the play's the thing

Yesterday I finished my re-draft of my one-act play.

Usually, a re-write is about cutting. This one was a slow measured increase. Writing for theatre is so different than writing prose or for the screen. I’m only at the tip of the iceberg in my understanding of it.

The re-write required a lot of thought. I’d rework a sentence, sit, and think. Then add a sentence, tweak phrasing, sit back, and mull it over again. It was writing in slow motion. It made me a bit grumpy. Yet, I couldn’t let it go.

I’m generally pleased with the result, but I’ve asked a couple of friends for feedback. It’s not a long piece, even with the extra couple of pages, but I hope it’s an improvement.

I’ve been doing a lot of re-writing lately. I want to tackle new projects (I’ve plenty of ideas), but the weight of these older stories drags upon me. I’m not sure I can move forward until I can re-work one or two and cast them in the direction of an editor.

Hmm, which victim will I choose next?

And the chorus of voices shook the walls.


  • gordsellar

    I know the feeling of being held back by older work that needs to get “done” before tackling new projects. I’ve basically decided to clear out as much of my vaults as I can in February, and then spend March and April writing newer things, if I can. Good luck with the rest of your revisions and new stuff. 🙂

    • Maura

      Thanks Gord. I’m enjoying clearing out the backlog, to be honest. I think when I’m finished the current story re-write I might be ready to start something new.It does make good sense to polish one’s completed stories and send them out to markets. Well, that’s my theory. :)I’m looking forward to writing new work once I get my legacy stories in a fit condition.

  • Ysabeau

    Congrats on finishing! I really admire playwrights–on the printed page it’s easy to blather–but up on stage every word counts! Good luck on clearing out the vaults–something I ought to be doing, too, but just can’t bear to face yet…!

    • Maura

      Thanks Ysabeau. This is an experiment, really. I’d like to write more plays eventually. Like most writers, I want to reach an audience. So, I’m trying to learn the various ways I can tell stories.Even though it’s different media, it all feeds into my development as a storyteller. I think!

  • Brid

    Well done Maua, If it’s something you’re going to submit to the Monday Screenwriter’s group, then listern. See how long you can listen without explaining. Listen to all the commets. Listen and take notes, but don’t talk. Try it. Want to send you something snail mail .

  • Maura

    Brid, the method you suggest was what we used at Clarion West. You had to remain silent as you got your feedback from 17 people, one after another. You got at chance to comment at the end. It’s a process that works well, especially if you have a larger group.Fire away… if you need my snail mail address query me on email.

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