Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Book of Liz (conclusion) & Plot Structure

Today we will complete the play The Book of Liz in class. Then move to the lab to continue working on our play drafts.

Play drafts (draft one of a new 10-minute play) (or) (draft two of your original 10-minute play, now a one-act play) should be completed by Friday in the lab.

Consider adding one or more of the following plotting techniques:
Conflict: You know this one: person v. person; person v. self; person v. society/God; person v. nature. Drama means conflict. You've got to have this in each scene or you haven't written a play, but a tableau.
Structural Unity: all parts of the plot (exposition, rising action, turning point, climax, resolution, etc.) should work and fit together. 
Inciting Incident: the point of attack, the inciting incident forces the protagonist into the action of the play's plot. 
Major Dramatic Question (MDQ): the hook that keeps an audience interested in a play; a dramatic question that a reader/viewer wants answered. 
Major decision: A decision a character makes in the plot that creates the turning point for their character. 
The three C's: Conflict, crisis, complication: obstacles characters must face for an interesting and dramatic plot. 
Rising action: your 3 c's create this. Increase tension in a play or scene by increasing the stakes.
The dark moment/crisis: the lowest moment of a character's struggle--when all the world seems lost, the fight unbeatable, the "darkest hour before dawn" -- a stunning reversal of fortune and sense of failure. 
Deus ex machina: a contrived ending. Often one in which the characters did not have a hand in solving. (It is more interesting to see a character deal with their own problems rather than an outside force solving it for them.) literally, a "god from a machine" -- Avoid using this at all costs!
Enlightenment: When the protagonist understands how to defeat the antagonist. A revelation that begins the movement toward a climax)
Climax: the point of highest tension in a play. After the climax, the fates of our characters are determined.
The Event: a uniquely significant moment in the character's life.
The Trap: keeping the characters in the setting. Weather works well for this, as does situation. But a dramatic trap doesn't have to be physical. It can be psychological: for example: guilt traps us a lot, as does addiction, alcoholism, the love of another character, etc.
Time lock: setting up a time limit or specific deadline characters have to meet in order to spur them into action (for example having a script project due...)
Sarcey's Principle of Offstage Action: We are less likely to consider the plausibility of an event if it occurs offstage or before the play begins (part of our exposition). Stage what is believable, talk about everything else.
HOMEWORK: None. If you are far behind in your play script (and would not possibly finish in 2 periods next class, please work on your play(s) for homework. Otherwise, none.

No comments:

The Murky Middle (Even More Advice)

Aristotle wrote that stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. Middles can be difficult. You might have a smashing opening to a stor...