Sunday, March 02, 2003

vignette: butterfly emporium notes (play in progress)

I thought I'd share how I sometimes work. I've been mulling about a writing a full length play called the Butterfly Emporium.

Here are my first notes, which form a crude outline of how I want thing to progress as well as the elements (narrative and otherwise) that I plan to inject. In my experience though, I'll probably use less than 20% of the stuff I've written down here, the balance developing as something new during the actual act of writing.

BE: Act One

Young girl with single crutch seeks her mother, as well as the reason she’s lame.

Finds the butterfly emporium, a shop that sells oddities and miracles.

Stories are told about the items there:

-fire flowers falling (maranaw)
-the fishermen of the north (pepper’s tale)
-the siren of palawan
-the nuno who loved mama ninang

girl purchases the butterfly chrysalis.

BE: Act Two

Goes on quest underground to find her mother.

Action happens in two fronts: fantasy and real. In reality, they see a lame girl. In fantasy we see a questing heroine.

Of course she makes friends along the way. They tell stories:

-a woman who collects things to burn
-the naked madman who criticized god’s raiments
-the boy child who fell from the sky
-the lost river
-the loneliest animal in the world

She needs to understand that not all stories are true or fraught with meaning. The chrysalis beats and throbs. She meets the black dwaves, spirits of despair and faces the twist in the play.

She succeeds and finds her mother and we end with her still lame but with a killer monologue.


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