After a gentle start of nudging parts of scene one of Ayodhya, the time has come to focus on the other two. This is going to be a bit of a literary blood bath. Whole pages cut, characters mercilessly axed – chop, chop, chop til it doesn’t make sense and then bind together what’s left so that it does.
The play in its old, looser, form, may well have gotten me a very high mark in my dissertation, but I’m aware that it also had an attached three thousand word essay explaining exactly what I was doing with it.
It’s hard enough to get a theatre to read a script, let alone an essay. So while I still do like the way Ayodhya tangentially linked before, the new drafts will become increasingly conventional: tighter with its connections and more muscular in its drama, with each scene made very distinctive.
(If you’re interested, these are my one liners for each scene to help guide the rhythm and tone:
SCENE 1 – Gentle then vicious, emotionally open. Like a child.
SCENE 2 – Playful, wild, anxious. Like your early 20s.
SCENE 3 – Quiet, simple, reflective. Like old age.)
Once this round of writing/rewriting is done, I think I will have tapped out my current ‘well spring’ that focuses so much on identity and moments of cathartic release. It’s taken a while, but I don’t regret it since it was an integral part of working through my shit and finding my processes. Now though, I’m ready to push on into writing conventional dramatic narratives, which should force me to expand my areas of interest and look for new tales – can’t wait. I’m starting a little bit of this with my rewrite of Twenty Million Shirts (AKA Keval Mehta). Been inspired by the recent end of the Balotelli/Mancini saga to draw the focus less on identity, and more on the failed quasi-father/son relationship in it.