Story_arcI’ve written whole sets of posts on how to write a show, which you can refer to here. But I’ll encapsulate it by saying that basically you write every day. Write every day for a month. Same time, same place. Write about just the topic you chose. In all different ways. Write your life story as it relates to that topic. Write you point of view about that topic.  

When you’ve exhausted the subject, interview other people what they think about it and write what they say. Go the library (does anyone do that anymore?) and research it. Ask your family about it. Get something from every angle. Then decide what kind of show it’s going to be. Is it standup comedy? Is it a comic monologue? Is it a heart wrenching tearjerker? Tale of redemption? Aesop’s Foibles? Farce? Whatever form you choose, study as much of that form as you can so you can utilize its tropes.

But if you’ve never done this before, keep it simple. Just tell a story and make it as entertaining as possible while being as honest as possible. 

Story Structure 101: Make a beginning, middle, and end.

Divide your story into three parts. First part: this thing happened. I felt this way. Introduce every character or element of the story here so there are no random elements that come in, in the middle of the story. Next part: this bigger thing happened. It was more intense. I felt this more intensely. I responded like this. Finally the last piece, which should be the shortest, this huge thing happened. It was over-the-top. It changed everything. I felt this way. I learned this. I now do things this way. I now believe this about myself. (Alternatively, I didn't learn, I still struggle, etc.) Use linear time to start. After you get good at that, you can try experimenting with non-linear narrative.

As you’re writing, consider who you want to be in your audience. What might they want to see and hear? What would make what you’re sharing important to them? Entertaining? Transformative? Worth their time? Why? Start answering these questions for yourself to make the most out of your work.

In the next post, I'll talk a bit about editing your script. Stay tuned.


Alicia Dattner

Comedian and Creatrix Alicia Dattner is an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning performer who loves to help others use the power of humor to transform their lives and write a new unfolding story for the world.


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