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The one where I am a playwright

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Alexander Residence: The one where I am a playwright

Monday, 20 December 2010

The one where I am a playwright

Severe writer's block today, not on here.  No, it appears that today, when I am supposed to be doing "creative writing" I would much rather be blogging.  I am doing an OU Creative Writing course.  My task is to adapt the short story I wrote for my first assignment in to a film or a stage or radio play.  I should be able to do this, I studied Drama, I taught Drama and Film.  But taking plays or films apart, or teaching other people to do it, is proving to be a very different art to putting them together. 

The biggest problem is I have a ghost in my story.  I am scared stiff of putting her on stage as having a ghost on stage has so much potential for naffness.  I know it can be done, but it is a challenge.  I just keep getting haunted by awful visions like this:

I think it could be a good film, I am thinking of Sixth Sense.  It could also be a radio play, but I am only just admitting that my Radio One days are over and that Radio Four might be good listening (I know...I have been missing out), so I can't say it's a medium I know in the same depth.

At the moment I have so many different versions in my notebook it is beginning to look like a series of Friends.  I've also been reading Alan Ayckbourn's Crafty Art of Playmaking.  It's a very useful book but stylistically I am not a huge Ayckbourn fan and I fear his influence is rapidly turning my work into a farce.  Anyway, these are my favourites:

The one where the ghost haunts through the radio while her husband is on a first date and he smashes the radio.

The one where the ghost comes home to find her husband with a new girlfriend but they can't see her

The one where the ghost comes home to find her husband with a new girlfriend and they can see her

The ins and outs of what ghosts can and can't do is a minefield too.  Walk though doors? Be heard? Be seen? How do they travel? 

So anyway, help me out here, which title jumps out at you? 
Radio? Film? Stage?
Any good examples of ghosts in plays or films you can think of to inspire me?

This is part of the BMB Blog hop:

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At 20 December 2010 at 12:18 , Blogger Headhuntress said...

Have you seen Being Human? It's a TV series and not a film or play but the ghost in that is brilliantly portrayed in my opinion, noone can see her apart fromhe werewolf and the vampire, but it portrayed in British BBC brilliance with comedy and empathy. You'll be able to find it on BBC Iplayer xx

At 20 December 2010 at 12:44 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Thank you Headhuntress that sounds really useful actually. And a bloomin good distraction from all this thinking!

At 20 December 2010 at 13:19 , Blogger Mummysquared said...

How about Audrey Niffeneger/s Her Fearful Symmetry... Gets stupid as it goes on but I like the matter of factness of her ghosts. They just are. I liked it - and it would be very diverting!! Good luck A x

At 20 December 2010 at 16:44 , Anonymous @jencull (jen) said...

Omigosh, I can see why you feel like blogging and not writing, it is complicated. I like the 'coming home with the girlfriend and they can't see her' but the radio is good if you don't want to put a ghost on stage. Jen

At 20 December 2010 at 17:12 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Mummysquared I like the sound of a matter of fact ghost! I also loved the Time Traveller's Wife. Did you see the film, talking of adapting things? It was brilliant and made me cry lots.
Jen you hit the nail on the head, I just need to plump for stage or radio, make my mind up!
Thanks :)

At 20 December 2010 at 17:36 , Anonymous Metropolitan Mum said...

No clue whatsoever! You have a talent for making me feel lost :)

At 20 December 2010 at 17:53 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Ha Ha! We talk funny and it's ghostly here in the Midlands, but Southerners are still very welcome :)

At 21 December 2010 at 13:24 , Blogger This Mid 30s Life said...

Oh this is great and I am all excited.

Love the ghost and girlfriend one. Have you read "Twenties Girl?" She's more your good time ghost.

I have a friend who swears she grew up in a haunted house and used to see an old woman sitting on the end of her bed. If that were me, I'd sooooo be out of there, but she seemed to like it for some reason. Maybe she used to hand out Werthers Originals.

At 21 December 2010 at 14:29 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Metropolitan Mum I am lost too. I would stick to novel writing if I were you, playwrighting is very confusing :)
This Mid 30s Life - I will have to add Twenties girl to my list of distractions. Good time ghost sounds like it has dramatic possiblilities. So glad I don't have a ghost in my house, werthers or no werthers!

At 21 December 2010 at 15:10 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also going to mention Being Human. I only caught a bit of it but I think the ghost was really interesting as the reason she thought she was hanging around as a ghost turned out not to be what she thought - I liked that idea as she was vulnerable rather than this spooky omniscient thing.

From your options, I think 'husband comes home and they can't see her' works best, as it makes it clear to the audience that she's a ghost and gives the chance for her to work through her emotions (whereas in the radio smashing option, if he smashes it while she's cross about his girlfriend, there's no chance for her to move on and come to terms with it?).

At 21 December 2010 at 18:13 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Hello Imperfect pages, I am going to have to check out Being Human, funnily enough the ghost in my short story is trying to work out why she is still here.
Very good point about the radio, I think that was Mr Ayckbourn's farcical influence.
Thank you for taking the time to be very helpful :)

At 22 December 2010 at 08:39 , Blogger MaƱana Mama said...

The radio ghostie sounds pretty exciting.

Bit out on a limb here perhaps, but the scariest ghost I know of is La Llorona, a kidnapping ghost woman who haunts waterways, as per legend in the American Southwest and Mexico: Parents use her to scare their kids off naughty and dangerous behaviour--bit like an evil Santa Claus. Scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid.


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