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Topic: Writing Off the Page (Plays and Scripts) 20/02/14  (Read 435 times)
« on: October 09, 2014, 01:19:26 pm »
Sarlounew
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These tasks are designed to be acted out or spoken. If you like what you come up with, why not get in touch with a committee member to see if it can be part of our segment on the Drama Show on URN?

1.   Write a short piece, either poetry or prose, based on a person’s musings and how they think things through in their head.  Try and get a character voice pinned down.   

Advice from radio play writers:
Hit the ground running – don’t waste time on introductory stuff.  Start the story as late as possible, in the middle of a crisis.
Focus on fewer, well-crafted characters.  Dialogue is the focus so their speech mannerisms need to be uniquely theirs.
Every bit of speech must have a purpose and move the script along in some way.
Don’t be too obvious.  Characters shouldn’t say exactly what they’re thinking or perfectly answer one another – they should bounce off each other and really react.
Use a variety of sounds, sentence lengths, dialogue paces and speaking characters to hold the audience’s interest.

2.   Pick a character, your own or fictional.  With the person next to you, write a short piece of dialogue between the two that deals with a conflict of some sort.  How do they interact?  Try to make it sound real and fluid, not stilted.               

3.   On your own again, write a script in which a character explains something that happened to them previously.  They could be telling a friend a funny story, musing in their head over what has occurred, or giving testimony in court.  Try to make it unobvious that you’re providing exposition.                           

4.   Your character is going on a blind date with somebody else.  Use this as an opportunity to really expose the personality of your chosen character, their history, and how they react to things, in a natural setting.                     

5.   Write a script which includes separate levels of speech occurring at the same time, eg. regulars in a pub listening to and commenting on the president’s speech playing on the tv.  How can you make it obvious what speech is in which level?  What can this setup bet used to illustrate?                             

6.   Write an intensely action-filled script.  Things are happening very fast – how can you express exactly what is occurring and who is doing what?  If you’re having trouble try out different things, such as flashbacks, voiceovers or inner monologues.         

7.   Write a short high-concept fantasy or sci-fi story in the form of a script.  This means you must be able to explain the fantastical things occurring around the characters only through dialogue and without resorting to meaningless fantasy or sci-fi jargon.      

8.   Write a script set in either a dystopian, futuristic or post-apocalyptic setting.  How can you express how things are different without using exposition?  Examples: dictator’s announcements over a tannoy, appliances that speak as characters use them, and lots of interesting sound effects!                     
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