Words well within me, an unquenchable passion, until my fingers transfer them to the page. Writing, flying for my soul and spirit, frees me like nothing else.
Penning a play – especially one that must be performed within ten minutes – just doesn’t offer the same joyful release.
- Story line: Really, what sort of story that has any plot development or character arc can be told in ten minutes? Solely with dialogue. In a single setting and make it a simple one. It can only be a snippet of a story and yet, the instructor expects it to have the richness of a full-length work.
- Stage directions: I am bogging my script down with stage directions. Even as I know this, I feel the only way to develop my characters is to show their facial expressions and body language. So much can be said in narrative. My story seems empty if I don’t insert these specific emotions and actions for the characters.
I’d Rather Write a Story
I keep telling myself that the only difference between what I’m writing for this workshop and what I love to produce is the format. Instead of using paragraphs and quotation marks and endless lines of prose, I’m typing stage directions and parentheticals and character names.
I’m not fooling myself. I’ll be surprised if I pull the wool over the eyes of my professor and classmates.
The story is shallow and the characters don’t have time to be fully developed. They will appear onstage as completely formed, speak their lines and exit.
In the end, I’m hoping for a few chuckles over my preposterous premise. If I could change the world in ten minutes I would have some sort of dedicated following, wouldn’t I?
Have you ever written in a form that felt uncomfortable and unworkable? I’d like to hear your story.