When you read a play, unless it is by Shakespeare, it seems like an easy enough task to create something similar. Indeed, the play does not have any long descriptions and insightful quotes about the characters appearances that an author may take a long time to write about. However, the play is still a very hard genre of writing, that has its own peculiarities and rules to follow. If you ever dreamed of writing a play, or if you just want to improve your writing skills to next make your school essay shine, this article is for you.
Since it is quite a hard task, you may need to get a little motivation to start writing the play, or find a clear reason why you want to write it in the first place. This reason will push you to go further whenever you will feel like giving up, in spite of being two acts deep into a comedy about twin sisters.
It might just be a task for your creative class. In this case, you can always ask for help our talented team of writers, if you are too lost to do it yourself. Otherwise, you are free to partner up with someone from your class and brainstorm ideas, or even ask your teacher for help. Writing a play for a creative writing class is useful, because it gives you a perspective of your possibilities. Furthermore, your play will probably be read to the whole class, and you will hear some first-hand opinions about your writing from the people that care for you.
Do you like a bit of a challenge? Are you a hard bone to chew? In such case, this is definitely something that you could do. The proud feelings and the sense of achievement after you will be done with it are indescribably amazing. Challenging yourself to a hard task brings great rewards when you achieve said tasks. There is nothing quite like saying “I wrote a play” while drinking champagne with your hideous extended family over Christmas dinner.
A play is the springboard to arranging and producing your first show. Imagine having your friends play the characters in your play and the student body seeing your creative fantasies come to life. It sounds like a dream come true, does not it? Even if it is something low-budget and really amateur, doing something creative like arranging a show with a group of people who want to do it, will definitely be an unforgettable experience that will become a treasured memory from your times in college.
Now that you are clear on the reasons why you want to write a play, let us start with some points that you will need to follow if you want it to be successful and exciting. Do not go into this task lightly, as it is nothing like writing prose, and you should be aware of the differences. Here are some additional useful points to follow that you should check out.
You could write a tragicomedy with a sci fi setting and detective storyline, but it will only confuse your poor readers. Stick to one genre and follow its rules, as in this way you will clearly know what kind of things to expect from your characters. They are only allowed to talk in your play, so you will have to express the peculiarities of the genre through their words. It will be hard to make them both sarcastic, loving, cold and tragic, so decide on one strategy, especially for your first play.
Even though you may find it interesting to write a five pages introductory dialogue about what the family will eat for lunch, there should be a clear reason for it. Maybe the food will all be poisoned, or it possesses some symbolic meaning about the characters. However, it is better to add a bit of drama or an intriguing element early in the play, as it will want your reader to find out what happens later in the story.
Make it a loud and clear entrance. Your main character is the nail on which the whole painting of the story is hanging. Everyone in the theater should know that your character has just arrived and they are here to stay and make the audience dream and empathize with them.
Even before the writing, think about your character’s peculiarities. It is better to write a dosier on each one, so you do not forget what are the likes and dislikes of each. Thoroughly think whether you need to have them all in your play. If you have two or more characters that, produce the same effect: for example, the supportive best friend of your main character, a negative paternal figure and so on, try to cut on the excess. Analyze what the reason for introducing each character is, and how their personalities are affected by the story. Everything has its place in a play, since the word and time limit of the theater do not allow for excess and meaningless banter.
If your main character is the nail, the dialogues are the frames on which your painting hangs. They should be concise, clear, expressive and necessary. Each character has their way of talking which expresses their emotion or personality, mood shift or hidden intention. Learn to play with words and analyze how to convey different emotions by different words.
You could write a light comedy with no morale, but there should always be a context and a culmination of your play. Your readers or the audience in the theater should not feel like they wasted time looking inside your brain and finding no new ideas and just a pretty façade. So be aware of the morale, and the reason why you wrote the play the way you wrote it!