Act it Out!

Is a story still a story when you act it out? Is a play still considered a story?

Of course it is!

There are many forms of storytelling, and plays are certainly one of them. In fact, it’s one of my favorites.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret. I first started writing- at age of 9… by writing plays! I wrote plays to perform with my cousins after Christmas dinner. I wrote plays to perform outside with the neighborhood kids. I wrote plays to perform with my brother and sisters about our favorite TV shows.  If I had a bunch of kids, a sheet of clean, white paper and a pencil, I was a happy girl! Of course I always gave myself the lead role. I mean that’s one of the perks of being the script writer. You get the best parts. 🙂

I never considered myself a writer back then. I just knew that it was fun to write down lines and act out stories. I didn’t realize that the plays I would go on to write throughout the next few years-just for fun, would be the building blocks to learning how to write creatively-to make up stories.

Plays have all the same basic elements of a written story. They have a sympathetic character who has a problem, (whether or not he knows it right away), a flaw that he has to overcome to solve the problem, and something or someone who tries stops him from getting what he really wants. The only difference is that we watch the events of the story unfold instead of reading them.

Writing a play is a great way to practice writing. In a future post I’ll go into more detail about how to format a script, but until then the most important thing you need to do is this: write a good story! I’m a big believer that any form of writing can help you develop your skills. Playwriting is an amazing way to get your imagination swirling with ideas. We already know it’s fun to write stories, but imagine all the fun you can have acting out one of your stories with your friends! So whether you’re 8 or 18, give it a try. Who knows what great stuff you’ll come up with?

So now that I’ve told you how I got my start writing, I’d love to hear about one of your first stories. How old were you when you wrote it? What was it about? Do you still have it, tucked away somewhere secret?  Tell us all about it in the comment section. I bet many of you have some good ones to share. J

I hope this idea helps you in some small way…Now I’m off to work on my own story.  I’m revising the rough draft of my novel for 8-12 year olds—well this is actually my seventh draft. Today I’m focusing on a scene between my main character and her new best friend. They’ve developed a close bond, but something has happened to make them question their friendship. Has that ever happened to you? I bet it has. It happens to a lot of friends. That’s why I have to work very hard to make it feel as real as it can for my readers—make them root for the two friends and cheer when they work it all out…if they work it all out!

Oh, and I wanted to remind you to take another peek at Critique Corner. We’re holding our next critique round on January 29th. That’s soon! I’m accepting stories right now and up until Sunday, January 26th.  They can be completed stories or just the beginning of a longer piece of writing like a novel or short story- up to 250 words. I’ve already received several great ones but I’d love to post many more. Tell your friends. Tell your teacher so she can tell her students. It’s a great way to hear what other writers think of your work…and it’s motivating to see your words up on the site!

Good luck with your writing this week! I’ll be checking the box below for your comments and my email for your stories.  So don’t be timid. Take a chance. Put your stories out there! We’d all love to read them. 🙂

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