With only 17 days left before NaPlWriMo, I don't want to start anything new, but I still want to work on things to polish and submit. I had been thinking about this play for a bit the other day, and decided to pull it out, dust it off, and see how it's going.
This play was first drafted in 2006. I had been in the aftermath of a massive break-up and I had been on the rebound with a fella I thought was pretty great, even though there were ten million red flags abounding in that relationship that ignored. The inspiration of the play came from the issues surrounding meeting this guy's family. I had met his mom, who happened to be blind, so he doted on her quite a bit. His father was another story. If I'm remembering correctly, his parents are divorced and his father had a new wife. It was like pulling teeth to try and meet his Dad. Finally, he relented and as I recall, that evening with his father and his new wife was pretty terrible. The process of trying to meet his Dad inspired the play.
What if his father was really dead? (This was before I knew he was alive, kicking, and kind of a douche). What if my father and his father were conspiring in Heaven to get this guy and I together?
That's where the play came from.
The play involves a lot of supernatural aspects and a lot of playing around with the Christian pantheon. I had thought about my Latin classes back in college and about how the Romans and Greeks treated their gods. They ascribed them very human like tendencies--having affairs, getting angry and changing people in animals as a punishment, envy, etc. It was very fascinating. I wondered what would happen if I took God and St. Peter and Satan and gave them all human like tendancies, the good and the bad. And the supernatural aspects of the play came out. As I have God and Satan playing games and gambling, I was brought back to the story of Lot, which was God and Satan in the Old Testament basically doing the same thing they are doing in my play. Fascinating.
I don't want people to think I am doing this because I don't really ascribe to being a Christian per se. I don't want people to think I'm doing this to make fun of Christianity or anything like that, but I know that's always a possibility, and I hope that people can see past that and see the funny aspects of the play.
So I went back and re-read the play, writing down the settings and the characters and all that good stuff so I can work on a summary and character list for eventually submitting the play. And the play is actually in pretty good shape. I have a couple of things I need to fix and look at, but for the most part, it's ready for people to read.
This play was a thorn in my side for three going on four years. I liked the play, I loved the characters and I wanted it to work, but for some reason, like with every play I work with that has a supernatural aspect, I have a hard time dealing with that aspect. Part of having supernatural and dead characters makes my life easier as a writer. No one knows for certain, regardless of spiritual proclivity, what happens with the afterlife or with the supernatural. But with this freedom comes some problems of creating rules for a world and sticking to them. In reality, we have to, for the most part, stick to the rules of gravity. If we break them, there's a reason, but they are rules that we all know and follow. But if you create a world and rules, and then break them, you run the risk of losing and angering readers and viewers (hence my hatred of 'The Lovely Bones').
The point is, this play is getting close to a final first draft--almost four years later. It's inspiring and good to see the process I've gone through, because the process really is the important part--not the destination.