I volunteered last minute to write this blog. So, pardon me if it seems somewhat improvised, lacking in the thought that we all normally give to our blogs, rather than leave them to the last minute. Probably wasn’t the best idea. We’ve just had friends for lunch and have a gorgeous but full on grandson staying with us. I said to my son, the grandson’s father, ‘I’ve volunteered to write this blog. If you have any ideas, let me know.’ He replied quickly, ‘Obvious,’ he said, ‘poetry.’ I told him that if I write another blog on poetry the group will shut down the site in droves.
We talked for a while, and picked on the most unusual aspect of writing we could think of; script writing or plays. That, I do think is something we rarely attempt. I wonder why, when most of the population spend half their lives watching what scriptwriters have produced. As writers we ought to be experts. So, how would you go about it?
I know, because I read an article about it, that soaps such as Coronation Street are team written. Months before the broadcast date a committee decides how the plot is going to develop (these days I suppose they have to take into account various members going to court for criminal acts they may have committed) then it is narrowed down to a few writers finally one writer being given the task and credit on the TV screen for producing the programme.
I’m guessing now, but I would have thought that a series such as Steptoe and Son, written by Galton and Simpson, would have had the story idea decided and then the two writers becoming the characters and writing as they went along. I would like to think that they would have been in hysterics as they wrote.
This is my son’s idea. He said, if I wanted to write a play of my novel, The Good Doctor, I would work my way through it and delete everything but the spoken by the characters. There I would have the bare bones of a play to work on. I thought that I would try to write the first chapter of The Good Doctor as a play. I did and it’s okay. My daughter who is working in Ghana at the moment is a member of an acting group out there. I sent her the play. She told me that the director thought it was good, but he needed something that was more than five minutes long. Hard work without a doubt.
The final way is to start from scratch. I have a friend who is a playwright. I haven’t worked closely with him or attended any of his workshops but I know he says that to write a play, ‘You take an empty stage. An empty mind. Put two characters on the stage and nothing else. The play will write itself.’
Sounds like Waiting for Godot to me.
(Anyone know how the title of Becket’s play Waiting For Godot came about?)