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 > Welcome > Please, introduce yourself ... > Hi

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

 Moderated by: Paddy, Edd
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
Hi  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Tue Jan 30th, 2007 09:50 pm
  PM Quote Reply
1st Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Hi.

 

I hope this post finds everyone well.

 

It is entirely possible I will not get the opportunity to spend as much time

here as I would like, but my hope is that I can somehow find enough spare

moments in my week to participate in this forum so that I can learn something

worthwhile in the pursuit of my desire to write a decent play (I say this as

one might say a despondent prayer; I know the odds are not good,

and thus I rely on that eldest of crutches: faith).

 

In 1998, I decided, rather spontaneously, that I wanted to see something

I had written appear in someone else's ink. Because I knew I lacked the

attention span to develop and write a novel, I naively decided to take up

poetry. Through careful study and guidance given me by better writers

than I, my goal was achieved. While I never made it into "The Paris Review" or

"Poetry", or any of the large, respectable journals, I did manage to ignore the

rejection letters long enough to land a slew of minor credits in other magazines and

journals, ones I will not bother to mention, as you will probably never have heard of

them.

 

Fascinated for reasons still unknown to me with the whole submissions process, I

decided I wanted to try my hand at editing, and somehow managed to convince a

regional print magazine to start up a poetry section and allow me to edit it.  I

do not know how. It seems I inspire, if nothing else, pity in intelligent people (thus

far, this aptitude has proven  quite beneficial to me).

 

Suddenly enamored with the idea of being called "poet" (why, God knows),  I next

embarked on the task of getting a book of my poetry published, which, due mainly to

the assistance of kind hearted but, I think, a too-nice, poets much better and wiser

than I, occured in 2004 through the willingness of a regional press to engage in yet

another unprofitable venture. Despite good reviews and charitable attention given it

by some very talented persons (Claudia Emerson, Ted Kooser, Ron Rash, etc.), the

book is, in keeping with the tradition of poetry,  largely unknown by anyone and

everyone. 

 

I am presently involved in a serial project with a local newspaper which should

resolve itself sometime toward the beginning of next year. When I am done

with the whole "columnist" experience, I hope to write a play. Why? I do not

know. Perhaps just to see if I can. This is what brings me to you.

 

I have no idea what I am doing, Forum: none, I tell you. Would you kind and good

people tell me how I might begin? What books would you suggest I read? What

plays? I have only dabbled thus far (MacLeish, Synge, Ol' Willy Shakes, etc.).

 

So, I beg you: where to?

 

If you have read this far, God bless you.

 

--J Brian Long

 

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Tue Jan 30th, 2007 10:28 pm
  PM Quote Reply
2nd Post
Paddy
Moderator


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2295
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
First.  Welcome.

All writing is about a story.  Different ways to tell a story.

I think the best place to start is with that...a story.  If you don't have one...do a bunch of silly things so maybe you'll find one.

I don't know that reading everyone else's plays is going to be productive in you finding your own voice.  But...it may give you an idea about method.

There are already some posts here with some really good advice.

Browse.

Paddy

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Tue Jan 30th, 2007 11:38 pm
  PM Quote Reply
3rd Post
in media res
Moderator
 

Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 1918
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Welcome, JBL!!

Yep, paddy is right. A story. Story is in poems, novels, screenplays, short stories, plays and just plain spinning a good yarn around a bar. We all have friends who are great oral, dramatic storytellers who never sit down to write it on paper. Each story has a need to be told in a certain format. Or the same story can be told in many formats. Choose yor poison! John Steinbeck is one of the few who has had his stories told in novel, play, opera, ballet, and movie!

so, find you method of how you want to tell a particular story.

If you look under "Questions and Answers" you can go find a topic called

"The definitive book for the "structural" parts of playwrighting? " Many of us left comments on that topic.

Congratulations on all the poetry. There is a nice thread her for that. It'll give" timmy" some company!!!!! You should read his stuff. It is wonderful.

Snoop around the entire site, not just what is posted daily or the most current. You will have fun.

You are already a proven writer. Have an adventure writing your play.

in media res

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Wed Jan 31st, 2007 09:54 pm
  PM Quote Reply
4th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Paddy,

 

Thank you for the warm welcome!

 

I have been kicking around some ideas, but I haven't yet decided on exactly

what story I will attempt to tell. I think I will look into method a bit further, first; I

have a feeling that what I find out about the way a play is written will help determine

which play it is I write. I stress the word "think", because I may be utterly wrong

(it wouldn't be the first time and I promise it wouldn't be the last).

 

A book someone mentioned in the "Questions and Answers" portion of this

forum sounded interesting. I went to Amazon and took a peek, and have added

it to my wish list. Once I complete the book I am presently reading, I hope

to get started on "How to Write a Play", of whose title I confess to be a tad

wary; I did not learn to write poetry (if indeed poetry is what it is I have

written) through instruction-type reading, so this  is new to me,

and I fear that I may come to view playwriting as formulaic, which, something

tells me it isn't. Or is it? See how much I do not know?

 

--J Brian Long

 

 

Last edited on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 09:58 pm by J Brian Long

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Wed Jan 31st, 2007 09:57 pm
  PM Quote Reply
5th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
in media res,

 

Thank you for the welcome!

 

Per your suggestion, I found the "Questions and Answers" portion of the

website and was inspired to make a purchase at Amazon. They owe you.

"How to Write a Play" sounds like a good start.

 

Thanks again!

 

--J Brian Long

 

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Thu Feb 1st, 2007 03:06 pm
  PM Quote Reply
6th Post
Paddy
Moderator


Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2295
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
J. Brian...

Learn the rules so you know exactly how to break them.  This works for me, in most things, but especially in playwriting.

Paddy

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Thu Feb 1st, 2007 03:23 pm
  PM Quote Reply
7th Post
ohdear
Member


Joined: Tue Dec 5th, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 113
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
well, well, JBL

I enjoy the style with which you write your posts, so perchance your play is brought to life in the manner in which you are already accustomed, then I rather suspect I would like it.

I do hope that you find what you are looking for, I am a newbie too, so I have nothing to offer.

Robyn
If you smile often there is no doubt, that you will have plenty to smile about.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Thu Feb 1st, 2007 05:59 pm
  PM Quote Reply
8th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
oh dear,

 

"...I am a newbie too, so I have nothing to offer."

 

I beg to differ, oh dear! You have gifted me a kind word and a pleasant

welcome, and, gracious, aren't  those things of which the world seems rather

in lack? I believe so, and therefore like most things precious and beautiful, they

should be cherished all the more for the rarity of them.  I am already in your

debt. Let us hope interest accrues at a rate time will allow me to pay.

 

I noticed in your profile that you have listed Australia as your location. I "know"

(in as much as one can know another through correspondence) two other persons

on your continent, both of which I hold in very high esteem. One is a performance

poet from Perth (inadvertent alliteration): Noel Christian, who happens to be

one of the most fascinating, intelligent, and well-spoken persons with whom I have

had the pleasure to exchange letters, and the other is a fine, fine poet by the name

of Dennis Greene, who seems to show up wherever I do (online), and thus, he

is one of my "circle people"-- those folks one seems to bump into again and again

throughout life, despite their being no apparent reason for it. I had the pleasure to

introduce Dennis and Noel to one another (this, though I live practically on the other

side of the planet), and it turned out to be beneficial to both of them, in regard to

their art, which I hold to be one of my most palpable successes (like a kind word and

warm welcome is sometimes scarce in the greater world, so are palpable successes

in my private, lesser world; I certainly treasure them all  the more for their rarity).

 

I have kept you long enough, though. Welcome, also. You beat me to it.

 

--J Brian Long

 


 

Last edited on Thu Feb 1st, 2007 06:01 pm by J Brian Long

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 02:22 am
  PM Quote Reply
9th Post
ohdear
Member


Joined: Tue Dec 5th, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 113
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
wow, I just love the internet and how we can network. Pray tell an introduction to a place online where I might happen to meet these two esteemed people that you mention.

As you may have noticed, I am also a poet and while I have done some live readings I tend to prefer my cave. *grin*

I just love the internet for my social interactions, late at night, when all are sleeping around me, the world is AWAKE and I get to PLAY. *grin*

I rather wish that we do get rather more aquinted, when time permits. Or to be less proper and more AUSSIE. where do you HANG OUT? (on line) and can I join in?

cheers Robyn
Live and breathe and taste lifes pleasure, and you will find a lot to treasure.


Last edited on Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 02:24 am by ohdear

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 02:42 am
  PM Quote Reply
10th Post
in media res
Moderator
 

Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 1918
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
A rule says, "You must do it this way." A principle says, "This works...and has through all remembered time." The difference is crucial. Your work needn't be modelled after the well-made play; rather it must be well made within the principles that shape out art. Anxious, inexperienced writers obey rules. Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules. Artists master the form."

From Robert McKee's book and workshop, "Story."

Also, from Gore Vidal: "Don't worry about becoming a great writer. Just try to become a good writer."


in media res

Last edited on Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 02:45 am by in media res

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 03:09 am
  PM Quote Reply
11th Post
timmy
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Oz, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1077
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
J Brian Long,

if Ted Kooser gave you accolades for your poetry, you're good with me :)

start w/a short play...work your way up....and don't worry about being good...other people will decide that...

timmy

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 06:31 am
  PM Quote Reply
12th Post
Poet
Member
 

Joined: Sun Aug 20th, 2006
Location: Gloucester, United Kingdom
Posts: 183
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Welcome JBL

I'm with OhDear - you have an interesting voice in this thread, and that bodes well for a play (or, actually, most creative work, I suspect). Strange though... I keep expecting you to say 'dear lady' or ' lord!' or 'excuse me ma'am' or 'prithee' - with all due respect to those kin here, you don't pen a post like a typical American male!!!

"You have gifted me a kind word and a pleasant welcome, and, gracious, aren't  those things of which the world seems rather in lack?"   "I was inspired to make a purchase"   "I have no idea what I am doing, Forum: none, I tell you. Would you kind and good people tell me how I might begin?"

It's engagingly Oscar Wilde, and it begs the question... are you actually not American? Or maybe have non-American parentage?

If I'm wrong on both those calls, you have to be from the South!

If I'm wrong on all three, kindly don't read this message!

Welcome JBL.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 10:33 am
  PM Quote Reply
13th Post
Anubian Nights Theatre Co
Member


Joined: Sun Aug 13th, 2006
Location: London, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Try and work out first of all if you 'want to be a playwright' of if you 'want to write a play', they are not always the same thing!

Break a leg...

TKL

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 04:02 pm
  PM Quote Reply
14th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Robyn,

 

"Pray tell an introduction to a place online where I might happen to meet these two

esteemed people that you mention."

 

Dennis Greene can be found, among other places, at poets.org, the Academy

of American Poets website. I have not spoken with Noel in a while (unfortunatley).

The last I heard he was still performing in Perth.

 

"... where do you HANG OUT? (on line) and can I join in?"

 

I am afraid that a lack of time has resulted in my abandonment of all my online

haunts. This forum is presently all I have time for, and, really, I haven't the

time to "be" here either. If you are seeking the online company of other

poets, poets.org is a decent place for it.

 

I will be away from the screen for the weekend. I will check back on Monday,

God willing. Until then,

 

Take Care,

--J Brian Long

 

 

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 04:03 pm
  PM Quote Reply
15th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
in media res,

 

Thank you for the advice. Send me all you want; I am paying attention.

 

--J Brian Long

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 04:09 pm
  PM Quote Reply
16th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Timmy,

 

Thank you for the advice and encouragement; both are sincerely appreciated.

 

I encountered Mr Kooser through another poet with whom I was corresponding

at the time, Jared Carter, who was (is) a friend of Ted's. Mr Kooser was kind

enough to read my little book and send me a hand-written card. I found

his "Delights and Shadows" to be a wonderful experience. Have you read

it?

 

I will be away from the screen until Monday. Until then,

 

Take Care,

--J Brian Long

 

 

 

Last edited on Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 04:44 pm by J Brian Long

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 04:43 pm
  PM Quote Reply
17th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Poet,

Thank you for the welcome.

 

"...with all due respect to those kin here, you don't pen a post like a typical American male!!!"

 

I will take this and the lines preceeding it as a compliment.


"You have gifted me a kind word and a pleasant welcome, and, gracious, aren't  those things of which the world seems rather in lack?"   "I was inspired to make a purchase"   "I have no idea what I am doing, Forum: none, I tell you. Would you kind and good people tell me how I might begin?"

It's engagingly Oscar Wilde..."

 

But I thought all playwrights spoke in this way(wink-wink)! (A gentle caricature

can be an apt ice-breaker. If nothing else, I at least now have you as an audience,

however temporary it may prove to be. I had to do something to get your

attention; I couldn't rely on my personality. And look: the seats are filling up

nicely! ) 

 

"...are you actually not American? Or maybe have non-American parentage? "

 

It is my belief that the only true Americans are those of Native American descent,

and I only have a small number of those genes in this tangle of double

helices that comprises my present self.  In that respect, I am as European as you

would have me be, though I've never been (but do plan to go someday) across the

pond. My Lord,  my kind sir, prithee could you forgive my caricature; it was (is)

a device to keep you reading. And look, you have come all this way.

 

Until Monday,

 

--J Brian Long

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 04:47 pm
  PM Quote Reply
18th Post
J Brian Long
Member
 

Joined: Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 77
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
TKL,

 

At the moment, I am leaning toward the latter; I want to write a play.

But I do not know enough the former to make a truly informed decision.

I will keep your wise words in mind, however.

 

--J Brian Long

 

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 07:49 pm
  PM Quote Reply
19th Post
in media res
Moderator
 

Joined: Sun Jul 2nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 1918
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
poet,


You post: "with all due respect to those kin here, you don't pen a post like a typical American male!!!"

Merely as a writing exercise, can you define specifically, please?

'Twill be interesting.

best,

in media res

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 11:37 pm
  PM Quote Reply
20th Post
Poet
Member
 

Joined: Sun Aug 20th, 2006
Location: Gloucester, United Kingdom
Posts: 183
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
Oh poo... I suppose I let myself in for this.

I have some American friends (non writers) (mostly in Las Vegas and San Francisco) who are from NY and North Dakota and when they write I hear the voice. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely 100% love it - but it has a confidence and a self-assurance behind it, without necessarily being braggart or egotistical. It doesn't accept any suggestion that anyone could be superior, without suggesting that they - my US friends - are themselves superior.

I almost NEVER detect that British 'um, excuse me, would you mind awfully if I, just this once, and if I'm really careful, maybe perhaps I could...' type of quiet, gentle humility in an American - except maybe in the South, where (and I could be wrong in my perception) there has always seemed to be that 'gentle' side to the voice.

Please feel totally free to tell me I'm talking absolute and utter round objects! I'm not totally convinced myself - I just thought JBL's tone was interesting!

Last edited on Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 11:37 pm by Poet

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

Current time is 10:46 am  
The Playwrights Forum > Welcome > Please, introduce yourself ... > Hi Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2011 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.1805 seconds (12% database + 88% PHP). 26 queries executed.