Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Christmas Dream 3-Act Play

My very first attempt at writing a three act play will be released next month. A Christmas Dream is a novel written by my dear friend Janet Elaine Smith. When she mentioned she'd love to see it be produced as a play I had just finished several screen writing courses and belonged to an RWA Screen Writer's group. I volunteered to give it a try.

I had a good deal of fun taking on the challenge of this medium. It is quite different than writing a novel - I had a couple dozen of those already published. The thing with a play is - the dialogue must carry the whole show. The characters must be what the narration of a novel creates for the reader. Certain things cannot be done on a small stage in the time of an hour or so that a stage play uses. Sets must be changed--quickly for the most part--they can't involve a lot of cumbersome extras - a herd of horses - or the like. The danger is that the playwright is so familiar with the story that he/she thinks the words carry the image she hoped to present. This may not be true.

A novel may be 2-300 pages where as a script for a movie is rarely more than 120 or so. A play is even less. A rule of thumb is 1 minute of performance time per page of script. So, the problem becomes; how do I, successfully, show the story my friend has written and keep it in tact and yet structure it to fit in the alloted time frame of a 3-Act Play.
Stay tuned as we examine this phenomina.
Happy Writing!

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