Thursday, February 12, 2015

Notes: in submission

Thought I'd share some thoughts about submission - of the literary type. As is the case with most playwrights, I'm continually searching the web for possible good fits for my literary babies. They really are like babies given the attention, work and copious amounts of love that go into their creation. As is the case with offspring who reach maturity, there is a point where one has to part with them for their own good - and mine.

Progress has been achieved in the submission process including a rejection letter accompanied by a wonderful critique and evaluation of the submitted play. Theatres that are open to unsolicited submissions must be the recipients of thousands of plays and understandably, responding to playwrights individually isn't practical. It's commendable, therefore, when a theatre takes the time to not only respond to a play submission but actually take the time in writing to point out the plays strengths and weaknesses and make suggestions as to changes that would strengthen the overall story line. Let's say that it was one of the nicest rejections received to date.

Some of my other plays were sent packing to try their luck and as yet there has been no response. As if the playwriting process isn't difficult enough, the waiting period to hear back one way or the other is equally if not more stressful. Frequently, there is no response, which in itself is an indication of their fate.

I'm now taking precautions to e-mail my plays to myself before sending them out to ensure that it is in a readable format for the recipients. This move came about after encountering a problem submitting a play electronically when converting one of the older files to the latest version. Checking to ensure the play was successfully sent, somehow the text ended up in the wrong visual format. After a period of ranting and raving and some hair pulling, literally and figuratively, I decided to re-send in spite of a nagging, internal voice telling me to hold off for a bit. Re-sent it, anyway, accompanied by a two-sentence explanation only to discover the next day upon re-examination that the text somehow had adjusted itself and was visually perfect. Also re-confirmed my belief to always heed that inner voice.

While waiting for news, I'm continuing working on "Dead Writes", a fantasy with some comedic tones combined with interesting moral messages and dilemmas for the characters. Definitely a challenge but one worth meeting. Then again, the act of writing plays is always a challenge, no matter what. Just thinking and for what it's worth, playwriting is akin to a brain operation whereby stored thoughts, images and memories are stripped from their resting place and laid bare for examination and narration.

When asked the question of  how long it takes to complete a play, I quote the line expressed by Edward Albee: "People often ask me how long it takes me to write a play, and I tell them 'all my life." And then some. 

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