Kitty Felde – Martin Luther King Day
Okay. All that stuff I wrote a few months ago about tips to dig yourself out of Act 2 hell? It didn’t work for me.
I was cooking along on a long-delayed rewrite of a play that’s haunted me for more than a decade. I’d even made it into the middle of Act 2, up to the big climax scene. And then I fell apart.
I made the mistake of bringing 30 pages to my old writing group when I was in LA this past fall. Turns out, it was a big mistake – mostly because I hadn’t yet slogged through the rest of the first draft. In other words, I hadn’t yet solved act two.
The notes my old writing buddies gave me were terrific. And made sense. Unfortunately, knowing what I’d need to change in the second draft made going on to the end of the first draft seem overwhelming. I lost heart. I lacked courage. Why write lines for characters I knew I’d have to excise in the next draft? It seemed like a betrayal to those characters. And if one of those main characters was going to change along the way, who knew if writing a first draft ending was even appropriate anymore? And on and on and on.
I know I’m overthinking this. (A writer overthinking? Shocked, I tell you. Shocked!) But I have come up with Plan B.
So here it is: I started a new play.
I know. This is dangerous. It’s like serial dating. You might never get to the commitment stage…in playwriting terms, I might never get to the end of the first draft. I’ll just add to my closet full of great ideas that never got finished.
But I overcame my own warnings and moved ahead. And I suspect it might work. In fact, it might even work for you.