Write what you know, write what you feel and remember you are writing for the theatre. These are the fundamental tips I would pass on to a first-time playwright. But playwriting isn't just about instinct, integrity and heart — it is also about pragmatism. I read for a number of theatres and playwriting competitions and I'm surprised how often writers neglect the practical side of playwriting: the presentation of the play, the lay-out, stage directions and even the cast list — all these aspects matter greatly. Some writers are so brilliant they can ignore such concerns, or at least give the impression of doing so.
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Writing for the theatre? Be practical
The first few pages of any novel are crucial to its success. A brilliant opening line like 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again' can hook your reader and draw them directly into your story. Too much scene setting can bog things down when most readers like to get straight to the heart of the story. But while you are getting a book started you will likely find that you return to the opening pages over and over again, polishing them so hard and bright that they end up rather inert and lifeless.
Last Updated: December 10, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Lucy V. Lucy V. Hay is an author, script editor and blogger who helps other writers through writing workshops, courses, and her blog Bang2Write. There are 34 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.