Not an existential question – not the omnipresent wail of a writer who has just finished a project and needs to rejuvenate.
Rather, the musings of a blogger who is exposed to so many excellent writers that instead of penning my own, I must share with you theirs. In this instance, hers, Lucy Gillespie‘s, in the Works by Women blog.
“The more plays I read, the more I realized that most plays are about playwrights’ fantasies/wishful thinking. Of course, the best plays are complex and multi-faceted, but it seemed to me that a bad play that followed some schlub’s fantasy of hitting it big/getting the girl/fighting for independence from his family/the man could still be perfectly accessible and satisfying to an audience.
“The problem that women face, I think, is that male wishful thinking has become the neutral standard in terms of structure and content. To a degree, it is expected and those stories are recognizable. Wishful-thinking plays by female playwrights fell flat, felt saccharine or felt inaccessible either because of the tone (too stream of consciousness, too poetic, too “insert criticism here”), or because the climax felt skewed – a goal too big (she can have it all!) or too small (my mother and I smiled at each other). I think that women think different ways, work different ways, respond to different stories than men do, but we are all trained in male storytelling, so when women sit down to write, they feel bound to a structure/content that is not intuitive but rather drilled into them as the only way to make a play.”
Read the whole thing here.