Sunday, March 25, 2007

True To The First Draft

Tomorrow I submit a one-act play entitled “Finding Words” to Glenn Sevilla Mas for his course in playwriting.

The play revolves around an immediate family with two award-winning writers as well as two members who have tragically passed on: the mother who passed away while giving birth to the youngest child, and a sister who took her own life. The play attempts to explore dealing with trauma, communicating pain, and the prevailing silence within a family who has gotten used to avoiding confrontation.

I printed the script out this afternoon, 41 pages in all, including the title page. There’s something thrilling about seeing those pages come out and piling them up. There’s something rewarding about reading through the play again in its entirety. Sure you cringe at some questionable lines, but you forget about it after you read a kick-ass line that you’re surprised that you even wrote.

I normally set a strict personal deadline during the day before the formal deadline of something. Without doing so, I’m perfectly the type of nitpicky writer that could change the smallest of things in a piece up until I leave the house during the day of the actual deadline. I found setting my own deadline in advance allows me to trust what’s already on the page.

Often it’s in the second-guessing that pieces fall flat. It’s normally the one most loyal to the honesty of my sentiments when the piece was first conceived that’s the best draft. But it’s also one or two drafts removed from the original, thus I find much of the clutter, angst, and/or melodrama has been tamed to readability (at least).

Having said all of this, the draft of the play I’ll be submitting tomorrow is the third one overall. The play hasn’t peaked in terms of its quality, but it’s the best that it could be considering the time constraints. I’m convinced that any minute adjustments done between now and 4:30PM tomorrow wouldn’t make any significant difference in the quality of the content, just as I’m convince that when I go back to work on it in a week or two, I’ll be able to objectively take it up at least one more notch before the idea of the entire thing completely tumbles down.

At least that’s what I hope.


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