Extra points for anyone who can name that partial quote. I'll even give you the full line:
"The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King."
One of my favorites of all time. But those are the only clues you get.
And really, that has nothing to do with what I am writing about tonight. I wanted to blog about plays. I've been fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time in the theatre. Not just a specific theatre...THE theatre. The magical box with a stage and colorful lights and wonder and merriment. I've loved it since my dad took me to see Cats on my birthday in 6th grade. I loved it so much, I made a career out of it. In college, I experienced most of the aspects - lighting, costume, and set design, acting, and my favorite - stage management. As I've followed different paths through my life, I now find myself writing (if you didn't already know that.) And while I am aspiring to be a novelist, it's only fitting for me to to write a play now and then.
Over the last few years, I've written a couple of melodramas for a local theatre troupe. I've even gotten to perform in them! Such fun! Last week, I was asked to write a murder mystery for a school organization.
My first response was, "No way!"
Mystery is not my genre. I look at television shows like Castle and gape in awe. I loved the movie Clue (I was a kid at the time...)! People who can piece together puzzles like that amaze me.
But I figured I could glean some inspiration from the shows I enjoy and come up with something.
As usual, I started with my characters. I already had a cast, so it was super easy to tailor characters to suit the actors. But it was so much fun to create little quirks and personalities for the show. The setting built itself, and before long, I headed into the dialogue.
I hated it.
I scraped it and started over. Yesterday. And today, I finished it. Thirty pages, five victims, one murderer.
I don't know if it's any good. I don't know how it will be received. But I love it. I am proud of it. I even made myself laugh a time or two. It's a labor of love, and now, I release it into the world for others to enjoy. At least, I hope they will... And I add another play/genre to my list!