Saturday, November 19, 2022


Actor-Teachers at Theodore Roosevelt High School
Suddenly, pages! I wrote ten pages of a new script in time for workshop on Monday. When I adapted those two Christie novels, I drew dialogue pretty much directly from the books. There is another way, of course. You can be inspired by the work and make the dialogue up entirely.

This is what Coble did with his adaptation of The Machine Stops (among several others) which we produced into a radio drama that premiered fifteen years ago this week, if you can imagine that. He created his own idea of the characters and what they might say.

True, Metropolis is a silent movie and the title cards do not offer much in the form of spoken word. But the novel does, though as it is a translation from German, it has a quality that is not quite like natural English speaking. First of all, because it’s German, it’s all verbs.

That’s a joke.

This week I also had the opportunity to make a few school visits, which was nice, traveling far afield, to Kent and also my high school alma mater. I have been so engaged with the "Christmas Carol" writing contest, I haven't seen as much of the actor-teachers as I would like.  

Always on my God damn phone.
Thursday night was our penultimate regular class for creative nonfiction – and the evening I had my essay critiqued, which was really special. The comments were generously positive, my professor called me "master of the walk-off line" for how I closed each section, and a few commented on how seamlessly I included dialogue, as though I were some kind of playwright or something. At the same time everyone provided me with so many critical observations and opportunities for revision.

Writing is rewriting, so they say. Good lord, how many times did I repeat that during the workshops I provided for the writing contest last month? The wife assures me one of my best attributes (as a writer, I am awesome in so many ways) is how I receive criticism and incorporate it into my work. 

This was not always the case, and like an actor who insists on explaining why they made the choice they are being asked to reconsider, I would also defend that what I had written the first time was absolutely correct.

It’s the most important lesson I ever learned in undergrad: “Take the note.

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