Happy Birthday, Arthur Kopit, born 10 May 1937
- Read as much as possible and while you’re reading, try to see why the writing works.
- I’m pretty good at putting myself in a state of mind, when I write, in which it’s as if I know nothing. And I’m pretty good at not worrying about ‘merit’. Worrying about merit is a killer. Whether the work has merit is not my task. At least, not initially.
- Friends of mine who write only novels don’t understand how a playwright can put up with the uncertainty of productions. You give up such control! But novelists rarely see people reading their books, and on those occasions when they do, there’s no way to know how those readers are reacting. Playwrights, however, assume their productions will always be at least a bit different from what they’d imagined when they wrote.
- Writing honestly doesn’t mean you know everything about your characters. Writing honestly means being inside your characters, and allowing them to be as confused as you.
- But if you have written a good play, then it’s about a lot more than you thought when you began the writing, and the characters will, and should, surprise you.
- Sometimes, just plunging in, not knowing what you’re doing, or even where you’re going, leads to discoveries you might not have made otherwise.
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