Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Writer Wednesdays: Borrow a Plot!

So here goes part two of my new series of writing tips. Let's continue the conversation about how you over come a dry period and make a get a first draft out. This weeks tip is a seemingly crazy tip from a great playwright that I had the privilege to meet through my grad program at Hollins University. Mac Wellman is a great playwright with a wisdom beyond most of us academics and the gift of getting to the nitty gritty in conversation. Here are two tips that he offered to me and my colleagues at a workshop.

Borrow someone else's plot: Think back to your favorite play that you've ever read and seen. Now try to rewrite that entire play by memory.  In the process you'll get situations wrong and forget character's names and lines and that's not the point. In the process of trying to write that play you'll find that you've started to write your own original play. The reason? We all hear and interpret things differently. We won't be rewriting someone's play word for word we'll be telling a story similar to that one the way we heard it flavored by our own experiences, prejudices, likes, and filters.

Maybe you're finished: If you're in the process of working on a draft and can't go any further look at what you've written. Maybe you're brain's trying to tell you that you're finished and you haven't realized it yet. Look over the story again and you might see that you've written the ending to a great story that you've never written the beginning to.  Look at it through that light and see what happens to you.

Have fun writing you guys!

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