April 3, 2008

April 4, 2008

Today I met with the other people who were helping to judge work for the theatre festival here in NYC. I drooled at the woman’s large apartment and adorable pomeranian. We discussed the plays and justified to each other why we scored them the way we did. Afterwards I met my friend for dunch (lunch/dinner) in midtown at this horribly cheesy bar/restaurant with 10 huge t.v. screens. He was on Broadway for many years and it turned out it was one of his favorite places.

I then headed downtown in the West Village to the screenwriters’ workshop where I am participating as an actress. I loved it. The students had written the first seven pages of their screenplay. Unlike some writing groups I’ve been in, the feedback and comments were very helpful and insightful. After reading many screenplays I was able to discern what worked and what didn’t.

What works:

-Simple, direct scenes are better
-Allow the reader/viewer to get settled in their environment before jarring us into another (unless it’s a purposeful device)
-Less dialogue is better in screenplays
-Focus on one character, not five
-Show don’t tell
-Details are important, what a character wants, their relationship to each other and their environment

I respect the teacher, the students and the process. Being in this environment is useful to me as a writer because it helped me ask questions about my own script and character. Also, this class is extremely valuable not because it’s going to make me a famous star but because it’s feeding my soul.

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