When you’re a writer it’s just something that’s in your blood, and the only way to silence the running storylines in your head is to jot them down. Some writers never want these thoughts read aloud, but others want them to be shouted from the mountaintops. If you’ve considered becoming a playwright so that your story can come to life on stage, then consider these following tips for beginner playwrights.
Learn from the Best
As with most creative outlets, one of the best ways to learn is to learn from the best! Start with your favorite productions and try to get your hands on a copy of the original script. By studying the ways in which the playwright constructed the storyline, you can begin to develop your own style. Branch out from your favorites and learn from the diverse world of history’s most important playwrights in order to have a well-rounded knowledge of script writing.
Be a Storyteller
Though this one seems obvious, it’s easier said than done – be a storyteller. Make it a habit to tell stories to friends and family and pay attention to the stories of others. Carry a notebook with you everywhere you go and jot down storylines, character descriptions, and vivid settings as they come to you. When you’re an active storyteller who is constantly aware of their surroundings, you can avoid catching the dreaded writer’s block more effectively.
One of the most important tips for beginner playwrights is to start small. This doesn’t mean to keep your ideas small, it simply means to start off with a 10-minute play. Plays of this length tend to be around 10 pages long, which is plenty of room to fully develop a beginning, middle, and end to your story. When you work on a smaller scale, you can further fine-tune your writing, producing a better script and increasing the chances of it getting picked up by theatre.
Get to Know Your Characters
If you don’t know your characters, then how do you expect your audience to? Before throwing your characters into your storyline, get to know them first. Start with the big picture and ask yourself what the character’s objective is when considering the overall play.
Then you can get into the nitty-gritty details, broken down scene by scene. Assume your character’s identity and respond to a question-and-answer survey in order to discover even their most minute qualities. Also keep in mind that these fictitious people need to stand out in an extraordinary way, whether they are inherently good or downright evil.
Gain Insight from Different Perspectives
When you’re too close to the work itself, it can be easy to overlook major flaws in the storyline. If you have a few close and trustworthy friends or family members that are willing to read your work and provide you with constructive criticism, take advantage of the opportunity. When they provide you with feedback, you are able to see your work from a different perspective, which can allow for you to make necessary changes. Reading your work aloud or after a few weeks of not working on it can produce a similar effect.
Are you interested in getting involved with the theatre? Contact us at Lionheart Theatre Company today to learn more about community involvement with your local theatre.