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How to write a prize-winning play
Opportunities for budding playwrights are now more plentiful than ever, but how do you make your play stand out from the rest? Catherine Love shares playwriting tips from the winner and runners-up of last year’s Papatango New Writing Competition…

Get inspired

You’ve decided that you’re going to write a play – what now? Dawn King, who won the Papatango New Writing Competition with her play Foxfinder, admits that “once you’ve learnt your craft, having an idea is the hardest bit”. But the worst thing you can do is just stare at a blank Word document waiting for that light bulb moment. 

“The main thing is that if you’re trying to have an idea it’s actually quite hard to have one,” says King, “so if I’m trying to have an idea I tend to do something else.” Try taking a break and getting out of the house; you’re far more likely to find inspiration away from the computer screen.

Let your characters drive the plot 

Plenty of advice has been written about plotting plays, but it is best to let the plot be guided by your own characters and ideas rather than by a set of textbook rules. Competition runner-up Matt Morrison prefers to think of a play’s structure “in terms of patterns and permutations”. He explains that one of the best ways to move the plot forward is to make your characters interact with one another in different combinations and scenarios. “A small amount of plotting will actually get you quite a long way.”.....

Read more here.