I announced to my family that I thought I was going to write a blog post called “How to Write a Play”.
Kenton said that I should do one called “How to Beard a Beard.” I then offered him the opportunity to do a guest post, and share his wisdom with my mainly female audience. I actually kind of was in the initial stages of begging. He refused. And I could tell that there was no changing his mind.
He did, however, mention something about Vitamin D?
Today, we will not be learning how to beard a beard. (Once you have successfully bearded a beard, then you are officially bearding. That’s another thing that Kenton said.)
Let’s talk about plays.
Romeo and Juliet.
My friend Meghan and I, we wrote a play. Yup, we did. It’s about Moses. You can come see it sometime this spring, if you want to. The drama class at our school (taught by the wonderful Mr. Ricky Martin) is going to be performing it. It will be weird to watch it. Maybe I won’t even come to see it. Just kidding. I’ll be there. But I’ll be rather jittery.
But that’s enough about the emotional side of things. Let’s talk practically.
I am going to tell you how to write a play.
(Insert awkward pause as I realize that I somehow don’t know what to put on this list.)
How To Write a Play
1. Make a plan. Never mind. Make half of a plan. Yes. Plan half of the play. Much more manageable than thinking through a whole play.
2. Start writing.
3. Stop writing.
4. Start writing.
5. Stop writing.
6. Start writing.
8. Think, “Hey! This is going to work! This is going to be okay! Maybe it will even be a good play.”
9. Think, “This is awful. I must run away. Or at least find a substitute to teach for me for a day so that I can just get this blasted thing out of the way.”
10. Plan the second half.
11. Start writing.
12. Stop writing.
13. Start writing.
14. Stop writing.
15. Look over the parts that your friend is writing and think about how annoying it is that you can think of exactly what you would have a certain character say in THAT situation, but you can’t figure out what they would say in the scene that you are trying to write.
16. Pretend that the play doesn’t exist.
17. Keep pretending.
18. Panic, because you pretended too long and too well.
20. Text Ricky.
21. Read Antiquities of the Jews, by Josephus. Just the part about Moses. And a few other parts that may catch your eye.
22. Text Ricky.
23. Write everything except the play.
24. Read through the parts that you have written so far out loud, and wonder why, in your mind, your Hebrew narrator has blond hair and an Irish accent.
25. Go to Williams with Meghan. Eat quesadillas and wonderful cake. Talk, laugh.
26. Grit your teeth.
27. Hunker down.
28. Admit that music doesn’t help you focus. It distracts you. It has always been that way. And it hasn’t changed.
30. Keep writing. Until the end.
31. When you are finished, feel free. Feel like dancing. Feel like you could act the whole entire play by yourself. Briefly consider a career in acting. Decide that it’s not for you.
There you go. Your free, complete, 31-step guide to writing a play.
And to think that some people take this a step further, and add songs and music and dancing, and create musicals.
But the funny thing is, after all of the heaviness and the wrenching out of hiding words and the frustration of just not knowing some things, I find myself thinking that I’d like to do this again sometime. Isn’t that funny?