Monday, September 26, 2011

Writing Process: A New 10 Min Play

I'm no Mark Harvey Levine. He's had over 700 productions worldwide of his 10-15 minute plays. I haven't seen or read any of them, but I'm guessing he is a master storyteller. If you think writing a full-length play is hard, wait until you try writing a good short play. My play "The Bobbsey Twins Go to Hell," was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, and also won a production the same year. It has also been adapted as a short film and is in post-production.
Now that I'm using the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet as structure for my full-length plays, I decided that I would adapt the beat sheet for ten-minute plays. First I tried adapting it by number of lines, but that was just too specific, so now I have it by number of pages, just like for the *big* plays. Then I tried the beat sheet out against "The Bobbsey Twins" and found that my play fit the beat sheet structure very well. No wonder that play works, where others have not.
I can begin to create my cast of characters and their back stories now. I know the two main characters already. But who will be my third? Maybe I'll work on creating the back stories for the first two today, and see what that stirs up. There will be more dynamics with a third character, but sometimes the third character is not a person. It can be a city, for example. We'll see where we are tomorrow.