Play On Words

Or words on a play.
There was some confusion about the topic for this week, if, indeed, there was one.
It seems to be a “Free” week and three of the five of us that post here have new books out; two of us don’t…the latter number would include me.

That isn’t to say that I don’t have anything out there. I have a four page article in the current issue of a national, (glossy), magazine. But that hardly has the oomph of a book.

I have poetry published as well as other articles. I have written short stories and a play. Anyone else written a play? I’d love to hear of your experience, or any play-writing stories that you can relate. I have a story I wanted to tell that is about an evening I spent with my niece when we attended a book signing and the strange encounter we had afterward. I tweaked the ending a bit, and one earlier scene, but until that point, I did not have to add anything, in fact, I omitted parts of the conversations.

It was easy; it just flowed, but I found that, much like my experience in songwriting, it is very hard to get anyone to look at the work. It is extremely difficult to get any unagented plays considered or even read. Some will take the first part of the first scene but that hardly does a play justice. I never even bothered showing it to those people. We have a good venue for getting plays looked at through a college here, with readings and a competition for it to be produced, but they by far prefer young people in the roles, which is quite understandable. My play involves basically three people, one woman in her fifties, one in her late thirties and a man a few years older.
The story became a play because I could not decide on the Point of View to tell it but now, well, it looks like I need to find the right POV to turn it back and into a printable story.
It’s strange that a play should be easier than a story…or a book, to me. I ‘m considering addingl material, but that is another thing holding me back. I love the way the evening unfolded just in the conversations and actions. I am of two minds about it.

My first thought was that I wished I could grab someone with a camera, take my niece, get a man to play the male part,(no, I could not use the man who was part of the evening), and even if we did it with just we three,( I made it a three-person play), it would make a great short film. Easier said than done and more expensive than you would believe, that idea got shelved pretty quickly.

I keep squeaking out time here and there to get a novel written. I have neglected my cooking/entertaining blog and put off the children’s stories that keep trying to get themselves out of my head and into words…I find myself with a few set-backs , time-wise, but I will not give up. This blog, and my fellow writers, keep me thinking ‘writing’ and will not let me slack-off very much.

So I salute those making it by being published and I salute those of us who are writing in our hearts and heads, but whose hands are busy with the business of life and family. As much as I love stories, books and writing, life is the best story of all.

How is your life going? It’s always Family First with me, which is why I am moving slowly, (although housework be hanged!)

And let us know, have you ever had an experience, a time or an occurrence, that you thought would make a good story? I think everyone has. I tell stories all the time but not all would be art-worthy material. Do you think one of yours could be a story, a play or a movie?
Would you share it with us here, in the comments below?


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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11 Responses to Play On Words

  1. Laurie Ryan says:

    Tonette, I know what you mean about moving slowly. I’ve been working on a five novella series for about two years! 🙂 I’m not one who can publish 3 or 4 books a year. It’s just too much, since, like you, I have a family that keeps my hopping to keep up with it. I thought things would get easier once they were all out the door? Now we have grandchildren to follow around. Lol. I also have an editing business taking a good chunk of my time. Still, that’s not nearly as many irons in the fire as you have, so I think you need to be patting yourself on the back for persevering. 🙂 A writer friend told me perseverance is the thing we need the most of in this business. I have that word taped on the wall above my desk.
    I hope you find a home for your play or re-do it and release the book. The premise seems important to you and, in my editing, I find that when it’s that important to the author, it’s generally a really good story. So get it out there, one way or the other…eventually. 🙂
    Have a GREAT weekend!


    • Thank you so much,Laurie…it’s getting things submitted or resubmitted where I really fall down on the job. My oldest cousin’s daughter wrote to me last year:” My time is so full with my mom and the grandkids! I thought retirement was when I could take it easy!”
      We mothers/grandmothers can also [at ourselves on the back! And I will take your encouragement to heart!


    • jeff7salter says:

      Perseverance is indeed the keyword.
      And a thick skin helps a bit as well.


      • Yes,I know Jeff.It’s THAT person’s opinion and many great works had been turned down many times.I have even gotten encouraging rejections and let everything else get in my way.Thanks for always encouraging me.


  2. pjharjo says:

    Don’t shortchange your four page article in a national magazine, Tonette. That and your short stories, plays, poems and songwriting are all noteworthy achievements. I’ve tried to get published in magazines before – no such luck. Your other accomplishments speak well of your talent/s, too. You only need to persevere until you find the right person who is looking for your works. (Take it from me, I know ALL ABOUT perseverance!) Hang in there! I’m very interested in that 3-person play you have mentioned. Someone else should be, too! 🙂

    I don’t have any family home with me, or nearby grandchildren, so I can’t offer any advice in that sector.


    • No advice needed,Janette;I just do what I know I need to do but keep me on my toes, like I said in the post! Perseverance is the one place I really need to exorcize more!
      Thanks for all the encouragement, always.


  3. jeff7salter says:

    Tonette, I’ve often thought — and I mean as far back as the late 1960s — that play writing would be where I might emerge … in addition to my poetry of course. Most of my mature writing has been “dialog-driven” and sometimes even sparse on description / narrative. In addition to my own thoughts about that proclivity, I’ve had others tell me that some of my stories (or at least the drafts) read more like plays).
    Often, as I’m drafting a novel, I’ll have pages and pages of hardly anything but dialog — because, to me, the characters and their dialog drive the narrative. Only later, after I’ve settled on the rest of the primary structure of the story, do I go back to those “dialog blocks” and add action, description, etc. [i.e. “blocking”]. That’s partly because when I’m first writing that dialog, I don’t necessarily know WHERE those characters are, or WHAT they’re doing. In many cases, I don’t even yet know WHEN in the story that interaction occurs.
    But to answer your question even more directly, yes: I’ve written a play. Way back in my H.S. days. I wrote it first as a short 3-act play and later revised it into a long 1-act play. I still have an early draft of it somewhere, but my “final” draft (with stage directions) was loaned out and never returned.


    • pjharjo says:

      I’m sorry to hear that about your “final” draft, Jeff. It’s so sad when that happens to something of yours, especially when it’s something you have put your heart into!


    • I am saddened by the loss of your play, Jeff. I never would have thought they would be easy.Good for you! Now we have TWO playwrights here.Who’d have thought???
      If you ever want to put your play back into form, you might find it easy with Celtx, since you are so busy novel-writing. If you don’t know Celtx, it a download that helps you plan-out writings. People CAN use it for novels, stories and articles,but I haven’t found it necessary for those.I did find it very helpful for the play, however, *and would be probably even more helpful with a screenplay). There is a free version with ads,which are not a big problem.I bought mine a few years back on sale for about $10.00.


  4. Iris B says:

    Ain’t that the truth that life’s the best story of all! Well said Tonette … and may I add, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve written a book, poetry or a play … it’s that you love it and you get recognised for it!


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