So the high points of the workshop:
- Listening to other people reading it out loud and performing it the way I imagined it. Awesome feeling. As a novelist, it's kind of similar to having someone draw a picture of your characters the way you imagined them.
- Being told it was pretty descent. Definitely ego boost after a exhausting weekend.
- Listening to other well-written plays.
- Realizing that I forgot some important aspects of a play like protagonists and goals and stuff.
- Noticing that I still had a butt load of typos after rereading it repeatedly.
- I don't think I can understand the notes that I took. I rarely ever understand the notes I take...
Likes: I enjoy that we don't spend a lot of time discussing the work because once you hear the story, you can kind of notice what's working and what's not working.
Dislikes: One thing that I didn't like is that the playwright isn't given time to ask questions (which I suppose is what office hours are for, but it's kind of good to get questions answered by peers). Another thing I didn't like about playwriting workshop is not being able to explain your intentions. With a fiction workshop you can say "My intent was blah blah blah." and your classmates and teacher can be "Oh, I see. Well, this might help you better reach your intent". In playwriting, there simply isn't enough time to do any of this, which is unfortunate.
At any rate:
I have a love/hate relationship with playwriting. On the one hand, I can focus on things that I think I'm strong at which is dialogue and characterization. On the other hand, it reminds me of all the things I'm not so good at which is everything else. Okay, not really everything, but I do have a problem with clarity and trying to tackle too much in a story. These are reoccurring issues that other people have pointed out to me in my writing and I have to agree. And it goes all across the board, playwriting, poetry, short stories, etc....
A part of it has to do with not allowing myself enough time to work and rework things. I get a certain rush from working right up until the deadline, but doing that requires some sort of sacrifice. Out of all the plays I tried to work on, none of them were working. In the case of the play I wrote for class, to get the dialogue, characterization, I neglected motivation and character goals. So instead of a "play", I got two people talking in an elevator. Which, when it was read out loud in class, is all well in good, but it's not a play it can't be performed only read. There's tension, there's conflict, but none of the characters had any goals and because of that there was no clear cut protagonist and antagonist. I think this happens when you let the characters do the talking and don't attempt to reign them in every so often.
The cool thing about revising a play is that it's all in the dialogue. There's no descriptions to fill in and what not. That's also one of its draw backs.
My notes for revision are below. I'm only posting this as a blog because I think it would be cool to catalog my process for revisions. It seems like the play is worth pursuing because of the mostly positive response about it and I feel that it needs some minor tweaking compared to some other hot messes I turned in for other classes that will never see the light of day: