Literature NotesPubs

School Project: Dramatizing a Story

In your project work of dramatizing a story you are expected to recreate a short story as a stage play. In order to do this you must first understand the basic difference between a story and a play. A story is narrative in nature, it tells something, while drama is a medium that shows. Therefore, when you are transforming a story into drama you must make full use of the dramatic and visual qualities of the story, emphasize on character portrayal through dialogue and show a logical arrangement of events or plot. Always try to be original in your project and try something different to enhance your creativity. These are certain guidelines to help you in this challenging but highly rewarding task.
General Guidelines
1.                  Select a story which you are comfortable with. Try to choose a story that has a dramatic quality to it. You will find a sample worked out in Hub-pages:



2.                   Create an outline or treatment. Before you begin actually writing dialog and script, it might help to create a basic road-map/story of what will happen in your story so you don’t get side-tracked and can work out any plot holes or kinks. Sketch out a general plan and envision how events will unfold.
3.                  Trim the story down. Now that you have everything on paper, look for dead weight, weak links, irrelevant details, over-explaining, side-tracking, elements that drag, and anything else that weakens the overall trajectory.
4.                  Set the scene. Don’t forget to include important details such as time of day, setting, and actions of the characters in the scene. These are nearly as important as the dialog that occurs. Use proper headers to introduce scenes, identify each speaker, and so on.
5.                  Describe action only briefly; provide a sense of what’s happening on screen, but do not add unnecessary details.
6.                  Maintain your style. Remember, scripts are all about action and dialog. Make sure your characters speak realistically, and try not to mix styles of speech and vocabulary too much unless you are going for a certain effect.
7.                  Dialogue will make or break your characters and their relationships. What’s worse, dialogue is extremely difficult for most people to write. To get your bearings, write down or record real conversations to see how people really speak and which expressions they use. Be sure to listen to a variety of speakers to so that you can give your own characters more flavor and individuality. Read your dialogue aloud as you go, paying extra attention to whether or not it sounds halting, stereotyped, over-the-top, or totally uniform. Ensuring that different characters have their own “voice” and “persona” based on their background will keep them from blending into one another. Remember, their personal will affect their attitude, word choices and dialect.
8.                  Show your finished work to people whose opinion you respect. Choose people who not only come from different backgrounds and have varied personal tastes, but are also willing to provide honest feedback.
9.                  Revise your work as many times as necessary. Painful as it may be, you’ll be glad when you’re finally able to convey your vision.



Models Available for Drama

  • The Aristotelian Model: Suitable for Tragedies and Elaborate Comedies of 5 Acts:
Exposition-rising action-climax-falling action-Denoument
Aristotelean Model
  • The Shavian Model:Suitable for Shorter plots of 3 Acts.
 The One Act Play Model:Suitable for Stories with limited number of Characters /Scenes.
You may choose any other model too.
Just Keep in mind that a play needs to have
Exposition– Climax– Resolution
clearly marked by plot construction.

 

line graph of plot in drama
Plot Progression of A Complex Nature
 
Keep in mind the following during your work:
·                     All drama scripts should contain conflict, progression and status changes, or will be uninteresting to read or watch.
·                     A stage play should have a cover page clearly showing the title of the play, the author of the play, and the approximate length of the play. Stage direction/other direction is written in italics
·                     Be patient. Writing takes time, and rushed scripts are usually flawed. If you take your time, your play will be wonderful.
·                     Know the type of script you’re writing. If your script is a comedy, make sure that other people think that it’s funny. If you’re writing a drama, make the dialogue dramatic and gripping.
Happy Scribbling and Good Luck.

 



Author: monami mukherjee

Poet, Blogger, Undergrad Professor. Literature and film enthusiast. Excited about both critical and creative writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *