A lot of times we're going at writing the play backwards. Instead of starting with a story maybe we need to start with the issues behind the stories? What are things in the stories that make you come back every time to write it? What are the things under the surface of the play that drive you to get it out in front of the audience. Where are the demons that need to be exorcised from our souls by producing this play?
Here's a checklist to get you started. Before you write the play or maybe if you're stuck on the one you're trying to write try to answer these questions...
- What breaks your heart?
- What makes you so angry that you feel motivated to stop it?
- What keeps you up at night?
- What do you care about that no one else does?
- What cuts you to the bone?
- What dramatic moments do you see everyday that make you stop and watch?
When you start to answer these questions then you'll see the things in this world that you are burdened to change. These will be the things that will drive you to write. Your stories will start to make sense. You needed to tell this story for a reason...there was a reason that these characters have to get out of the page and onto the stage. It was when I started answering these questions that I found out why some of the plays I kept coming back to seemed to haunt me.
What are your demons? How can you exorcise them in this play? It costs the audience something to see the play it should cost you something to write it.
Do you like playwriting? Do you want to talk more about this? Check out my new tumblr here. There we playwrights can take our hair down and get down and dirty!