Exploring the Depths

In The Daily Drool on August 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

There is a little thing that happens as you begin to rewrite… well, maybe it’s not so little.  See, what happens is that you begin to look into your story and see that it’s got depths you haven’t even begun to explore.  It’s exhilarating even as you groan with all the weight of the spelunking equipment you are now going to have to lug around looking for golden nuggets.

But it’s worth it, because now you are making the difference between something that makes you giggle or think, and something that moves others to the catharsis of emotion.  Because you don’t write a play or a screenplay for yourself- you are writing it to be seen, heard, felt.  And unless you can put away the ego enough to continue the adventure, you will miss out on all the theatrical wealth that exists just beyond “The Easy” surface of a first, second, or third draft.

Basically the first couple rounds with a play are all about getting the specifics down – you tell the story and then go back and try to make sure the pieces fit together as smoothly as possible.  Once you’ve got it in a cohesive and sensible state though, well, that’s when the real work begins.  That is when you start combing it for pebbles that need removing and paying attention to nuance with fervor.  Because that is what lifts a play to the top of the stack – it’s intricacies and unique flavor.  So many playwrights get the overall machine running, but they forget to detail the car – so you pass on by the car  lot with nary an interest in stopping for a test drive.

I guess this is the stage I’m at right now with my latest play – paying attention to the details and asking myself questions that require more work and heavy thinking than I’d like, but knowing that the doing is well worth the sweat.  (sigh)  And afterwards I’ll give myself a cookie 🙂


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