TEAM WRITING by ELLIN CURLEY

I just had an exhilarating creative experience! In order to appreciate my euphoria, I need to explain my writing life a bit. I write blogs on my own but I also write audio theater scripts with my husband, Tom.

Tom and I are part of an audio theater company called Voicescapes Audio Theater. We write, produce, post online and perform live our repertoire of original short theater pieces. They are fully produced with music as well as live and recorded sound effects. You can read more about our group on our website: http://www.voicescapesaudiotheater.com. On the website you can also listen to some of our comedy and dramatic pieces, mostly written by Tom and me.

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We are currently writing very short, one to two-minute comedy bits to post online. We are hoping to put these “Snippets” on our Facebook page as well as our website to create some buzz and name recognition for our group.

That’s a long-winded introduction to get to a very simple story. I wrote a short, allegedly humorous “Snippet” involving two women talking about how stressed out they were about getting to Yoga class on time. Humor, by the way, is much harder to write than anything else. Tom read it and said that it wasn’t really funny and that it didn’t sound like a realistic conversation between two humans. He suggested we scrap it. He said that sometimes you have to just let something go when it doesn’t work.

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I felt strongly that there was a germ of a good idea in there somewhere. I advocated for trying to work on it some more and Tom agreed, probably just to humor me. In the process of our discussions, we honed in on where the humor was in the piece and where it wasn’t. Tom was still skeptical but said I should try to reshape it around the funny parts.

I tweaked and cut and rewrote and finally presented him with a new draft. I left it on the kitchen table when I went to bed. I came down for coffee in the morning to find my piece with these words written across the top “This is funny!” Those were the most beautiful and exciting words I’ve seen in a long time. I had such a sense of accomplishment!

It is so rewarding to work well with someone else on any kind of creative project. Tom and I combine our sensibilities and styles to create a viable hybrid entity. This entity has parts of us both but also has the separate identity of “us”. We both write on our own. But something special happens when we write together. And it’s nice to be able to point to something concrete and say that we did that together.

8 thoughts on “TEAM WRITING by ELLIN CURLEY

  1. I checked out the web site Ellin and look forward to investigating it further. I agree with you that collaborating and working with others is a very rewarding experience.
    Leslie

    Like

    • Definitely spend some more time on our website. Talk about a great collaboration! Our group works so well together! The actors and writers exchange ideas so every piece we do has a little bit of everyone in it. And the actors have no egos and are willing to try anything to make each piece the best it can be. Please listen to a few of our recorded pieces. My suggestions would be for comedy , start with “Kidnapping 101” and “Misdirections”. For drama, listen to “It Always Feels Like Monday”. Let me know what you think.

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