When Mark Graham first began to help me shape my plays, he emphasized that I needed to
find or decide upon my primary focus. Everything relies upon the strength of focus, which is,
I suppose, similar to core training in a physical fitness program.
The first two plays of my Shakespeare trilogy are very strong on focus, I think. They hold together. Strangely enough, focus allows for the introduction of surprises, in a way that an intellectually lazier approach does not. As I may have said before, I believe that a playwright should be sure to surprise his/her audience from time to time. If you have a predictable series of events, you are not going to have as interesting a play as if you have a potential element of surprise, to keep the audience engaged.
I began writing my third play with a pretty solid concept for its plot and even characterization. But I'm not satisfied with what I've written so far: four and 1/2 scenes that do not ring my bell. And I think I've figured out why. It's the focus. I have moved the focus away from Shakespeare, making him only a minor player in this drama. And that has to change. I think I know how I can still tell my story, holding him and his actions as the focal point. I just need to rework the plot so that what he says and does is both interesting and plausible. Also, as far as possible, I'd like to be solidly on Will's side. He took enough criticism from the viewpoint of his disinherited daughter in "Judith Shakespeare Has Her Say." He's still my man, and I owe him so much.