Once you have an idea, how do you proceed? Do you take notes? Do you outline? Do you plunge right in?
Outlines, no. Notes, yes. When I “plunge” right in (which happens a lot), I think of it more like an impulse than an “idea.” David Ball’s Backwards and Forwards taught me how to loosen my grip on story. I imagine a theatrically provocative gesture (“something’s on fire” in my play Fin & Euba; “a woman gets pushed out of a boat” in The Gulf) and then I write backwards—literally backwards—from there. I move in an uninterrupted sequence, action by action, in reverse, until the “rise” bottoms out.
Subscribe to gain full access to The Dramatist Issue Archive.
Join and become a Dramatists Guild Member, Business Subscriber or subscribe to the magazine with an annual plan for unlimited access.
Guild Members receive our magazine as a benefit of membership!