Sunday, June 16, 2013

Free play "Shipwrecked" has two more weekends before it closes

I juggled to open for the Penfold Theatre's production of Shipwrecked last night. It was a great all-ages play that did a lot with just three actors and I recommend it.

The show has two more Thursday/Friday/Saturday sequences left so get out there and see it if you can. It's at the Round Rock Amphitheatre, a small open-air stage at 301 W. Bagdad Ave, Round Rock TX 78664.

Some random thoughts about the play:

  • The protagonist had an engaging naivete, and that was important in a play with only three actors.
  • It was fun to see the other actors switch amongst many parts.
  • The play had several elements, notably an entertaining dog character played by a Mr. Jerkins, that were fun for kids, while also having thoughtful elements for adults. Hence, it did a good job of entertaining all ages. It was a little long for small kids at about 90 minutes, but most kids seemed to stay interested throughout.
  • The opening act was just, well, Amazing...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The archive file trick: how to throw away old story notes

When I work on stories, I generate a ton of notes. I find, though, that a lot of these notes are transient things that I don't need a few days later. And I typically want to pare down the notes that I'm referring to while I work on a draft, because if the file of notes is too long, it's hard to use. Plus, as things change, notes become out of date.

Also, a lot of my notes are simply lists of ideas: as soon as I get stuck on 'what's a good way for CactusMan to defeat the Crimson Tide's Blood Tank', I start a list.

(He sticks it to 'em though, of course. That's what CactusMan does.)

But it's hard to delete notes, as I worry that I'll need them later.

In recent projects, what I do to pare things down is throw the notes I'm done with in an archive file. That way they're not deleted and if I really need them, I can go find them.

I almost never do; they just hang out in the archive notes file forever. But that's okay. Having that reduces my inhibitions about throwing things out and cleaning up, and so I can clean out the cruft more easily.