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BWW Blog: 8 Steps for Writing Your Own Play

Once I finished writing my first play, I thought it would be useful to show others a helpful path that I followed during this new process.

So, I've finally done it. I've just completed my first play. Is it perfect? No, of course not, but then again, what play is? Am I proud of it? Definitely. Writing a play is something that I've wanted to do for many years. I was close to writing a play for my high school one-act plays, but it just never happened. Now, here I am 3 years later, finishing what I started. Ever since I started being involved in theatre, I have primarily been an actor. Within the past few years, I have also explored directing and most recently, stage management. I found that being involved in various paths of theatre, my perspective is in a constant state of change. So, once I finished writing my first play, I thought it would be useful to show others a helpful path that I followed during this new process.

8. Topic first, Idea second

This will either be one of the most difficult aspects of the playwriting process or one of the easiest. Whether it's easy or difficult, by finding a topic first, you have the capabilities to expand your overall idea. The idea is what is going to make your play come to life. The more creative the idea, the more potential the play has to be successful.

7. Develop Story and Characters

Once you've found your idea, it's time to develop the story and characters. While developing your story and characters, here are a few questions to consider. What message are you attempting to convey to your audience? Are your characters believable or convincing? Is this a story worth telling? Once you ask yourself these questions, you will be able to successfully develop your story and characters.

6. Map out the Play

So you finally have your story and characters completely developed. While changes can still be made, it's best to have a strong outline when you begin to map out the play. By mapping out the play ahead of time, you can strengthen your story and your characters.

5. Write

The step that you have been waiting for, writing the play. If you have completed all of the steps above, this process should be easier to complete. Writing the play will be daunting, but if you write with an open mind, the process should become somewhat easier. If you're writing a drama, remember that you're writing a drama. If it's a comedy, remember that it should seem like a comedy. Writing the play is going to be a challenge, but if you take your time and plan everything out ahead of time, the difficulty of this task will be much easier to overcome.

4. Pause, Reflect and Read

Now that you have completed the first draft of the play, it's time to sit back and reflect on what you wrote. Something that might help to achieve this step is to walk away from the piece for a few days. Once you come back to it, you'll have a refreshed mind. Once you read it, it'll be easier to spot places that you want to revise.

3. Find Places for Revisions

This is the time to alter anything you don't like or want to change to make the story cohesive. You have the freedom to either cut some segments or build upon others to develop a solid story. As long as you can sense a structured beginning, middle, and end, then you are on the right track.

2. Edit

At this point, it's time to step away from the creative side of playwriting. Now is the time to edit the play. Read through it and find any spelling or grammatical errors. Many errors could be within your play. For some people, when writing dialogue, we write it as if we are speaking it. Make sure the dialogue you have written makes sense to your character and has the right amount of details. If your character is having a conversation with another character, try to make the dialogue flow. This will help with cohesiveness and will tie up the story in a meaningful manner.

1. Read

While this is the last step of this list, it does not mean that you are done. You might go back to one of the previous steps, or maybe you feel like you are done. Whatever you decide, it is not completed until you are happy with it.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Brenton Kniess