Dramaquill's All Things Writing

February 26, 2013

Composing is writing too

I have been feeling uptight about not working on my second suspense novel lately. We all go through those phases where our projects get shelved due to other things taking up our time.

Recently I even had to skip my turn at subbing to my critique group (and I hate missing my turn).

Today, as I sat at my keyboard working on lyrics to the final original song for my murder/mystery, I realized that I was still writing. I was just writing words to a song instead of words in a chapter. Creating is creating – writing is writing

What are you writing today?

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April 29, 2011

Your play: published or produced?

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As the resident playwright for Slightly off Broadway triple threat studio, I create 6-8 new scripts every school year.  There was a time when I believed that I really hadn’t done justice to my plays unless I managed to get them published or in an anthology collection.

As the years went by, I realized that the greatest pleasure I get from writing my plays and musicals is watching them unfold during the rehearsal process and then seeing the final product up on the stage during the performances.  After all, plays are meant to be seen and heard, not just read.  This is what makes plays different from all other forms of fiction writing.

I know several playwrights who have developed their own publishing companies solely for the purpose of self-publishing their plays.  That way, they don’t have to share royalties when they sell copies to schools and drama clubs. 

Over the years I’ve ordered sample copies of plays from several different publishers.  Some produce a fine product but many others create an amateur looking cardstock cover folded over and stapled to the printed sheets.  I can make copies that look better by doing it myself.  Also, if I have them published with someone else, then I have to share revenue on each sale.  So I understand why so many playwrights choose to create their own company and their own product.

But for me, publication isn’t the forerunner for my plays.  It’s the productions that I crave.  Besides the Slightly off Broadway performances, I have sold copies of my plays to school drama clubs and organizers of summer drama camps.  Knowing that something I have created can be shared with performers and audiences all over the globe is far more satisfying to me than having my play listed in a catalogue.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t love to be listed with the likes of someone like Samuel French – who wouldn’t? 

So how do I get the word out that I have plays available?

I advertise on the Slightly off Broadway website.  I read ezines and forums that pertain to playwriting.  I talk to teachers who are looking for new material.  I do my own networking.

Am I getting rich selling copies of my plays for productions?

Nope.

Am I satisfied knowing that every single one I have written to date has had at least one production?

Absolutely.

Publication or Production…you decide.

http://www.slightlyoffbroadway.com

http://www.samuelfrench.com

http://www.stageplays.com

January 25, 2009

I’m obsessed with journal books

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It’s been a busy month and I’ve had a few projects on the go, including writing a futuristic play for our intermediate drama class and a play about chefs for our junior class. 

Last Monday, as I realized that I was trying to research and write on about three different projects at once, I stopped and took stock of my small but cozy writing office in my house.  I have an addiction and it’s time I admitted it.

I’m obsessed with hard cover  journal books!

From the serious, business type to the whimsical, bright colored ones with jems glued on them or fun fur trimming their edges, I have a huge collection of these books.  But what surprised me the most was the number of them that are filled with ideas and beginnings of writing projects.

There’s a chapter book in one, a few PBs, some new play ideas, several books in different genres and even a crack at a one woman play.  And as I spent a nostalgic couple of hours browsing through all of them (instead of working on one of the plays that I needed for Saturday), I realized that I will never own enough of these books to cover all the ideas I continue to generate.

I’ve always enjoyed writing on thin lined paper with a medium tip pen and it’s inside of these books that I’ve created so many characters and worlds.  The blinking curser has never inspired me to create, but these colorful, hardcover books with their neatly bound lined pages call to my creative muse and draw out all sorts of ideas.

On Monday evening I went in to work and took stock of at least a dozen more journal books there.  Again, almost every one had scribblings of new characters, worlds, plots or ideas for a book or play. 

Is there a support group for a journal junkee?

On Tuesday morning, for one brief moment, I got the notion to take stock of all my writing utensils.  But as I lifted the lid on the shiny green box that houses a great deal of my unique or fancy pens and pencils, I stopped myself.  Maybe one obsession is enough?

If you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering why I would choose to write a blog topic on my obsession with journal books.  What relevance or signifigance does it have for my readers?

Believe it or not, it’s given me a jumpstart to get cracking on some projects that had to take a back seat for one reason or another.  It’s reminded me that if I block on one project, there are others waiting in the wings.

So why not take stock of your old files, or notebooks, or folders on your computer’s desktop.  You never know what you might find that you’d completely forgotten about. 

Believe it or not, I even found one journal book that I actually had begun using as a personal journal. 

So whenever I lose my muse and need some inspiration, I’ve only got to shift my eyes to my bookshelf and scan the colorful piles of journal books beckoning for their chance.

I’m obsessed with journal books …and proud of it!

November 13, 2008

Kids putting on Musicals

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Whether you’re a school teacher looking for a great musical for your class (or entire school) or a small children’s theatre or even a drama school, I found a great resource.  The musicals are basically “junior” versions of the full length musicals. 

So what am I talking about?

Broadway Junior.  It’s a great website and a great concept for adults who work with kids who want to put on musicals.  They carry a good selection of titles, all in the “junior” format, including:

 “Beauty and the Beast” “Aladdin”, “Annie”, “Seussical”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Godspell”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Mulan”, “Pirates of the Penzance”, “Schoolhouse Rock”, “Bugsy Malone”, “Dear Edwina”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Honk”, “Into the Woods”, “The Music Man”, “Once on this Island”, “Willie Wonka” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie”.

I had the priviledge of seeing “Aladdin Junior” done with school kids from grades 4-6 last year and the production was terrific.  There were lead parts and smaller parts for those who don’t like memorizing and lots of room for chorus.  Even though this was a shortened version of the original, this “junior” production kept the integrity of the story and the characters and included the songs audiences would recognize and want to hear. The CD accompaniment tracks made the whole production sound professional from start to finish.

The showkit contains everything you need to stage your own musical.  Can’t dance?  There’s even a choreography video to help you stage dance numbers.  A piano score makes learning each new song easy. Check it all out at:

http://www.broadwayjr.com/store/showkitproduct.asp?oid=3

October 2, 2007

For me, a messy office is a productive office

Hard at work

As long as you know where everything is, not every writer feels peace with a clean desk.  I need to know where everything is and have it right where I can grab it.  Once I put it all away, the “out of sight – out of mind” principle takes over and I never seem to find it again.  I feel stifled by a clean desk, not energized and ready to go.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

How do you keep your office?  Are you productive? 

I say, try spreading out and surrounding yourself with everything you need tomorrow and see what happens. 

Free Online Writer’s workshop

Who would believe that there’s an awesome online conference for writers of all genres and it’s free. 

 It’s too late to register for this year’s conference but it’s worth checking out for next year.

 http://museonlineconference.tripod.com/

I’m attending several workshops in this conference so I’ll update my blog with juicy tidbits of wisdom from the event.

October 1, 2007

All things writing

Check out my new blogsite for all things writing.  You’ll find useful articles and tips about different genres as well as submitting, formatting, book recommendations and any other useful tidbits.

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