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Rodney Robbins's Blog Entry

The Playwright's Pause

Posted by: Rodney Robbins (January 4, 2013)

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Not every scene in your play has to be about your main character struggling against his sworn enemy. Real stories almost never work that way.

At the same time, almost every scene needs to have conflict. So, as you write, try this trick--pause, just long enough to decide who wants what, what or who stands against them and the planned outcome of the scene. 

Bill wants Janet to go to the movies. Janet wants to buy slippers. "They're 45% off!" Jane wants to take Allen to the movies. Allen wants to stay in their secret love nest--like they always do. Darnell just wants to get home without sliding off the road in this terrible ice storm. Kenya does NOT want to fall in love with her coworker. He has no idea how charming he is to her. 

Don't forget the best scene endings are no, heck no and yes but.