Write Your First Play – To Outline Or Not to Outline
To outline or not to outline? This is a question many writers ask themselves. Some feel that it stifles their creativity; they like to discover the end of the play, not pre-plan it ahead of time. Others find it helpful to work out the story before they get too deep into the dialogue.
When writing your first play, consider using an outline. Use it as an exercise to place your play on the page in an organized fashion. The outline will allow you to step back and see the play as a whole. To consider the big picture. The most important thing to remember about outlines is that they are not written in stone. The outline is merely a guideline toward what the play could be. Playwrights even change the direction of their play after completing the outline!
This outline includes the title, a description of each scene, a description of the characters, and a definition of the main conflict. Follow these steps to create an outline for your play.
Title of Play: Come up with a title for your play. What will tell something about the story and attract an audience?
Basic Story: Write out your story in scenes. Each scene should have a header (SCENE ONE), a time and place (8:00 in the evening, Jenny’s backyard) and a description of the action.
List of Characters: List all of the characters in your play. For each, give their age and physical appearance. Then write a one line description about their personality.
Major Conflict: What is the Major Conflict of the Play? Write this in one sentence.