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A playwright (dramatist) is a person who writes dramatic literature or dramas (plays). These plays are written to be performed by actors. However, they might just be simple literary works not meant to be performed on stage.
The term playwright comes from the old English term 'wright' which means a craftsman or builder. Thus, playwright is someone 'who crafts words, themes and other elements together into a drama.' Though play writing is a form of creative writing and may seem easy, there are certain techniques and formats to master before you begin.
A beginner may join any of the numerous courses or workshops on play writing to get an idea about play writing. You can also visit local theatres and watch performances to get a better understanding of play writing. One of the most important aspects of play writing is the characters. The play will involve a lot of verbal interaction between the characters and the problems and challenges being faced by them should be successfully portrayed and enacted. Also, stick to brief descriptions that reveal something about the character. Avoid physical descriptions that are of no importance to the play.
Creating drama has a lot to do with the setting of the play. Be specific as to the details of the setting and use it to develop the characters in the play. Work towards building an inner story that reveals the deep psychological and emotional conflicts of the characters and then blend it with the outer story. Let both the stories move forward in harmony with each other. Explore and experiment with the writing if you have no intention of staging the drama.
Now start writing you play. Create drafts and revise and re-revise until you are satisfied with the writing and the play itself. Mark the scenes and dialogues that stop the story from moving forward and replace them in your next draft. When you are satisfied with the overall play, break it down into scenes and acts and include the stage directions. Last but not the least, write the prologue, and include a list of the characters with a brief description about each of them. Also mention any specific set up preferred for the scene and guidelines for direction.
While the beginner will need time to hone and develop his play writing skills, it is important to remember that everybody begins somewhere and moves forward step by step from there like the story of a play. Get into the habit of writing as often as possible and think about how you want the characters to develop, the obstacles and challenges they need to face and the way they need to change with the plot. Give the audience something extraordinary; either in the form of larger than life characters or a totally unexpected ending. Read and re-read the script to make any changes you deem necessary.
Hobbylancer and You
At Hobbylancer, offer courses and organise workshops on play writing, share your experiences and encourage amateurs out there by helping them learn the tips and tricks of the trade. Connect with directors, send them scripts and network with other play writers to increase your accessibility. Find local theatres in your area, connect with theatre actors and producers and learn and grow your writing skills through constant exposure. Let the drama unfold right here just at Hobbylancer!