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Writing a Ten Minute Play

In Playwriting I, we just turned in our “final revision” of out ten minute play. We were asked to use the structure outlined in Gary Garrison’s book, A More Perfect Ten:

Page 1- 2: set up world, introduce central characters and make sure we understand what they want/need/desire through the journey of the play.

Page 2-3: illuminate central conflict – a dramatic question that must be answered by the play’s end.

Pages 3-8: complicate the story’s conflict two or three times.

Pages 9-10: resolve conflict even if it creates an unhappy ending.

Typically, I am at odds with structure and a war ensues. Not from a chosen moral position, but rather a weakness of mine. A lack of development and practice. So I was determined with this assignment to follow the rules. I was some what surprised to find a lot of freedom within these clear and somewhat strict boundaries. It became a useful tool when I was struggling to write. Instead of waiting for some muse of fire, I checked in with Garrison and made a decision. Writing in this way felt more like a decision than a river running through me. I dare to say that this experience has changed me. Perhaps I will continue to venture into the land of structure and set my personal grievances aside when writing is concerned.

But ahead lies the one act (or full length for those that dare) and I am nervous. Though after writing a ten minute play and all the struggles that come with that (I will list below), long form might be thoroughly welcomed.

Struggles/Things to keep in mind when writing a ten minute play:

What content fits the form? How much can you tackle in that span of time?

How do you immediately drop the audience into the world and strongly indicate character?

How can there be a transformation in this play?

Gary Garrison’s book: https://www.amazon.com/More-Perfect-Ten-Producing-Ten-Minute/dp/1585103276

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