Post Reply How to properly write a play?
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Posted 9/14/16
I wrote a play once but I felt it wasn't proper. How do I write a play properly. List an example on how because I might make my stories like plays for now because it's easier.


Enjoy!!!
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Posted 9/14/16
easy

*twerks on the D*

Jim walks in

Jim:Sean! What are you doing with your butt! Lawd!

Sean: It isn't a phase mom! Leave me alone!

*twerk twerk twerk*
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 9/14/16

Elk_Whisperer wrote:

easy

*twerks on the D*

Jim walks in

Jim:Sean! What are you doing with your butt! Lawd!

Sean: It isn't a phase mom! Leave me alone!

*twerk twerk twerk*


Humms 
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Posted 9/14/16
Get a piece of paper and write down a bunch of lines for each character to say. Have a plot, get an idea, make a story that flows with the characters.

Compose music for your scenes. Add emotion to the dialogue. Insert random musical moment.

choreography, eye contact, projection of voices, focus.

Think it's simple, hah! No. Writing stories as plays, come on now.

You can't write a play and not act it out, a play is more than just words, it's emotion, being in sync, timing, it's a dam display of performance and perfection that captivates.

I don't even know how to write a play! Why am I saying these things!?
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 9/14/16

Humms wrote:

Get a piece of paper and write down a bunch of lines for each character to say. Have a plot, get an idea, make a story that flows with the characters.

Compose music for your scenes. Add emotion to the dialogue. Insert random musical moment.

choreography, eye contact, projection of voices, focus.

Think it's simple, hah! No. Writing stories as plays, come on now.

You can't write a play and not act it out, a play is more than just words, it's emotion, being in sync, timing, it's a dam display of performance and perfection that captivates.

I don't even know how to write a play! Why am I saying these things!?


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Posted 9/14/16 , edited 9/14/16
I've never written a play and I probably never will. That said, I would suggest not doing it, unless you just want to try it out in a short story. Like Humms said, if you don't plan to act it out, its not really a play now is it?

And all of that said, read Shakespeare. Or any other playwright. In theory it is simple, but you need pretty much all of your scenes to be driven by dialogue which is tough. So you need to be really good (like really good) at writing characters and writing dialogue. As for the actions, well first of all you need to write in a way that is easy to reproduce on a small physical set, so limit your "he flew through space" moments and keep things much more grounded. After that, you just need to control who is on stage at any given time mostly and write out the key actions that the actors should be performing (don't bother too much with the subtleties of the performance. That is for the actors and the director to work out mostly).

PS: If you are going to write as a play because it is "easier", you are in for a world of hurt. It isn't easy. Write in the way that is best for your story.
Posted 9/15/16

Why not go to a few plays?
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Posted 9/15/16

sundin13 wrote:

I've never written a play and I probably never will. That said, I would suggest not doing it, unless you just want to try it out in a short story. Like Humms said, if you don't plan to act it out, its not really a play now is it?

And all of that said, read Shakespeare. Or any other playwright. In theory it is simple, but you need pretty much all of your scenes to be driven by dialogue which is tough. So you need to be really good (like really good) at writing characters and writing dialogue. As for the actions, well first of all you need to write in a way that is easy to reproduce on a small physical set, so limit your "he flew through space" moments and keep things much more grounded. After that, you just need to control who is on stage at any given time mostly and write out the key actions that the actors should be performing (don't bother too much with the subtleties of the performance. That is for the actors and the director to work out mostly).

PS: If you are going to write as a play because it is "easier", you are in for a world of hurt. It isn't easy. Write in the way that is best for your story.


I only mentioned that it was easier due to the dialogue. I'm having a tough time writing in third and first person.
Posted 9/15/16

Ok nice, you're welcome.
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Posted 9/15/16

qualeshia3 wrote:


sundin13 wrote:

I've never written a play and I probably never will. That said, I would suggest not doing it, unless you just want to try it out in a short story. Like Humms said, if you don't plan to act it out, its not really a play now is it?

And all of that said, read Shakespeare. Or any other playwright. In theory it is simple, but you need pretty much all of your scenes to be driven by dialogue which is tough. So you need to be really good (like really good) at writing characters and writing dialogue. As for the actions, well first of all you need to write in a way that is easy to reproduce on a small physical set, so limit your "he flew through space" moments and keep things much more grounded. After that, you just need to control who is on stage at any given time mostly and write out the key actions that the actors should be performing (don't bother too much with the subtleties of the performance. That is for the actors and the director to work out mostly).

PS: If you are going to write as a play because it is "easier", you are in for a world of hurt. It isn't easy. Write in the way that is best for your story.


I only mentioned that it was easier due to the dialogue. I'm having a tough time writing in third and first person.


Thats fair, and I get it, I just want to make sure you understand that by switching formats, some things become easier and others become harder. All you are really doing is shifting the difficulty, not taking it off yourself. Because of that, your best bet would be to improve at the things you aren't good at, within whatever format is best for your stories. Of the stories I've read of yours, I think that the novel format makes a lot more sense than the play format. Plus, if you just avoid the things that you struggle at, you will never improve. As they say, practice makes perfect.
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Posted 9/16/16
A script doesn't have to be for a play.

If you have a problem with prose description, writing a script might be a good idea. But don't decide yet whether you want to make it into a comic, audio play, film/animation, stage play, etc. Just write the story and the dialogue, and if you happen to find artists/directors/actors later, work with them to make the script into something they can use in their medium.

But I think that it's a good idea to try writing a script if you don't feel like prose is right for you.

Even though it's unlikely to get made that way, you could try writing a script as if it were for an anime. And who knows, maybe you'll somehow get it made that way... it's unlikely but nothing is impossible.
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Posted 10/24/16
So, I guess if previous answers weren't good enough I feel like replying as well.
------
MAX
(as Ash walks back in, staring at the corpse)
He was crying when he died.


ASH
(carrying an armload of alcohol bottles, beginning to pour it on the ground)
Yeah.


MAX
Did we do him right?


ASH
We let him see his man one more time, just like you asked.

Here's a quick bit ripped from a play I've been working on. To answer for formatting if that was the question, center justify the character names and italics in my example here and you pretty much have a mirror of what you need. For actually writing, that's a little different. First things first: Plays are probably one of the only forms of writing that an editor absolutely does not touch. You have to keep this in mind when you write, because everything, from misspelled words to meaningless typos, will be taken by directors and actors as absolute gospel. When internalizing the lines of a play, it's always paramount as an actor that I get my lines verbatim, and if not, as close as humanly possible. This means you should know exactly what you want written and what you mean by it.

In terms of writing dialogue overall, that's your prerogative. I could go on forever about subtext and creative freedoms and everything I've learned so far doing theatre, but the simplest thing I can give is to probably have in mind what your characters are trying to do. In theatre we talk a lot about objectives, what a character is trying to attain at any given moment. As a playwright you can keep those things in mind, but you don't have to force them on anyone.

As for directions, you can keep it really simple. Directors pretty much exist to provide movement and action to actors who don't make it up themselves, and since your script is taken as gospel, any amount of stage direction you add to your script takes away ten ideas that your director could have had. But be sure to insert what is absolutely necessary for your actors and director to know what the hell is going on. And as for what happens, keep in mind that a play has to be performed by living people moving from place to place as you require, so don't ask for anything physically impossible(leaving stage and instantly appearing elsewhere, for example).

So uh, there you go. I hope this answers your question...if you still needed an answer? I'll admit I had just walked out of my playwrighting class at university and saw this and I felt I just had to answer.
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