First draft

Things went well. I think.

This morning we went through the play together. “Do you want to say more here?” “No.” We went through every line. “Here?” “No.” My playwright was happy. The other day at the end of writing she got tired and just said “and now he says goodbye and leaves.” We eventually expanded things into a brief exchange that made sense of the exit. Today we were asked to put a button on the play. There were so many wonderful possibilities, but I wanted it to be hers not mine so I sat on my ideas completely. I’m glad I did. She only put in one more line and even that was reluctant but it works. She really didn’t want more text. But … the line was a good one. And her whole attitude is helpful for writing and, frankly, it aligns with what I’ve been doing here for so long. I often put out my first draft. No revision. There isn’t enough time in the day to make it sexy. It’s why this crap will never get me a job in my spare time as columnist.

Sometimes I emergency edit the next day, just because I am sometimes writing … augmented. I might get terribly obsessed with a detail and go circular and then wake up in the morning and disagree with myself. That happened recently.

Today was lovely. We went back to The Wellcome Collection. Our team’s writer showed Jill the painting that inspired the whole thing, and they talked about it. The dance of death.

She’s something of a linguist, already interested and learning French on the curriculum and Latin extra. This is the first German she’s hit on and it clearly struck her. I can imagine her ending up in Berlin.

The art on this C18th oil painting is mischievous and rich, and death is made to look like kinda fun. Death varies the dance depending on what the person does, and they all hang out in the middle before going off to wherever it is souls go to. Death holds the builder by both of those hard hands. The soldier is held just by the sword arm and with a threatening gesture. We see actions and consequences. Eden leading to hell. Crucifixion leading to heaven. My writer has a faith and her mother isn’t there. This is a considered piece in the way that we don’t really consider such things anymore. As I’ve just been saying – this blog is just extruded nightly without edit or thought. You can see that the painting you can see above has been thought through and lovingly crafted.

Death is coming for all of us, and for everything and everybody we love. All of us will join that dance. If the dance goes anywhere, that’ll be for us to discovet. But the inevitability of it… That’s something they are all just properly precessing now. My playwright isn’t the only one. Death. 14 is a good age to start to properly look at it. Making peace with it can only come much later really, or through terrible hardship. But we all have a timer. It is running out. This is the one life we have this time. And still we procrastinate or fail to represent ourselves. It’s crazy when you think about it…

I’m done with it now. The play goes to the actors, and a director. It’ll be put on in late September with costume and props and even some tech, at Theatro Technis. I’m not acting in this one so I’ll just get to enjoy the finished product. We had a first reading upstairs in The Wellcome. I sat with the other dramaturgs and we just had a lovely time watching. I’ll be something random again before long I’m sure. But this time, the writing was a powerful part of the mentoring and helped me get a deeper handle on the whole game of making something out of nothing.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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