During lockdown I’ve been writing mostly poetry but today I couldn’t get down to any of my usual routine stuff. I couldn’t come up with a blog post, I couldn’t get on with writing my diary or composing poems or doing Greek; I couldn’t focus on anything. But I know from experience that days like this which seem problematic at first, are in fact opportunities for something new to emerge. So I sat down with pad and pen and waited for something to happen. And lo! My radio play happened.
I’ve had several stabs at radio plays in the past and have even completed one or two but I’ve never been totally happy with them. And it came to me today that this is because I’ve yet to develop my own method. I have an idea in my head of how I want it to sound, but between the planning and the execution lies a great gulf which I don’t know how to fill. Even when I do start to write I get bogged down in stage directions and sound effects, all of which ought to come much later.
So I sat and thought about this for a while and then I went and fetched my flip-chart and post-it notes which contained The Story So Far. There was a gap at the beginning of Act 2 and it suddenly came to me what should fill that gap. An old flame suddenly comes back from the past! I filled in the gap and could see that from the post-it notes I was now in a position to evolve an outline of what should happen in each act. Having done that, I could begin to break it down into scenes – and then the whole thing would write itself. I’d do the dialogues first and worry about the rest – sound effects and stage directions – later. I then transferred this outline to the computer and for the first time I could really see my way ahead. I began to write Act 1, Scene 1.
And I saw that it was good.
So that was this morning – apart from the fact that OH, who’s a little confused these days, came in and asked me if I’d now decided to work weekends. ‘It’s Friday!’ I said, whereupon OH smote the forehead in remembrance, since we’d already had a conversation about this earlier:
‘What day is it today?
‘I keep thinking it’s Saturday.‘
‘Well, perhaps you could forget to phone your Mum a day early.’
Happy Friday. Don’t let’s get ahead of ourselves.