I’m now in the last few weeks of my first term on University of Birmingham’s MRes Playwriting Studies course. Much of our focus has been on breaking down the structure of plays and developing our own voice as writers. In particular I found a session with Lin Coghlan on building plot from character a very enlightening lesson, and it has given me much to think about when approaching Above Bounds’ scripts in the future. If you have a strong character with a set of wants and needs, working in conflict with each other, then the plot (the exposition, the inciting incident, the rising action, the dramatic climax) will all come from that. Working in this way has also given me time to reflect on our process in creating Portrait, as a show with a strong central character. Many of our problems with devising that show steamed form a lack of specificity with our characters’ wants and needs.
After Christmas we will be taking some time looking at adaptation which will prove very useful in supporting our development of The Ugly Duckling and other tales. But before then I have got plenty of work to keep me busy, with the first draft of my final play due in the New Year; so there will be plenty of writing, a fair amount of reading, and I suspect a bit of fretting.