A Little Perspective From Tom Church

Amazingly enough, we have 32 views today, and I haven’t posted a thing.

So I figure I should.

I’ve been reading plays all day, since I got home from school. One-Acts, and some Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). And they’re both really good, in different ways: Shakespeare is incredibly well-versed in mythology, and knows how to get a point across in the most creative and interesting way possible.

One-Acts, on the other hand, in comparison to Shakespeare, are like this:

You read Hearts In Atlantis by Stephen King. It takes a while, but it’s really good, and the romance part gives you chills at the end.

Then you go and read “Willa,” also by Stephen King (from his Just After Sunset collection), but it’s a short story. And it’s absolutely amazing, gives you chills like crazy, and you’re all shaken up and you put the book down, and it was like, ten pages.

That’s what One-Acts are like! Erin told me recently that One-Act writers “try packing in really moving, deep themes, because they’re so short,” or something to that effect. She basically explained to me that every writer of One-Acts feels the need to inspire the reader in each and every story, and that’s…

Incredible!

I like the idea of short stories. The shorter, the better, sometimes. Of course, lengthy ones are good; plot development can suck in a short story. Lengthy ones (Dickens is a prime example of good long stories) can be very, very good. But sometimes succinct, direct, and moving stories really catch my attention, and while I love reading Stephen King novels, I also love to read collections of his; I’ve burned through quite a few.

One-Acts are good. I’m not necessarily any sort of theatre-whiz (by no means; Erin probably beats me by a mile when it comes to that stuff), but I think reading scripts is no different from reading a story. It shouldn’t feel any different at all, that’s what plays are. Stories, with specific directives on how to act them out. I’ve read bits and pieces of screenplays before, “The Storm of the Century,” for example (RAISIN IN THE SUN. AH!), and those are good too. And sometimes the format just works, you’d rather read it with the actions and the expressions mapped in italics within parentheses. You’d rather see the person’s name in front of their dialogue.

I’m no playwright (or at least, not full-time, not yet), but that’d be just as great as writing a story in its most conventional sense, I’ve decided.

-Thom

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