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  • Steph

Relative Motion: prep, prep, and more prep

I have just started writing my next play and I have found myself completely lost. I can't figure out what I want to do with one element of the story and it's completely stumped me. I've come out of two years of working on the same script where I felt like I knew the characters inside out. I felt like I was still making giant changes but in reality the tweaks in our development were - although significant - small relative to what happened in the first couple of drafts. Obviously, my brain starts telling me I can't write and I should never write again. After some chocolate and a day of sulking, I went back to my notes for the beginning of relative motion.

WOW. How much I have forgotten.

At the beginning of the writing process, I actually did a two day workshop for getting your idea off the ground. THAT I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN ABOUT. My comfort with my characters and story didn't just spring from genius (lol of course it didn't). It came out of a two day intensive process where I created notes upon notes upon notes about my two characters, where they had come from, what they wanted.

I remembered that I had written the play largely by outlining all the scenes on index cards and then picking one each week to write (writing wednesdays, anyone?). But those index cards also didn't not spring forth from nothing. They came from a full thought out plan that I had brainstormed and questioned in a group as I worked through my ideas.

This was both helpful and unhelpful.

Helpful in that it was so good to go back and see how much work I had put into this play before I even started writing.

Unhelpful in that I had to go back and see how much work I had put into this play before I even started writing.

Now I am not going to follow that exact process because, well, I've already written 15 pages of my new play. But now is the time to put in that work. So that's where I will be for the next month. Not necessarily adding any more pages to that play total but probably creating loads of backstory that no one will ever read but wow will it make the process that much easier.


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