HOW TO WRITE A PLAY, by Tommy Trull
The following method has been meticulously researched, both through rigorous self-observation and numerous observations of other playwrights, both professional and amateur. It is guaranteed to work, provided one follows each one of these steps.
1. Open Microsoft Word.
2. Find Microsoft Word not conducive to your process.
3. Close Microsoft Word.
4. Spend money on the newest version of Movie Magic Screenwriter or Final Draft.
5. Discover that you cannot afford MMS or FD, so explore Celtx for a while before going back to Microsoft Word and promise yourself to take care of the formatting later.
6. Open Microsoft Word.
7. Select “Times New Roman,” and type your title at the top of the page.
8. Realize that the title doesn’t “pop,” so change the font to “Courier New.”
9. Change back to “Times New Roman.”
10. Type “Cast of Characters” at the top of the page, and underline it.
11. Chew on your left thumb until you develop a large, moon-esque callous just above the knuckle.
12. Open up Google and type “awesome symbolic character names” in the search box.
13. Check Facebook.
14. Check your email.
15. Absently play with your thumb callous.
16. Notice that you have been playing with your thumb callous, and search the house for a nail file.
17. Take a shower.
18. Come back to the computer feeling mostly refreshed, and decide that a pot of coffee is what you need most.
19. Email your favorite local actor/actress and tell them you’re thinking about them for a new play and are they free?
20. Check Facebook.
21. Change your gchat status to “Writing” or (even riskier) “Revising.”
22. Absently play with your thumb callous.
23. Remember that you had originally meant to find the nail file, and resume your search.
24. Find the nail file, remember to floss, and return to the computer.
25. File your thumb callous down while staring at the white page.
26. Decide names can come later, and type “Father Figure, 50s” under “Cast of Characters.”
27. Change the font to “Courier New.”
28. Tweet the sentence “Writing can be a bitch, but I can’t not do it.”
29. Take a cell phone picture of your title and cast of characters on your laptop, and upload the picture to Facebook with the comment “The journey begins …”
30. Change the title’s font to “Broadway,” make it bold and 24 point, and then retake your picture to replace the one you have already deleted from Facebook.
31. Check your email. If your favorite actor/actress has responded with the question, “What’s it about,” delete the email.
32. Check Facebook frequently for heartwarming responses to your picture and corresponding “journey.”
33. Write a play.
34. Remember to take care of the formatting.
35. Change the font to “Times New Roman.”
36. Set the script on fire.