Our Editor, Jennifer Richards, has taken up the challenge to write a play in a month as part of our #WrAP initiative. With Week Two done, she’s trying not to panic knowing she’s half way through…
Writing a whole play in a month means not a lot of planning can go into the project. This meant the only thing I knew about my play going into it was the way I wanted it to start and the way I wanted it to end. This week was all about figuring out what’s going to happen in between the two (nothing major then…)
So it was perfect timing for me that this week’s #WrAP was about creating engaging characters, and the obstacles and challenges they face. The advice and tips we got this week showed me just how important it is for you as a writer to really know your character inside and out, especially if you hope for your audience to really engage with them.
So I gave each of my characters a simple, bullet-pointed profiles to make sure I knew everything about them – who they are, their background, the obstacles and difficulties they face throughout the play, and even information about them that will never even feature in the play.
Giving my characters profiles made me realise that the way I had planned to resolve the story wasn’t true in terms of how these characters would act. That end I was so set on? It’s now become something entirely different.
I know it sounds ridiculous to let your characters dictate the story you tell – surely that’s my job as the writer – but I think it’s vital to listen to your characters if you want to tell a story that’s authentic and that your audience will connect with.
Though we’re half way through #WrAP, I need to hold my hands up and say I’m definitely not half-way through my script. But now I’ve laid that ground work (figuring out what my play is about and meeting your characters), things are bound to accelerate and go a lot faster.
#WrAP has also dramatically changed the way I write, and for the better. Not having the time to plan this script in the way I normally would meant I felt happy to change what I was writing. This has left me with a much more believable story, even if I am writing a play about robots…
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 Three!