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Responsibility When Writing Outside of Personal Experience

For Playwriting I, our final is a one act to full length play. I am writing about a woman in her 70s managing PTSD after she was raped working for the army. I can only imagine what it is like to be that age and what its like navigating the world of the army. I tend to write stream of consciousness. A conversation comes out of my head like water boiling over. Looking back at my characters in the process of editing, I notice things out of place. While I can do dramaturgical work during the revising stage of my play, I realized that it is best to do it first. When I write, I imagine the characters, their thought processes, gestures, vocalizations, etc. It makes more sense to be clear about their environment and history BEFORE I start writing, not in the middle of the process. Otherwise I run the risk (and probable outcome) of creating flat characters with surface level experience. I want people in the audience to be able to relate to the character, not me. Also, like image work, allowing myself to first get lost in research of the world, I might stumble upon something that inspires part of the play. I might stumble upon something that will deepen my work and add richness. Dramaturgy would, and will, help me gain focus in my writing.

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