Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blog Refocus

The original goal of this blog was to foster a discussion about the nuts and bolts of playwriting. I laid out my plans in two early posts here and here. In two short months, I've strayed from that original mission.

I'm going to try and refocus things on the craft of playwriting. My main impetus for this move is realizing that a lot of what I think about the "state and purpose of theater" is thoroughly and intelligently covered by other blogs. These blogs will soon be listed in a sidebar.

I'm also motivated by two other observations. One, that there are enough blogs already in existence that are about personal journey's peppered with observations about writing. And two, that I am not aware of many blogs that wrestle with craft as opposed to theory.

With that in mind, here are the types of posts I hope that I and my fellow contributors will create. This is not an exhaustive list. Rather, a concrete starting point for our new way forward.

Case Studies
I'm looking for narratives about specific instances of writing, development, and production that illustrate an challenge you've wrestled with. I've noticed that a fair number of my posts in my theater blog sample group start with broad theoretical statements. In the ensuing argument about the theoritical statements, sometimes specifics are demanded. Even when they are given, the discussion stays conceptual.

I hope that by starting with specifics, I will release myself, contributors and commentors from the pressure of creating broad theoretical conclusions in every post. If we are lucky, trends and principles will start to emerge over time.

Eureka Moments
We've all had those moments when something we've understood intellectually suddenly clicks in practice. Please share those moments on NTFD soon after they happen. Perhaps your particular spin on a concept will trigger a similar moment for someone else. The more specific the better. Include sample text if you wish.

I want to know what you're wrestling with. Trying to kick start a scene that just won't go? Tell us about it. Suddenly notice that all your scenes are nine pages long? (I did a few plays back- I realized I was stuck in a rhythm and had to work hard to break out of it.) Share it on NTFD - maybe by describing the problem in this medium you'll think of a solution in the other.

Putting it Together
When I'm developing a piece, I often have little glimmers of larger ideas about writing. It's not a Eureka Moment, but maybe the beginnings of a principle about writing forms. I usually jot down a note for that book I want to write some day. I'm going to start putting those little glimmers up here. I hope you will too.

Thanks for your interest so far, and I hope that you'll join us in this (slightly) new direction for NTFD.

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