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Question time (1 Viewer)

Asphyxiation Len

Senior Member
As I have mentioned elsewhere I am writing a play, but there is much that eludes me still:

*If I am to suggest simultaneous actions / dialogues, how is this to be written?
*How do I denote time? (I wish to have my characters silent for a period of time, ...maybe upto 40 secs.)
*Does it matter if I stray from the traditional structure of play in regards to acts and scenes?
(my play is set on a underground train carriage, and is made up entirely of a conversation between two passengers; I was thinking of just having the one continuous scene.)

Help is appreciated.



Senior Member
The biggest thing about playwriting is that unless the "action" is going to set up for something later down the line you should just forget about putting them in.

It's late and I'm tired but I will try to explain. I've directed a couple of plays and some scripts have a LOT of directions. The thing is if a director doesn't like it, it will be scraped.

Second thing, if you want to have them be silent for a while you then you write in an action.


John: So Mary what have you been up to?

(Mary is taken off guard for a couple of seconds)
Mary: Sorry, I didn't realize you were talking to me and so on...

In the end it's up to the director on how long that "beat" is. Writers set the scenes, characters and dialog. Actors and director do the rest. One year at our local drama festival the judges decided to have everyone perform the same play. The biggest thing was that even though 10 schools were preforming no two plays were the same. It's all about interpretation.

And finally my rant is ending on the third point. You do not have to section off your play in acts and scenes. For what you are going to write it will be okay. Unless the set, scene, time (days, months, years) in a BIG way you will not have to place them in.

I hope this made some sense and I will see you all in the morning.