Notes on Playwriting

Some concise considerations regarding the configuration of plays

*In plays and in life, the slightest event can cause the unraveling of a person's life.

*The pivotal character forces the action. She is uncompromising. Her desire/goal is something she wants more than life itself.

*A play is conflict (a theft), rising conflict (a chase), crisis (caught), climax (sentenced), and conclusion (prison).

*Open your play at point of attack.

*Provide great expectations for a coming conflict.

*A premise is a thumbnail synopsis: materialism over comes mysticism, honesty defeats duplicity, inflexible beliefs leands to self-destruction.

*You don't need to make a speech to make a point.

(From the Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri)

*Create characters who do extraordinary things.

*One character's action is another's conflict.

*Emotion leads to action - actions leads to speech and behavior - speech and character are behavior

*Exposition - it should be activated, driven out by conflict, revealed as a compelling exchange between characters

*Has a central question been posed?

*Are there high stakes?

*Know your ending from the outset

*Endings 'should' be surprising and inevitable.

*All plays are mysteries written in the present tense.