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...
Last edited on Wed Feb 22nd, 2012 12:27 am by RTurco
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!
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.
Last edited on Fri Feb 24th, 2012 04:17 pm by Doug B
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.
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.
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
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.