I struggle with the idea of considering myself a playwright.
First published in the December 2006 Scene issue “Writing”.
My thoughts on this article in 2018:
I need to take my own advice. I have found myself stuck over the past few years and feeling as if I have nothing to say. I’m trying not to become what I fear and rereading this article has stirred up quite a lot in me. I believe I wrote this when I had several exciting projects cooking. Now they have become unfinished works that feel like a group of neglected children that I can’t be bothered to raise. I think it is safe to say that the only way forward is to just stop worrying and start writing. Who knows, the next time this article gets reprinted, I might have completed them all… or at least one. Wish me luck.
I struggle with the idea of considering myself a playwright. The judgment… that little annoying, but somehow very powerful voice in my head that says what I write may not be good enough… is at times overwhelming and forces me to stop. Maybe that’s why a few of my “masterpieces” are not complete.
So what makes a great play? That is a completely subjective question. However, here are some ingredients that can be found in numerous plays: well-built characters, interesting plot, tension/conflict, great dialogue, character growth or change and unpredictability. Keep it truthful and insightful with strong themes. Ask yourself: “Is this a story that needs to be told?