Thursday, July 20, 2006

Skit Writing Exercise...Learn How Part 3

Continuing on, we have our topic, our characters and a style or theme for our skit. This brings us to step 4: The 5 W’s – “who, what, where, why and WRONG”. (I bet you were expecting “when”.)

Puppet skits are usually short so you have to launch the characters and the setting early. You established “who” and “what” in steps one and two so these can easily be conveyed to audience in a sentence or two. You don’t necessarily need a “when”, therefore the “why” and “wrong” become your biggest concern, but even this is not difficult to define.

“Why” is the reason you write the skit. It’s the final point you want to drive home and this may be different from your topic. In our exercise, the armor of God is a pretty broad topic and we can focus on defining the armor, explaining the armor or bringing the armor into another, completely different, context by tying it to other related Bible teachings. (This is what gives power and flexibility to this approach to writing. We can take very different routes for our skits just based on our “why”.)

Okay, this leaves “wrong” and I would be willing to bet this has perplexed you up until this point. “Wrong” is the direction your skit takes, the plot line if you will. Any good story (or skit) has some conflict, tragedy or upheaval that the protagonist (the hero) must overcome in order to set things right. Classic examples are Scrooge coming to accept the joys of Christmas, Sherlock Holmes solving some baffling crime or Fred Flintstone having to be at the fancy-dress social event and bowling in the league championship at the same time. You must establish “wrong” quickly in the story in order to get to the resolution in the 3-5 minutes the average skit allows. Longer skits (puppet plays) can take longer to get to the “wrong”, but the “wrong” must exist in order to keep the story interesting. The path of resolution is how we get to the “why”.

Define your “why” and “wrong” and write your 5 W's down. As you identify your “wrong” and your path of resolution, jot it down. This is your sequence of events and the basic outline for your skit.

Next time, we will start writing. I will have some final instructions, but we are ready to write. Woohoo!

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