In my last post, Part 1 of 7 on writing solo shows, I spoke about discovering the Central Moment that your show pivots on. You did free-writing about this pivotal moment and you held it close to your bosom.
Writing solo show takes guts. Mostly, the guts to get out of your own way. You can still keep it private. In fact, you could keep it private forever. You could write this show solely for discovering a truth about yourself. What is that private truth that you have not even allowed yourself to know about you?
I have made so much sense of my life in crafting a story arc out of the miscellaneous and non-linear events in my life. I believe we're hear to find and make meaning.
As you explore the Central Moment, begin to write about what led up to it. What was happening in and around your life? Who were you before that Moment? What kind of friends did you spend time with? What was your family like? How did you spend your free time? What kinds of thoughts ran through your head and why? What did you know to be true about yourself? Answer each of these questions with an example, a concrete smaller moment that shows us an event occurring.
How did this Central Moment then change your world? Write about the changes that took place after this event happened. Write scene after scene. Don't censor. Did your thoughts change? Did your friends change? Did people react differently to you? Did you stop going somewhere? Did you start going somewhere? What did you start wearing? A smile? A purse? A bathing suit? A fedora? All of the above? Perhaps these changes seem to have nothing to do with your Central Moment. All the more interesting to note them…
What co-incidences do you notice that have to do with your Central Moment? Begin to keep a journal of co-incidences and synchronicity. Note each time something comes full circle. Note the through-lines that string together the random moments in your life relating to this Moment. Begin to think back to childhood. What memories from when you were 4 or 7 years old seem to relate to this Moment? Find the earliest memory that relates to this moment and anchor your through-line with it. Then, look at your dreams and fantasies of your future. Which of those have to do with your Moment? Write about them in concrete ways. Show, don't tell.
Write Write Write
During this process, it's imperative that you don't censor yourself. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and just write. Don't take the pen off the paper. Let yourself be surprised. Know that no one will see it. Say something to yourself you haven't dared to speak until This Moment.
Ready for Part 3 of 7 on "So You Want to Write a One Person Show"? Stay tuned! I'll be writing it in the next few days.