Our Editor, Jennifer Richards, has taken up the challenge to write a play in a month as part of our #WrAP initiative. With Week Four done, the finish line’s almost in sight…
After struggling to write last week (which you can read about in my third #WrAP diary here), this week was about getting back on that (metaphorical) horse.
From the beginning of this writing process, I’ve known what I wanted to happen my script, and the information I needed to give the audience at certain points. What I was finding challenging was: how do I give it to them?
I definitely struggle with falling into the trap of just having a character say exactly what’s happening, even if it doesn’t seem natural or authentic in the script.
And I’ve always found that when I’m finding it difficult to convey the information I need to (e.g. something that happened to a character in the past, or how a character is feeling), it’s best for me to just write it almost in this Q&A style, and then go back and try improve it later.
And that’s what I choose to do this week. Kimberley’s video about dialogue needing to do something and have some sort of action involved in it inspired me to go back and tackle an old scene I wasn’t happy with.
So my focus this week became rewriting a scene that had originally just been a character pretty much talking to the audience about major plot developments I needed them to know. Kimberley reminded me I needed to show and not tell.
Where my protagonist had started to feel resentment for her best friend, instead of doing the very obvious by having her say how she was feeling and voicing this frustration, I switched this dialogue out for eye rolls and small petty actions, like not waiting for her friend when she was trailing behind.
I managed to convey exactly what I needed to without having to spell it out (the magic of subtext!) It’s made the whole script became a lot smoother, and the dialogue that’s there is necessary rather than just padding.
Now I’m going to be honest and say that going into these final few days of January, and of #WrAP, I’m probably not going to have a complete draft due to the setbacks I experienced last week.
But I’ll be finishing the month with a story that’s dear to me, and one I’ve always been afraid to write. And I also spent this week plotting out the final few scenes, so I should be able to hit next week running (or writing…)
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 Five!