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What to do with an Idea/Script??

  • 20-08-2012 12:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 17 gerrymc

    I have an Idea for a play . I've made an attempt of writing it out into a play format. I have no real experience in drama or creative writing and lack confidence in showing off my idea because of this. I think its a good story , I don't know much about formatting it and would have no idea how to go about getting it going. My dream would to see this story acted out at any level. Any Advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,775 ✭✭✭ EileenG

    I suggest you do a course on script writing, and learn how to write and format your play to best advantage.

    As an idea, I'm sorry, it's worthless. Ideas are ten a penny. No one has any interest in an idea until it is expanded into an actual play, or at least a treatment that can be turned into a play.

    You may well find, for instance, that your idea is not feasible as a play. Modern plays rarely have more than a handful of characters, and the action is usually emotional or dramatic rather than physical.

    If you do a course, you'll get help in writing it in a way that works, and you may well find that some of the people on the course will read it for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 gerrymc

    Thanks Eileen, I would like to do a course but am still apprehensive in case I'm out of my depth. Like you see people on X Factor etc that think they can sing! Then it turns out they can't. I would hate to be the main part in the emperors new clothes. Would love someone with experience to let me know if I would be wasting my time! Thanks though, I will look at a course, you are right, there are probably a million concepts/ideas out there...

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,775 ✭✭✭ EileenG

    Well, if you do a course, you'll find out if you are one of ones who have no idea, or if you are an undiscovered gem. Much better than sending your script off without any notion about what you are doing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 591 ✭✭✭ donalh087

    If you have actually written it in play format then that is a great start. Get your local Am Dram group to do a reading for you - they will be more than happy. Get one of their directors to listen in.

    You will know very, very quickly if the play has any merit.

    If you have not written it yet then just get it written. Set yourself a target of say 500 words a day and stick to it.

    I have found courses very good and very supportive (even when my stuff was complete drivel). I wouldn't be at all afraid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 627 ✭✭✭ hcass

    If you want to write a play then just write it. Formatting it is the easy part. You just use a programme like celtx - it's free and really simple to use. It will format your script or screenplay for you.

    The best thing to do is to read lots of plays and screenplays. I recommend a play called "The Pillow Man" it's written by Martin McDonagh (he wrote In Bruge) cos it's so easy to read and an amazing story. Not every idea works for stage but from reading plays vs screenplays you'll see what works for either or and why. You can get screenplays at

    If you have a great idea than that's half the work done. Write down the story or at least a good outline of it. Beginning, middle, end - otherwise you might get half way through and not know where to go with it next. And you don't want to waste that much time on a story that is going no where. Then work form what you have written down and start writing your play.

    If you have any other questions just ask. I've written a few screenplays for fun and have done two scriptwriting modules in Uni so have an idea of what to do. The hardest bit will be getting someone who matters to read the finished product!

    Oh another recommendation is "Glengarry Glenross" which was adapted to screen too so you can watch the film and read the play!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 27 Bonita810

    I think a course is a good idea. If you cannot afford it just read something about writing a play. Do research, you will feel better and more confident.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,012 ✭✭✭ Plazaman

    Gerry, there's no hard and fast rules about the format a play is written in. I been in many, directed a few and even wrote a few (none were ever performed but I enjoyed the time spent doing them). Every time I see a script it's slightly different from the last. As Donal said, if you have already written it, i.e. have the synopsis and all the dialogue etc, you should attempt to get it down on paper as in use a PC. You wouldn't thinks so but there are people still using typewriters and photocopying. However romantic that is, it's plain silly these days. PC's allows you to watermark your work if your sending copies to people for a look and you will also have a sort of electronic copyright when it is saved etc.

    My two cents on a format which I just think is easy to read would be like this :

    ACT 1 - SCENE 1

    Character 1 : .....Keep the character name to the left of page and tab in.

    Character 2 : .....Ignore the dots after the colon, Boards won't allow tabs

    Character 3 : .....By the way this is where dialogue goes and should be in a block

    (Any stage directions should be in italics and in parenthesis)

    Some formats leave the Character name above the dialogue, i.e.

    This may be earier to read in some cases but I think this would be more for screenplays. Everything is centered on the page. Keep a space between one characters lines and the next.

    Best of luck, have a read of THIS too, might help.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,241 ✭✭✭ baalthor

    OP, you should have a look at the posts on this forum by user FatBoyDim (Len Collin) who has written screen-plays for well-known TV productions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭ niall mc cann

    I second the am dram suggestions.

    Talk to someone who's been in a few plays, they'll give you all the pointers you'd need. There are loads of am dram groups around the country who'd love the chance to get a local playwrite on board, and who'll spot a mile off what'll work and what won't.

    Even if you don't get it produced, the best feedback for a play would be from someone who's first reaction to reading the script is to think "alright, how would I do this?"