If you are new to Write Now — here are the RULES OF FREEWRITING — pen does not leave paper, or fingers do not stop on keyboard — it is a constant writing exercise and if you are thinking too much it isn’t helpful, so keep moving with your hand(s) and if you are not moving forward then write the same word that you just wrote over and over again until the next word comes — AVOID stopping, AVOID thought/judgement, AVOID editing or crossing out.
Try to continue and tell your editors and judges that this is a game and have fun with it, see how long and how fast you can do it, play! It doesn’t matter if suddenly your character is a spider and she is making a web to cast all her family members into or to get stuck inside and wrapped up in her weird juice and eaten… it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense or seem do-able on stage — anything can happen on stage because theatre happens in the MINDS OF THE AUDIENCE (and you already imagined that spider eating her family!) so just let it all happen… this is where you discover what you know…
CHARACTERS — Spend a few minutes per character to flesh out micro-biographies — FREEWRITE with these prompts: where did they grow up their family life their education their religion and politics and passions have they ever known love? private/secret quirks or secrets ***what do they want and need right now and why Do this for as many characters as you have in the play/scene. When you have ideas, write them down. Then the universe knows that you are open to ideas. You will have many of them once the universe trusts that you will write them down. Stop what you are doing and write them down. That means you have to listen. And respond. It is simple, but not necessarily easy.
PLACES ON STAGE are not “on stage” — they are places! You must inhabit them - see them, smell them, hear them, be in them when you are writing, know what is there, in the drawers, under the earth, all the way out to the horizon. FREEWRITE YOUR PLACE Place - a warm up — if you have never been to a place before, how can you create it? You have to go there, at the very least in a figurative way. What are the different ways your different characters can relate to a place? If characters relate differently to a place, that in itself tends to make the place more real. So someone could be hot while someone else is upset with the breeze. Someone could feel caged in there while someone else could feel free. The ocean terrifies and intimidates me. I don’t want to be there or face that. My dog reacted the same way, barking at the ocean as if it was the union rat (too big for her to deal with kindly). My husband loves the ocean and feels a great sense of peace there. Defining place through character helps bring the place to life, especially if the characters disagree. And if each character uses a different sense to respond to place, what happens? EDITORS AND JUDGES don’t like to have fun — tell yourself it’s just an exercise.
WRITE BADLY ON PURPOSE — if you do this, you will fill the time and the page. If you do not do this, it is called Resistance. It gets easier with practice. Do three minutes of it. Praise yourself. Repeat!