i wandered off for a while there…

20/06/2011 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

Wait a moment. I’ll just pop my head up from the swamp of scriptwriting to see what’s what. Hmmm: it looks familiar, but strange things are afoot. People are asking after me. I’d better explain…

Deeply embedded in the writing process, I have gone submarine on all things digital in an effort to boost my scene output. These past forty posts are a kind of distraction I had intended to buy some time with while I cook up the proverbial all-hell that I hope will break loose in the climax of Act One. Then they ran out, but I still wasn’t finished, and now I am buried under a mountain of handwritten notes, scenes and gags depicting the events (as constant readers may have guessed) occurring in the upstairs rooms of chéz Katie.

I want to reflect on the process; but first things first – for those who have expressed an interest in reading the completed script – my thanks, we are nearly there. I will make it available as soon as I possibly can. The piecemeal structure with which I have self-published is hopelessly inadequate for the dedicated theatre reader; but for that I make no apologies as there are many reasons why I went down that road, mostly selfish, partly experimental, and just fractionally, because I thought people might be interested! Funnily enough, this smallest of motivations for feeding out teensy chunks of scene over several months has had the most profound impact on my understanding of the composition process; upon which I will elaborate in the coming series of posts outlining a set of core beliefs I have about theatre and writing. These have unfolded amidst my consciousness as a direct result of the digital decluttering and oddly, simply by knowing that these scene fragments were scheduled to publish, where just about anyone could read them!

You see, everyone reckons that writing is this isolated, lonely process, and they aren’t exactly wrong. But I thought: “Why should it have to be?” Sure it’s not finished yet, and there are scenes missing, and some of the lines appear to have been hacked from the offcuts of too-chewed scenery bits left to rot after a bad run of some nineteen-seventies romantic comedy… But I digress. The mere fact that the first half was going out into the world while I frenetically pen-and-inked the scenes for the second half meant I was free to experiment. I needn’t worry about getting the balance right in structuring Act II; since I instantaneously knew just where I have gone wrong with Act I. The knowledge that literally anyone could read the work-in-progress meant every flaw was spotlighted in my mind, and realising it didn’t matter was extremely powerful in that it left me completely free to dip my pen and writhe in the agony of getting the second half into some kind of general shape. It was a real benefit, not being bogged down anymore. That’s a big problem for me, writing a project like this which feels so stupidly ambitious at times I fear I’ll never live up to the vision. But then it dawned on me.

I believe the best ideas are those which can’t be done.

Or at least, they seem that way on paper… but as we know, theatre is so much more than words on a page. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some typing to attend to.

back soon
SZ

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Entry filed under: Inside Theatre PROCESS, Sydney THEATRE.

ACT I, scene iii, p4 CRITIC WATCH: In Praise of Hyperbole & Blather

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VICTOR SANCZ vassanc [AT] gmail.com

since 2009

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