More than just the story

The story is just the beginning. The real work starts from there.

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I’ll just start with the bottom line:

It doesn’t matter how good your story is; it won’t work if you don’t know what to do with it. 

I had to learn this years ago when I wrote a play and staged it for my schoolmates. Though the story was a good one, the entire hall was filled with noise from the audience. Yes, they were bored and annoyed within the first fifteen minutes. Talking among themselves proved to be way more entertaining than watching what was going on on stage. Thankfully (for them), thirty minutes into the performance, the bell rang and the disaster of a play had to be cut short. They literally exclaimed “thank God!” in unison and fled from the hall, casting glares at me as they did. I understood what the problem was when two girls walked up to me and asked, “What in the world was the point of the play? It was boring, not to mention the acting.”

I tried to explain that if they went through the play till the end they would understand the story, but later on came to realize that they had a point. The execution was terrible. The plot took too long to develop, the characters had no depth, and the acting itself was wanting…and that is just a peek of what was wrong with the play.

It is a lesson I will not soon forget. Riding on a good story and expecting everything else to magically fall into place isn’t going to get you anywhere. Make sure everything else is good too. No doubt we all have watched plays and movies where the story line was great but everything else was not so great. Let’s try not join the club. We cannot just rely on a good story to have a successful script and production. The story is just the beginning. The real work starts from there.

Author: hibaplays

I am a playwright. I have been writing and staging Christian plays for almost a decade. There is no greater satisfaction than sharing Jesus with others through theatre.

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