The stage is a magical area. The live audience and live actors make a closeness no other art can duplicate. The ancient Romans and Greeks believed the dramatic “poet” had the duty and power to ‘please and to teach’, a tradition that has lived on to this day.
Plays come in all sizes and shapes. Here are four common ones:
In recent years, ten-minute plays have become popular. A ten-minute play should not be an extended gag of a sketch, but rather a complete play, with an introduction, middle, and end. Typically, it takes place in one scene and runs less than ten pages.
One-acts can run from fifteen minutes to about one hour. The play gets its name from having one act. The most popular length of this type of play is about a half-hour. A good one-act should focus on one main problem or action.
Also known as evening-length plays, full-length plays are long plays. This type of play runs for about eighty minutes. While writing this play, you should have a very good reason for keeping your audience in the theatre for a long time.
Musicals run from ten minutes to three hours. It is not cost effective to get a band to play for only a few minutes.
Pacing refers to how slowly or quickly the action of the story unfolds. In a story, the pacing is important because it helps the writer to keep the reader interested. It also helps to maintain a desired tone and atmosphere.
To get pacing in your story right, plan the rise and fall of your story’s plot and action. Outlining a story is important in pacing because one can see where there is eventfulness or concentrated action and where there is a break. Sometimes there may be too much action in one place and too long a lull. The reader should never say that a particular part dragged on forever or something happened too fast.
Thinking of your story pacing in structured units is also important. If you are writing a novel, think of it in terms of scenes or larger units. Sections of a novel have different pacing. For instance, the first act takes its time, as a writer want to lure in the readers.
Finally, to use pace correctly, you need to read the works of authors who have mastered the art of pacing. If you decide to learn story pacing from other authors, make notes. To master pacing, understand how the language elements affect the pace of a story.
Pacing in Writing
Creative nonfiction is a writing genre that uses literary techniques and styles to create factually true narratives. It contrasts with journalism, technical writing and academic, which are also rooted in accurate fact but are not written to amuse. Ultimately, the main aim of the creative nonfiction writers is, just like a reporter, communicate information. However, they must shape it to appear like fiction.
In creative nonfiction, creativity lies in what the writers choose to write about, how they go about doing it, the skill with which they describe people, the arrangement through which they present things, the integrity of the composition, the rhythms of the prose, and so forth. In creative writing, writers do not make something up but make the most of what they have.
Elements of creative nonfiction are the personal presence, self-motivation, and self-discovery, the flexibility of form and literary approaches. Creative nonfiction can embody both public and personal history. It utilizes experience, opinion, all kinds of research, observation, and opinion.
Under Creative Nonfiction umbrella, you will find a long list of sub-genres such as personal essay, memoir, meditations on ideas, nature writing, literary journalism, city writing, journals or letters, hybrid forms, travel writing, cultural commentary, and sometimes autobiographical fiction. Examples of creative nonfiction are “Coney,” by James Huneker and “Coney Island at Night,” by James Huneker
There are many online courses for writers (paid and free). A writer needs to distinguish between courses that give feedback on writing and ones that only include information. Both are helpful, but writers should sign up for what they need. Also, writers should be aware of the differences between courses that have teachers and those that just have video or audio lectures. Free online courses for creative writers are:
Offered by Taylor’s University, Scribble is a free 14-week course that will teach you the value of writing. Although it is not creative-writing specific, it assists students to become good writers. You can use Scribble to learn about topic sentences, grammar, and research papers.
2. The Crafty Writer
The Crafty Writer is designed to help students transform their thoughts into words. Topics include understanding dialogue, point of view, and characters.
3. Write What You Know
Offered by Open University, Write What You Know course takes about 8 hours to complete. The course teaches students to draw upon their life experiences, to use all their sense to create a fictional world and to pay attention to small details.
4. Start Writing Fiction
Start Writing Fiction is a free 12 hours course that is offered by Open University. This course will defeat the doubtful demons that hide inside you by exploring numerous genres of fiction. The main purpose of this course is to help students to identify their weaknesses and strengths as fiction writers.