“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” This was written by Anais Nin. Writing is an art that you either know or you don’t. Learning how to write is something that has taken a forward seat as the new generation takes interest in the ever green and growing industry of drama. As the word describes itself, drama (according to dictionary) is “a composition in prose or verse presenting in dialogue or pantomime a story involving conflict or contrast of character, especially the one intended to be acted on the stage; a play.”
What are the most important phases of writing? The first thing that comes is the idea and then the plot and theme, the characters, the dialogues and the genre. Most of us, while writing a drama, forget the audience. Writers keep in mind the genre and think that people will pick up their story as per their genre taste. That is not true. People watch movies and dramas for story. So what are the facets to keep in mind that derives effective drama?
- Story: The first and the foremost element to effective writing should be the story. The story should be written as the people want to see it. The story structure and the development should go well hand in hand. The audience should understand what you are trying to convey from the story and dialogues. Right set of actors should be chosen to give out the exact meaning of what you want to convey by the plot. The drama should have thrills and action to make it more interesting. Give weight to small things like the background, the colors, the costumes and the stage lineup. When the audience is waiting for the show to start, they will give an eye to these things and that way they would be looking forward to your drama. Spice up the look before the actual drama starts.
- Dialogues: As much as the dialogue writing part is important, equally important is consummating it fittingly. The dialogues written should not be the lines played in any other dramas or shows. They should have a punch in them, no matter what genus it is. The punch can vary from genre to genre. To add drama to the dialogues, the lines should have loud punctuations and emphasis with little exaggeration. Otherwise it wouldn’t be drama. Delivering dialogues totally depends on the actors. The actors should be well prepared and act with gestures and hand movements. Mock rehearsals should be carried until you have what you want the audience to see. Toning up voice is also very important for the actors. It can’t be plain Jane dialogue where it has to be a loud shout-out.
- Audience: Audience will be the core element of your drama. You wouldn’t know if your drama was good or bad without them. So while writing and rehearsing, keep in mind that the audience would be expecting a performance to remember. The best way to do this is by being an audience to self story. While rehearsing let the actors act at one go and you are the audience. Invite few friends or staff as audience and see for yourself what your drama looks like on stage. Dramatize the plot with recorded claps and laughter too. This will help a lot in making your drama effective and altering it as and when needed.
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Loraine Reppert is currently taking an online course for screen writing and cinematography, and Edward Bass producer is among her inspirations. Follow her on twitter @LoraineReppert