Last week was a real rollercoaster.
The time for our Scriptwriting in Practice week-long workshop finally rolled around, but over the weekend leading up to it I managed to catch something between a cold and flu. Still, I soldiered on with a lot of medicine and vitamins (and oranges donated by a lovely and equally sick classmate!).
The workshops themselves were fantastic. We were each assigned one of two directors – I had Christopher Bridgeman of Northwest Playwrights who is running the course with Julie Wilkinson – and a small group of actors. Between them they worked through the script, asking questions and making suggestions for changes or things that I should think about.
I’ve never written for the stage before. As a prose writer I’m used to imagining what my characters are thinking and feeling and doing all the time, but it’s a bigger leap than I expected to putting them into a real person on a stage. I’ve learned to be much more aware of where my characters are all the time, how they’re occupying the space, and what the space does for them and the dramatic action.
To my delight I also discovered that, aside from a few minor hiccups, my play is much more together than I expected. It flows surprisingly well considering the massive plot holes in one aspect of the play – something I already knew I needed to fix and hadn’t had the time! This said the play still needs so much work just to make it coherent and to round out the characters, but I felt that I made a lot of progress considering I was so unwell and unable to do many rewrites between my workshops on Wednesday and Friday.
I’m really gutted I was so ill, as I know I didn’t get as much out of the week as I would have liked, but I’ve gone away with so much to think about and having learned an awful lot.