Writing a play is a strange beast.
Every time I sit down with a new idea to start a new script, I always seem to have forgotten how it went last time. If it’s going well I think back to the ‘struggles’ of the last one. If it’s going badly all I can recall is the ease with which the last one came and how I must certainly have lost the ability to write since then.
Sometimes I am writing to a brief, sometimes an idea has just compelled me to get typing.
Often the run up to starting is as fraught as the actual starting – I can sometimes tell I have an idea brewing when I find myself watching my box set of Victoria Wood’s dinnerladies. While I am a huge fan of Wood and she was an inspiration to me when I started out, I don’t write like her so this need to watch her sitcom is pretty odd. But.
Sometimes I get totally overwhelmed by an idea and think about it morning, noon and night. Others, I just sit down with a bit of a thought and start. I rarely know what the end of my story will be as I write the first lines. I can’t settle without a title and, on a bad day, can convince myself that altering the font size and paragraph spacing does definitely count as work.
But why am I telling you this? Well. I am about to start writing a new play for production in April 2011 at The People’s Theatre. I have a brief, I have a deadline for draft #1. I have watched dinnerladies (again) so am good to go!
I have decided to keep a record of the process this time. From first draft to production, providing I have enough to say on the matter.
If no-one reads it, then it’s a useful tool for me to look back on. If they do, it might (I hope) be an interesting insight.
I’ll be as honest as I can – there will no doubt be days when I decide I am a talentless imbecile and days when I think it might, possibly, be ok maybe (the highest praise I am likely to afford myself). One single day might encompass both – it’s a very up-and-down thing, I find.
Right then. That’s enough preamble. I have a play to write.
Wish me luck …