I finally finished writing 10 short scripts for 2-3 children to perform. The ones that I like the most and I think came out funnier than the others are the ones in which I had DEADLINES. None of the deadlines were imposed by a publisher or editor (too bad, eh?), but by the calendar. For instance, I got one done right before my writer's critique group. I had to have something to take to the meeting, right? I couldn't live with the shame of showing up empty-handed. But I was busy and at the last minute (or hour or so) I
plopped down and quickly typed up a script. One of the writer's group members couldn't stop laughing. Goal achieved.
It may not just be a deadline but sheer exhaustion and a real - dare I say - hatred for sitting down and writing! There, I said it. There have been times I've written scripts through the night because I had to get the dang thing completed but I was so tired by the time 2 am hit that I was getting silly and rather sarcastic and "punny." For example, I'm sure it was around 2 am when I was writing our kids show Princess on a Pea and I wrote this:
[the princess was kept up very late so she would be tired.]
PRINCESS: (enters bedroom) What a wonderful time I've had. I'm so tired I could sleep for 100 years. But I won't because that's a different story.
It must have been around that 2 am mark when I was nearing the end of adapting Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack had returned for the third time and the Giant's wife hears her husband coming. The wife could smell the now hidden Jack and knew her husband would too. But she's had it this time...
GIANT: FeFiFoFum. I smell the blood of an Englishman.
GIANT'S WIFE: You do not!
GIANT: Then I smell the blood of an American!
GIANT'S WIFE: Your nose is playing tricks on you!
GIANT: I tell you, I smell human boy! And be he alive or be he dead, I'll crush his bones to make my bread.
GIANT'S WIFE: You will not! You don't even know how to make bread!
Perhaps Creativity takes two main things: Starting and an End time...and Practice...and maybe a touch of exhaustion thrown in...and a warped sense of humor...a few late nights...Yeah, that.