The Words on the Page

Writing for film, television, and the stage is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult - and most rewarding - art forms. The language needs to be visual and evocative as each script must achieve two important tasks. First, it must be an easy read. On paper, it should tell a compelling story and flow as easily as a novel as, if it doesn't past the first test of being read and enjoyed, it will never amount to anything more than a pile of pages in a drawer. But being an easy read isn't enough. Scripts also have to serve as a blueprint for the finished product and need to tell the story in a manner that allows the reader to picture it in his or her mind's eye. The characters need to be memorable and leap off the page; the story must come to life.

 

In addition to writing scripts of their own, I believe all writers can learn and benefit from studying scripts that have launched successful movies, television shows, and plays. For the next year, on each Tuesday, I'll be posting my thoughts on a piece.

April 25, 2017

Water by the Spoonful, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Hudes, features several storylines that all take place on the same stage.

April 18, 2017

Disgraced, the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer, proved a fast and compelling read. Even before getting into the play itself, I felt a kinship with Akhtar. He included a section in the beginning of the book called "On Reading Plays." It explores the idea that &quo...

April 11, 2017

Between Riverside and Crazy was the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama. It tells the story of a disgraced or a hero (depending on who you ask) cop whose world is unraveling around him. I found it to be gritty and compelling, and, although I didn't find the charac...

April 4, 2017

The Flick by Annie Baker won the 2014 Pulitizer Prize for drama. With only three key characters and a unit set, The Flick manages at once to be repetitive and ground breaking with subtle-yet-provocative references to race and mental illness. Above all, the characters f...

April 1, 2017

The 2017 Pulitzer Prize winners, including the one for drama, will be announced on the 10th of this month. Like anyone who has majored in theatre, I've read a lot of the "classic" winners - Our Town, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Long Day...

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