Somalia Seaton's Writing Exercise

Playwright Somalia Seaton ran one of our Introduction to Playwriting Groups in 2019. Here she shares an exercise that you can try at home.

Somalia is a Jamaican – Nigerian, British theatre practitioner, playwright and screenwriter. She was born and raised in South-East London and is a 2017 finalist recipient for The Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

Some of her writing credits include: Fall of the Kingdom, Rise of the Footsoldier (RSC); House (Clean Break/ Assembley Rooms, Edinburgh/ The Yard); Crowning Glory (Stratford East); Mama’s Little Angel (The Yard); and RED (Tonic Theatre).

A Writing Exercise

A) Grab a newspaper, choose one story – answer the following questions, where the answers aren’t so obviously outlined in the story – allow yourself to fill in the gaps:
1) What’s happening?
2) Where are we?
3) When is it happening?
4) Who’s story is it? Give them a name.
5) What do they want?
6) What’s preventing them from getting this?
7) What might they need? (for example – a character might want their friend to protect them, though they might need courage)
8) What’s at stake?
9) Are there other characters you can identify?
10) What is their relationship to our main character?
11) What do they want?

 

B) So you have identified what’s happening and who its happening to. Now explore this moment further, in a scene.

 

Some rules:
1) The scene must begin with the line “You’re going to break that if you don’t stop”, and end with “Now you’ll understand”.
2) Something must be revealed to one of our characters
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