What is a
How is it different from other kinds of expository writing (stories,
The playwright’s principal tools are dialogue, plot, character,
setting, and stage directions.
- The purpose of prose fiction is to write for the page in such a
powerful, inventive way that you start up a play in the reader’s
- The purpose of a play is to create a live event which
takes place before
Exercise #1 Two Line Plays
- Setting: This is the time and place where an action occurs.
Where do you hang out?
Character: Who is the most interesting character that you know?
Dialogue: In plays dialogue is what people do to each other. It is the playwright's method of exploring human behavior.
- Think of some bit of dialogue that someone typically says which best expresses his or her character
- Then respond to it uniquely, not in some standard way- truly and in
The Engine of a Play:
- There is really only one rule to follow in writing a play: be
- Remember that plays take place on days that are
different from any other day. They happen on the day that something happens which has been building for a long time.
- Plays turn up the heat on everyday
life. Conflict is at the center of all drama. Characters want things;
they have needs and objectives: a good night’s sleep, the love of
somebody, new shoes. Conflict occurs when obstacles get in the way
of the character achieving what he or she wants.
- Character: You have to know a lot about your characters: their
biography, traits, manners of speaking, their ways. You also have to
know what they want.
- Objective: Plays are made from the spectacle of characters
struggling to get what they want. They have to want something and
want it badly.
- Conflict: Something has to block that desire; an obstacle creates
conflict. The obstacle gets in the way of the character getting what
he or she wants. Dram is built on conflict.