Friday, March 7, 2008

First day of writing and some history

Yesterday (Friday) was my first full day of writing. What joy! A whole day of writing and enough words not to run out. I wrote three new scenes for my play and spent the afternoon trying to fit them in and seeing what changes they made. The good news is that they seem to belong in the story, the bad news is that I'll need to rewrite the whole last third of the play ... It's good that I like a challenge.
Starting writing this blog now, means that I've skipped over the back story that got me this far. I thought this might be a good chance to give a quick overview of how this play came to be.
In 2006 I started a Masters in Playwriting at QUT. I went into it for all the wrong reasons: it was fee free, which was the only way I could go back to Uni; I didn't have an undergraduate degree and this was one where they'd count my years in theatre as the equivalent of a BA; and I was writing a novel and my dialogue sucked. I thought that writing a play (all dialogue) would force me to get through my block and help me fix the novel. So, I felt like a fraud from day one of the degree. The only things I had going for me were my loves of theatre and literature/writing.
Because I'd never written a play before and felt like such a phony, I chose to start writing the play collaboratively - working with actors. I was fortunate enough to have three talented and generous actors agree to work with me. (Dan Eady, Kaye Stevenson and Peter Cossar) I had an idea for the play and I'd sketched outlines of the characters and the actors helped me to fill them in. Once we'd been through a workshop process, I went on and rewrote and redrafted the play to make it fit better with the idea I had in my head.
I passed the MA and the play I wrote earned me a spot at the most inspiring place I've ever been - Varuna, the Writers House in the Blue Mountains. While there I worked with the lovely dramaturg MaryAnne Gifford and threw away the play I'd been working on and started again on a new version that ventured further into the fairy tale world I'd imagined. During that week I wrote Ned's Story.
And it's Ned's Story that has brought me here.
There you have it, in a nutshell.

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