The important thing was that something significant had to happen to each character or to the plot within those ten minutes. Mine did. My main problem was selecting a title of my play. It had to be a clue and hook people into wanting to know what was happening or going to happen.
Normally, when I submit something—a play, story, book, poem, essay, or an article--- I submit and forget about it and work on another project. That’s the nature of a writer’s life. I have had many, many rejections and am accustomed to rejection letters and emails, but golly geez… for some reason I had a good feeling about this particular play.
On a lark, I made motel reservations so that I could be there --- some 400 miles away from my home. I figured the trip could qualify as a mini-vacation. It certainly would surprise my husband since we weren’t able to take a regular vacation due to some health issues. Also our dear cat had died a couple of years earlier, and we had not adopted a new pet. Even though we visited the local Humane Shelter several times, I refused to bring home a cat until “after” our mini-vacation. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about a pet care-taker.
When I shared with a friend who also writes plays that I’d made motel reservations, we both laughed hilariously.
My play was not selected.
I picked up the phone and cancelled my reservations. A good thing too. For every door that closes, another one opens. Since then, I’ve tweaked my little play and made it better. I’ve shared it with some people, and they like it. Thing is, I like it too. I’ve changed the title three times, and I’m fairly satisfied with my latest pick. I’ve had the best time fooling with these ten pages. I’ve cut dialogue, changed a couple of lines that widened the plot, and I gave the ending a better resolution.
I’m still amused at myself, but I’m relieved I don’t have to drive 400 miles on a mini-vacation to a place I never considered visiting. Instead, I’m lining up a mini-vacation to a destination I do want to see, and I’m going back to the Humane Shelter “after” this little trip.
Yes, of course I’m still tweaking my play. I’m going to submit it to another competition. Its current title is “Apple Wine.” I thought of using “Apple Cider” and/or “Apple Vinegar" but I like “Apple Wine” better. Like all writers do, however, I still may change it. Unlike an architect or builder, I can change my work. The builder’s solution, as I read in a humorous essay one time, is to grow ivy over his or her mistake.