Theme Memes: Start With The End

When I conference with writers, they often say they’re having trouble coming up with a satisfying ending. Instead of talking to them about their plot, I ask them to tell me about their intended impact: when their audience reaches the end, what do they want them to be feeling and thinking? Some writers are immediately…

Make Every Line Count

Yesterday I had a great time running a revision workshop for the eighteen writers in Philadelphia Young Playwrights’ Mouthful Monologue Festival. At this point in the process, the writers have done an amazing job working with their professional actor, director, and dramaturg to deepen their monologues by adding details and raising the stakes. While their…

Song Title Subtext: Idea-Generating and Revision Activity

Spring at Philadelphia Young Playwrights always means one thing: our students are asking fantastic questions about storytelling as they complete their first drafts and begin the revision process. Popular questions I’m hearing this year are, “How do I tell a story without revealing everything in the beginning?” as well as “How do I create complex…

Just Try It For Today: A Revision Prompt Challenge

If you’ve ever had a writing teacher, you’ve most likely heard the phrase “kill your darlings” when it comes to revision. In respect to this, one of my theatre professors gave the following advice to my class years ago, “I always tell playwrights to turn to their favorite part of their play, and cut it.…