Anne of Clean Tables: How a famous writer encouraged a wanna-be writer to write, right.

This is an exercise we had to complete if we were to meet the author of Shit First Drafts, Anne Lammot, in a coffeeshop. I’m also going to enter this in the Daily Post Dialogue challenge because what else is a mediocre playwright like myself supposed to do. Sorry for all the puns.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/writing-challenge-dialogue/

Anne of Clean Tables. 

(LIGHTS UP.  SARAH, a slightly-overdressed, nervous college student sits alone at a coffee shop table, anxiously scrubbing a very small spot with a napkin. She’s so absorbed in this that she doesn’t notice that ANNE LAMMOT, a famous writer, has sat down at a across from her.)

SARAH:

(does a double take when she sees Anne.)

Um. Excuse me.

(nervously)

Pardon me for Stalking but, are you Anne?

ANNE:

(looks up from her book, surprised.)

Oh, yes. Anne Lammot. You’re sarah?

SARAH:

I can’t believe you actually read my email…shit. Wow. I wasn’t really prepared for this.

(grabs her stuff and moves over to ANNE’s table)

ANNE:

Oh, here, let me wipe that off for you.
(cleans off a section of the table with a handi-wipe she brandishes from her purse)

SARAH:

So, you’re like. Anne-Of-Clean-Tables?

(Anne just looks up at her for a second, blankly)

SARAH:

Sorry…I like puns.

ANNE:

So, you said you were a writer?

SARAH:

Well, I wouldn’t really call it that.

ANNE:

Well, you write, correct?

SARAH:

Well yeah, but the word “writer” implies some  sort of success or eloquence.

ANNE:

Well now you’re just fishing for compliments. The Fact is if you write, you’re a writer. You might not be the most gifted, but a writer nonetheless. You said in your email that you’d read shit first drafts?

SARAH:

Yeah, and it baffled me, quite frankly.

ANNE:

So you wanted to talk about your process?

SARAH:

I don’t even think I have one, really.

ANNE:

Well, what do you do when you write? That’s a process.

SARAH:

Well, I sit down, and I go. No filter, nothing, It’s basically intellectual vomit.

ANNE:

That’s basis of my first drafts. Purse all the weird shit from your brain and see what happens.

SARAH:

Ok so I can use the word shit in your presence?

ANNE:

It’s in the title of my piece.

SARAH:

Oh, yeah. Anyway, I really don’t think I’m cut out to be a writer. I write short plays and sometimes I can finish a one-act in an hour and other times I start one, get nowhere, and avoid looking at it for months whenever I open word. Kind of like an ex-boyfriend where the relationship really didn’t work out.

ANNE:

So, what’s the problem?

SARAH:

I don’t know if I’m any good!  A lot of it comes from these snippits that I hear in my head, and I don’t know if that’s talent or undiagnosed schizophrenia.

ANNE:

I have two things to say to you. One. Forgive yourself. We all have our golden nuggets and our shit nuggets.

SARAH:

Nice analogy.

ANNE:
It took me forever. So, here’s my second point: don’t just give up when things aren’t working out. Never give up on something that came out of your own brain. If you’re at a standstill with your play, find a new way into it. Create a new character. Skip around scenes. Take advantage of your schizophrenia.

SARAH:

I’m actually kind of worried about that.

ANNE:

All im saying is you have to put in the effort. If you love to write, you have to work with the relationship. Don’t break up with your plays yet. Just look at them again and see how you both can make it work.

SARAH:

Hm. Another good analogy. Did you go to school for this?

ANNE:

I have a degree in creative writing, that’s basically all it’s good for.

SARAH:

Ah.

ANNE:

Just put the work in, and I’m sure the rest of it will fall into place.

(There’s a silence.)

ANNE;
OH! Anne-of-clean-tables, Anne-of-green-gables. I finally get it!

SARAH:

(trying another one)

Haha, like “Annie-Gets-Her-Pun”, amiright?

ANNE:

Ok, that one was just bad.

SARAH:

Sorry.

THE END.

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