Writing Exercise: Tricks and Tips for rewrites. Drama

 WHAT IS DRAMA? DRAMA, AGAIN, IS THE QUEST OF THE HERO TO OVERCOME THOSE THINGS WHICH PREVENT HIM FROM ACHIEVING A SPECIFIC, ACUTE GOAL.
-David Mamet
Now that you have finished putting in all the words- it is time to start the rewrites. First step is one of breaking the whole thing down into scenes. Whether they are whole chapters, or just a few paragraphs, you must ask yourself of every scene these 3 questions:
1) Who wants what?
2) What happens if they don’t get it?
3) Why now?
Any scene that does not both advance the plot is either superfluous or inadequately written. Small tweaks answering these questions can make your work come alive.
How does one strike the balance between withholding and vouchsafing information? That is the essential task of the Dramatist. That is what you are in creating this piece, a Dramatist. Even if you are writing comedy. One trick is to look for two characters talking about a third one, this should be changed into some action. If you can’t figure out how to drive the plot- take out the dialog. Pretend your characters are mute, that will force you to write action and action is what drives the story.

Other things to look out for are long descriptions. I once was in a writing group where one writer would spend three pages describing the fabric and layout of the couch. It was horrifying. 
Describe your scenery using a brevity of notion and clear concise descriptive words. Scenery is there to set the tone, not fill up white space. Don’t worry about the length at this point as you will be adding and subtracting for a while and it all seems to balance out when you are finished. 
Writing Exercise:  Compose a tale about an animal in your life that was focused on getting something (dog with a ball, lizard with a cricket, horse with a barn, etc.).  Make it simple so you are forced to be creative. Now write a scene using the 3 questions of drama to get the animal where he wants to be.

1) Who wants what?
2) What happens if they don’t get it?
3) Why now?

Have fun and do at least 500 words. Then go back to your work and do the same type of editing.