(Leaf enters wearing a flight jacket and goggles)
Leaf – Hurry up, Grace!
(Grace enters running carrying her flight jacket, her goggles perched on her head, putting on her scarf.)
Grace – I’m coming. I just had to radio ahead. I want everything ready when we land.
Leaf- They are depending on you!
Grace – On us. Ready on the chocks!
(Grace climbs into the pilot’s seat as Leaf runs to the wheels of the plane ready to pull up the chocks. The engine coughs into action, soon there is the loud roar of the motor.)
Grace – Chocks away!
(Leaf pulls the chocks from under the wheels and scrambles into the seat behind Grace.)
So, you want to write a play.
Brain – So you want to write a play.
You – There’s a prize.
Brain – Is there?
You – Two prizes!
Brain – You can win two prizes?
You – No. I mean there are two chances to win. So, I can win, first or second prize.
Brain – Oh really? I see. Well, that’s pretty good.
You – Yes. And there’s another thing.
Brain – What? A third prize?
You – Well, no. But after they read all the plays. They kind of pick the best of the entries and call it a “shortlist”. And my play could be picked. And then you see, they read your play, the ones that are picked for the “shortlist”, and everyone who entered is invited to listen. So, then someone, like a professional writer or actor talks about it with you and they give you some feedback, you know, like what they think, why it’s good, what you might try to make it better. Stuff like that.
Brain – Wow!
You – Ya, right eh?
Brain – So, what are you going to write about?
You – That’s why I came to you. What do you think?
Brain – Maybe this is a heart thing.
You – A heart thing?
Brain – I mean maybe it’s a feeling thing. Like what you feel like writing, instead of what you think you should write.
You – You think?
Brain – Ya. Maybe.
You – But you got to know stuff to write.
Brain- What kind of stuff?
You – What’s a play? How do you write it?
Brain – Well, what is a play?
You – I guess it’s like a story. Like on TV. You know a story, that happens right in front of you. Just it’s only talking.
Brain – They call that dialogue. The talking. You know, what the people in a movie say, it’s called dialogue.
You – See, I knew there was stuff I need to know.
Brain – You do know that. How many TV shows you seen?
You – Lots.
Brain – Any that didn’t talk?
You – Nope.
Brain. – Then you know dialogue. It’s not hard. It’s like breathing. Do you have to think about breathing? No! Thinking about breathing messes you up. Try it.
(You tries to think about breathing, starts to cough, stops, tries to breath again gets stuck, coughs)
Brain – See what I mean?
You – I don’t know.
Brain – Sure you do. You know what stops most people from writing?
You- No, what?
Brain – Same thing that made you cough, thinking too much. You can’t think too much. You just got to get out of the way and let yourself do it. You know what they call that?
You – No.
Brain – Self editing. Stopping yourself before your words even get on the page. People spend so much time thinking they are going to make a mistake they never get to writing the story. Because they think they might get it wrong.
You – Yah, but…
Brain – “Yah buts!” That’s the other thing that stops people writing. “Yah buts” are a major reason for people doing nothing.
You – What are you talking about?
Brain – I’m talking about just writing and staying out of your way. Just let the story grow, let it go!
You – Let it grow! Let it go! You’re kind of a pain. I ask you how to write and you tell me just write. No wonder we only use 10 % of you.
Brain – That’s a myth.
You – What?
Brain – That’s a common myth, that you “yous” only use 10 percent of your brains.
You – Could you just stick to the point?
Brain – Which is?
You – What should I write about?
Brain – What do you like to watch on TV, what kind of movies do you like? What kind of stories? Maybe you’d like to write the same kind of plays?
You – Hmm, maybe.
Brain – How long’s this play supposed to be?
You – 15 minutes.
Brain – Oh, hey that’s easy. They say it takes about a minute to read a page so, depending on how much talking (dialogue) you have, that’s how you figure out how long your play is; one page equals one minute. Sometimes, if your dialogue is really dense, not just short one line sentences, it could be two minutes a page. You could do that easy.
You – 15 pages! I’ve never written 15 pages!
Brain – Could be less. I tell you 15 pages is not impossible. Maybe you have never gone to Spain or sailed a boat or gone skiing. Does that mean you can’t do those things? No! It just means those things are waiting for you. Like your play, you’ll find it and you’ll write it. Easy!
You – You don’t sound like a brain you sound like some kind of weird self-help book.
Brain – That’s what I’m saying. The way to help yourself write a play is to just write it.
You – But what will I write about?
Brain – I tell you your play is waiting for you.
You – I don’t know.
Brain – And you never will until you try. You know what they say, the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. And this is just 15 minutes, that’s a hop, skip and a jump. You can do it!
You – You think?
Brain – I know!
You – I still don’t know what to write about.
Brain – You just need to listen.
You – To who?
Brain – To yourself. Stop talking and start listening. The play will come to you. Just listen.
You – Okay.
Brain – Shh. Your story’s going to talk to you. So, listen, then write.
You – Okay!
Brain – Shhh. Go get a pen. Get your phone, get your thumbs working. Stop talking. Listen. And then, write.