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Believe it or not, I just finished writing my first play.


It's the first draft for our CW130 (Playwriting) class, which may I just say, is one of my most challenging subjects this semester. Probably my biggest mistake, which I'm getting to realize only now, is to underestimate playwriting. I took this as one of my genres to escape from Poetry, which is a genre I definitely felt uncomfortable with. I enjoy reading poetry, yes, but somehow it just doesn't really go well with me -- any attempts at being poetic sound contrived and/or cheesy. So I took playwriting as my escape route. Wrong move.

It's not enough to have a picture inside your head. There is no such thing as a short short play. Or a flash play. You cannot just have this image on your head and work on just that one frame, that one scene. (Which is what usually happens to me when I write fiction.) In playwriting, you have to see everything in the now, from where the boxes lie to how the curtains move, and not just that but also everything about the past: how the character was born, whether she puts her bra or panties on first, how she likes her eggs, scrambled or sunny side-up. It's that specific. You have to be conscious of every movement, every word. Because unlike fiction, poetry and nonfiction even, where there are space for footnotes, playwriting leaves the audience nothing but just that play. That's the whole story, that's the whole explanation. That's all there is to it.

Which is why for the last few nights I've been pouring myself over this one-act play I'm writing. A twenty-minute play with two actors and mostly dialogue is no joke -- I tried to come up with the simplest concepts possible, but really, there is no easy way out of it. On some days, the story made complete sense to me, on most days, I'm just like, "What the hell am I doing?" But thankfully, I got the whole thing down to twelve pages (which is not a bad thing at all!) and hopefully it's tight, concise but surprising enough to be considered "okay."

Just a nod from our professor would already make me want to treat all my friends at Drew's until they hurl their livers out (but that is not a promise, just an analogy!) I really want to do well in this class. But right now, I'm not even thinking about my grades. I just want to get this thing going and hopefully, it turns out to be something worth watching.

The first reading of my play will be on Wednesday. I'm nervous! The topic proposals, meanwhile, for my other playwriting class (MP174) will be next week, I think. That's another play for me to worry about. But until then, I'm crossing my fingers on this one.

I still don't feel like a playwright, though. More like a playwrong.

(I apologize for the rambling. Sorry, my brain's all mush right now.)

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