Well, I got tagged by one of my fellow playwrights: the always-inspiring Bobby Keniston - who was nice enough to be the subject of one of my About.com playwright profiles.
Bobby is part of a rather exclusive Facebook group; all of the members are playwrights who focus primarily on plays for teens and children. It's a great place to ask for feedback, bounce off ideas, and share general frustrations about our craft (how it is oh-so-emotionally fulfilling yet not-always-so lucrative).
Bobby's blog is "Theater Is a Sport," and you'll be able to check out his response to these questions about The Writing Process, but you'll also find many thoughtful articles about the Theatre. It's a great resource, especially if you are a drama teacher, a playwright, or simple a theater-geek.
Oh... I guess I should tag someone else for this blog-hop... Let me ask around and find out who is willing, and then I'll update this page and let you know about the next
So, without further ado, here are the responses to Bobby's Questions:
1) WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?
The big project looming in the distance is a comedic prequel to The Three Musketeers. I haven't decided what to call it... The Two Musketeers?
I am also tinkering with drafts of things, such as Camp Omigosh, the novel version of CSI: Neverland, and various picture books.
Oh, and I'm currently marketing a new project called CASTLE WRITEMORE! It's a great handbook for young creative writers. It's now available on Kindle!
2) HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN THE FIELD?
I'm not sure, because I don't read enough of my peers to truly give an answer. I do know that I take a great amount of pleasure in creating strange and hilarious situations... I think I can be very quirky yet I never attempt to alienate the audience. Hopefully the best of my plays are feel strange yet universal. One acquaintance watched one of my plays (which I had not only written but also directed) and she said, "I feel like I have been inside your mind for the last ninety minutes, and I don't know that I should have gone in there." That has probably been the highest compliment I've ever received.
Does that answer the question? No. Oh well, let's move on...
3) WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO?
It sounds cheesy, but I think it's important to bring laughter and happiness into the world. Hopefully my plays bring a sense of joy to the audience as well as the performers.
When I was younger, I used to write about really dark subjects (assassins out for revenge, horror story knock-offs of Stephen King). I had fun writing those, but the characters and situations were always very mediocre. Then, sometime around the late 1990s, after watching one too many depressing tragedies on the news I thought to myself, there's enough bloodshed in real life. Why not focus on happiness and humor?
Of course, it should be noted that I just finished writing a Downton Abbey / Walking Dead spoof in which many people are turned into zombies. But it's all in good fun? Who doesn't love British, early 19th century zombies?
4) HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK
For eight and a half months of the year I teach at Moorpark College. During that time, I writing rather slowly. I might finish one project (a one-act play, a chapter book, something small) per semester. Then, during the summer break, as well as the one month we take off during the winter, I write as much as I possibly can!
As far as the process of writing, I develop the characters in my head, jot down notes, do a bit of pre-writing. I figure out the conflict and the overall theme in advance. Then, I might have a strong idea of how the story begins, a few key points along the way, and I almost always have a definite idea about how it ends. There's a lot of stuff in the middle that comes along spontaneously. Writing is usually more fun that way.
Well, that about wraps it up... Thank you, Bobby Keniston, for inviting me to play!