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Adapting 31 Plays in 31 Days to my purposes

As I mentioned, I would like to do 31 Plays in 31 Days again this August. The given parameters are to write a play of at least one page in length every day for the month. I have completed the challenge every year for the last three since thefarowl first brought it to my attention in 2012. It's been a great exercise for me, encouraging creativity, discipline, and just plain practice for my craft, and I've been very happy with the results each time.

This year, however, I would like to adapt the parameters of the challenge to suit my personal creative goals and needs. Just plain generation is great, but a more focused effort I think would suit me better right now. But I'm not exactly sure what to do in service to that.

Last year I made a concerted effort to write scenes specifically for projects that I knew I wanted to work on. I got a lot of pieces for my Mrs. Hawking series. I started work on a fan fic I'd been wanting to write. I did some development, however minor, for newer project ideas that I'd been kicking around in my mind.

I found it to be the most productive 31P31D yet. However, it still was a bit catch-as-catch-can, with me grabbing at whatever scene I felt prepared to write that day. Got a lot of neat little bits that may be possible to use at some point, but not always much build toward an actual piece. Even with how much I wrote for Base Instruments, there were at least two scenes that probably won't end up in the final version at all. So perhaps some variation on that approach is right, but with a little more focus on something I'm particularly working on. So, how to get that targeted, building approach? Especially when I tend to need to spend a ton of time structuring before I can really dive into writing useable scenes.

The problem with 31P31D is that, in asking for a SCENE of some sort, it encourages a level of just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. Again, a useful exercise, but not exactly what I want right now. How can I define the rules for my personal one-piece-a-day-for-a-month challenge that takes into account how much planning I usually have to do before I can do a lot of writing that is actually useable? I guess I could spending the remaining days before August begins planning, but that's not a lot of time in which to make progress. I could change the definition of "daily work product" I suppose-- as long as I did a certain amount of planning/structuring/experimenting, that would count. However, that's not as measureable or as neatly quantifiable as "Did you write a scene or not?" I also kind of like posting my results, which is harder when you don't have any tangible product.

Hmm. I'm a little stumped. Suggestions would be incredibly welcome. I will probably end up doing what I did last year if I can't think of anything that would work better. But I'd definitely be open to ideas if anyone knows a more effective and quantifiable way to modify this to my purposes.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
Mostly chiming in to remind you how awesome "work-life balance"from one of your previous years of this was.

When you say you do work Structuring, are there discrete units of "structuring" work that you could measure? E.g. Plot Bead Diagrams or other visualizations? Character outline of X words with descriptions of formative experiences, catch phrases, key traits?

Jul. 28th, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC)
What about setting a goal of 2 or 3 (depending on which seems better to you) potentially useable scenes per week with progress towards them every day. That still gives a defined thing to post, but acknowledges that not all progress may be as clearly defined.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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