression that you have to be angry in order to write. I don't go that way. The one problem with the way I do it, is the fact it can take incredibly long periods of time to develop a story. But if im patient, the story will turn out far better than I realized. There are many times people brain storm through creating a story and then after they finish it, later in time, they are found saying to them self "I should of done this here or I should of done that a there, or I should of not put that in or I should of put this in. Creating stories arent meant to be rushed or brain storm through. The mind should be calm and relaxed when writing.  Each person goes about how they create a story.

Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2012 08:46 pm by Balzacfan

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Mon Jun 4th, 2012 09:29 pm
  PM Quote Reply
12th Post
Allan_West
Member


Joined: Mon May 28th, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 35
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
I agree with you, you never want to push a story. For me, I like to search out a blip of inspiration. I enjoy history and that many times inspires me. A person, an event, an idea. From there, I write a little blurb and put it away. Time can not be wasted nor can you use time as an excuse for forced output. Be natural and let it flow, but keep writing nonetheless.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

Current time is 11:21 pm  
The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Work-in-Progress > Tough Time Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.2107 seconds (13% database + 87% PHP). 26 queries executed.