Monday, December 13, 2010


A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. These works are usually written to be performed in front of a live audience by actors. They may also be closet dramas or literary works written using dramatic forms but not meant for performance.

The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder (as in a wheelwright or cartwright). Hence the prefix and the suffix combine to indicate someone who has wrought words, themes, and other elements into a dramatic form, someone who crafts plays. The homophone with write is in this case entirely coincidental.

And there you have it. Is there a difference between a playwright and a novelist?

A novel is a long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century.

Further definition of the genre is historically difficult. The construction of the narrative, the plot, the way reality is created in the works of fiction, the fascination of the character study, and the use of language are usually discussed to show a novel's artistic merits.

I think yes. There is a dramatic difference between writing a play and writing a novel. The question is, can a novel writer write a play?

In one month?

I've been having my doubts. Here's the way I see it. If someone asks me to write a play for a good cause even though I am entirely unqualified for the job, I should try to do it anyway. They assured me there was no one else. It was me or no one.

Was Noah asked to build an ark because he was the greatest ship-builder to ever walk the planet? I really doubt it. But he got his hammer out anyway and he did it.

Sure, he had lots of help, but if he hadn't decided to try no one could have helped him. I can't imagine how daunting the idea of building a floating zoo must have been. Such a thing had never been done in the history of time.

But he didn't build it in one day. He took it one piece of wood at a time.

I guess if Noah could build an ark, maybe I can build a play. Or at least try.

The real test will be seeing how this plays out on a stage at the end. At least it won't rain for forty days.

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