Journal: 7/24, or Perse Complete
“Yes, that’s how it goes. Silly the things we can’t remember.”
Perse is finished. I know the saying goes that writers hate writing and love having written, but that isn’t true for me. You have to end a play, otherwise you risk getting hit by a bus and leaving the characters forever dangling, but there is such a loss to it.
The end of Perse surprised me, primarily in the identity reveal of the Voice. I honestly had no idea what exactly I was doing with the character, and worried I was adding a layer if unnecessary ambiguity; not to mention depriving the audience of the direct connection with Melinda. Well, that is still the risk, but something lovely and strange and inevitable happened between Melinda and Voice; something that is so obvious it’s somewhat ridiculous I didn’t see what I was writing. Especially these days, where I try to plot as much of the play as I can before starting, not knowing who the Voice was for so long was a bit nerve-wracking. I’m glad I trusted the hunch.
There are some problems with the end: Joan re-enters too early, in a comically bad bit of writing that was a result of not knowing if the staging of Perse’s Daughter as unseen would work (it did). That’s an easy fix. The major work is now to go through the play, dropping in what I now know about the Voice. It won’t be too much work, as the reveal feels inevitable because it was always there, but there are opportunities I can now take advantage of, knowing how it ends.
The finish of the play is especially bittersweet because it is the first play I’ve finished in 2011. Producing Dog Act, directing Ajax in Iraq, and getting ready for the wedding made my great dreams of productivity for this year fail. But one play is one draft done, and the new book is one chapter in, and that’s not nothing.
Let it go.
Don’t turn around…