Reflecting on 31 Plays in 31 Days 2015

I am proud to announce I have completed the 31P31D challenge for the fourth year in a row! I have to say, however, this year worked kind of… weirdly. I was in the home stretch of finishing the initial draft of Base Instruments when August started, and I thought I would use the challenge to help me finish it. That did happen, as I worked on it every day and did in fact complete the draft, but it had a weird effect on my “output” in terms of the challenge.

As I mentioned, I found myself not wanting to post the scenes I wrote revealing the progress of the mystery, since I didn’t want people reading them out of context. But I wanted to have something to post on my LJ for accountability. I ended up posting others pieces I had that were roughly an equivalent amount of work, but were not actually written within the challenge period. Sometimes I posted previously completed, less spoilery sections of Base Instruments, sometimes other scenes I’d already written that had yet to see the light of day. So while I was fulfilling the dictates of the challenge by writing a scene piece every day, what I used as proof of completion did not actually reflect what work I was doing.

I guess that’s fine. As I keep reminding myself, the point is make myself write and do work on projects that are important to me, which I totally did. But I can’t shake the feeling that I kind of “wasted” the challenge— like, I was already going to push myself to finish Base Instruments anyway, so it didn’t cause me to generate anything “extra.” But that’s totally stupid— again, the point is to use it to write pieces that are important to me, and part three of the Mrs. Hawking series definitely counts! And God knows I can get off track if I don’t have structure to force my brain to focus and get work done.

The other thing that’s unbalanced is the statistics I like to keep. I like to mark down what projects the scenes apply to, and which characters I chose to write about. The fact that I didn’t always post the scenes I was actually writing at that moment, and posted some old scenes in their place instead, means it doesn’t accurately reflect what I was thinking about. But again, whatever, the statistics serve only to satisfy my list fetish and don’t actually have any real bearing on my creative output.

Still, it messes things up when I try to evaluate based on that list, which you know I love to do.
Mrs. Hawking – 14 – 45%
– Base Instruments – 5 – 16%
o 2. Everything I Do
o 3. Of the Mariinsky
o 12. I Have You Now
o 15. Enter Justin
o 17. Lord Seacourse
– Part 4 – 4 – 13%
o 8. Old Friends
o 9. Gravestones
o 25. Black Eye
o 29. How You Hated Him
– Part 6 – 3 – 10%
o 6. Lead and I’ll Follow
o 27. Not Anymore
o 28. What Choice
– Part 7 – 1 – 3%
o 18. Reunion
– Other – 1 – 3%
o 16. Rings

Adonis sequels – 7 – 23%
– 1. Who Was Your Mother?
– 4. Make it Good
– 7. The Mirror
– 11. Orestea Helen
– 20. He Inspires Them
– 21. Britannica Gloriana
– 22. Protect Him

Baker Hall – 4 – 13%
– 13. The Roof
– 14. Perpetual Sophomore
– 19. Gifted
– 31. Skin a Cat

Bombshells – 3 – 10%
– 5. Bombshells
– 10. Pinching
– 30. New Girl

Fan fiction – 2 – 6%
– Bojack Horseman – 2
o 23. Turn It Off
o 24. Parental Approval

The Body – 1 – 3%
– 26. Don’t Panic
Victoria Hawking – 9
Mary Stone – 7
Nathaniel Hawking – 6
Diana – 5
Charlotte Holmes – 4
Aidan – 2
Arthur Swann – 2
Bojack Horseman – 2
Mabel – 2
Morna – 2
Gertie – 2
Jane Watson – 2
Julie – 2
Justin Hawking – 2
Michael Holmes – 2
Pavilla – 2
Saturnina – 2
Captain Sister – 1
Charles – 1
Christie Zwicky – 1
Clara Hawking – 1
Cleo – 1
Daisy – 1
David Solan – 1
Elena Zakharova – 1
Elizabeth Frost – 1
Fay Ray – 1
Gareth Stanton – 1
Gloriana – 1
Hollingsworth – 1
Herb Kazzazz – 1
Luciana – 1
Nicholas Cavil – 1
Reggie Hawking – 1
Reginald Hawking – 1
Yulia Sherba – 1

So it’s hard to draw conclusions from this data when I know it’s somewhat artificial. According to this, 45% of the pieces were from various Mrs. Hawking stories, 16% of which for Base Instruments, but in reality it was probably much more than that.

Roughly speaking, however, clearly I was very focused on development for Mrs. Hawking. I’m hoping to write one of those plays a year from here on out, so this helps me be on track for that. Also, everything I wrote was for an idea I’d already had, and most of which was development for something I’d like to write at some point. After I finalize and release Base Instruments, I plan on moving to the Adonis sequels, so I’m glad I dug into that. Maybe I can’t do anything with Baker Hall, and maybe I’d never actually have a use for a Bojack Horseman spec script as anything other than fan fiction, but they are ideas I’d had in my head. So it was definitely the most focused 31P31D I’ve done, and I’m glad of that.

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