All writing is rewriting. It’s what they say but it’s also a truth about the writing process and I believe you can’t be a successful writer unless you enjoy the simple process of getting down words on the page and then amending them, and then amending them again and maybe again and maybe again…
Over the past couple of months I’ve been furiously rewriting my play Godless Monsters. I’ve been set the challenge to break out of the 1 hour Edinburgh friendly format that it took originally and write a deeper story where the audience can really get behind the characters and understand, rather than just observe, the struggle the characters face. I had to take a long hard look at my play and take it a part bit by bit really scrutinising each sequence, each dramatic choice and really open it up for the audience to be able to get inside it.
One of the questions I came to asking myself was: what story am I actually telling?
During my research I came across this great website which looks at the 7 basic plots as featured in the book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker and shows you the structure of each. I thought I was telling one story, and then I thought I was telling another, and then with the help of the articles below I realised I’m trying to tell 2 of these plots through a dual protagonist play!
Whether it works successfully in this context remains to be seen -and I’m sure the script will need a little more work before it makes opening night. But studying these 7 plots gave me some rules to follow and push against, because how can you know what play you’re writing if you don’t know what the blueprint of the story is?
Take a look at the links below for each of the plots. I hope they help you in your work as much as they’ve helped me.
The 7 basic plots
as featured in The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker and explored in articles on The Write Practice.com