"Would like to keep on doing it..."
How I did it:
I had taken part in a dramatics competition in October 2008 which our team eventually won. But we were deprived of the Best Script prize as we had borrowed a script then. At this juncture, I thought that I could write a play myself and at least be in the hunt for the missing prize :) Eventually, in January 2010, the competition was announced once again. I wrote the play ('In the land of King Kankya') in about a month's time. I used free time I found in my bus commutes and at home late in the night. So the play itself was written in about 25-30 hours of actual time. The play is about a love-story between human cells, which eventually complicates itself on the advent of King Kankya (losely translated as 'King Cancer'). What happens then is in two dimensions - one inside the human body and one in the real human world. I had thought of a love story of cells - between a cancerous cell and a normal cell - about a year ago. But the immediate inspiration to write the script was two untimely deaths in the close family. A lady in her forties consumed by cancer over a long time; and an army man, fit as a fiddle, taken down by cancer in a matter of days. They passed away within a few days of each other. At that point I thought I must start the script. It would be a fitting revenge - to laugh at the demon of cancer, to ridicule it in every possible way, to reduce it to a mere caricature. But that's how I began, and asked myself at one point in time - What is cancer? Why is cancer? It is just a bunch of cells gone terribly wrong. And it is a bunch of one's OWN cells. Then I thought - We would feel for the futility of Rain Man's exploits, or cry over the misfortunes of the blind-deaf-mute girl from the Miracle Worker. All these are normal people - but gone wrong by chance. So is cancer. It needs an acknowledgement. Its normal, human roots need to be registered somewhere. There I began with the character of King Cancer, and pictured that he would be a hero in his own right by making the ultimate sacrifice - of his life - for love. Somehow, we won the competition again, but this time with our own play :) As the celebrations subsided, I found myself sleepless with another idea - words (specifically, conjunctions) getting into a fight to prove themselves, and causing crazy things in a normal man's life. I wrote the next play in 7 days (about 8 hours of actual time). Now I feel absolutely thrilled at the idea of writing a play. The joy of writing it is beyond the prize that I had originally written it for :) It has provided me with a means of expression that I had never experienced before in writing prose or poetry. The immediate projects on my mind are a parallel musical (two stories with each completing the other's rhyme), a play without any human characters on stage, a play where everyone is in motion at all times, and so on.
Lessons & tips: Write about what you are naturally good at. I am naturally imaginative and ideas are closer to me than observation. So, it makes sense for me to write a fantasy, a play with a strong underlying crazy idea. I can then include characters which provide an open canvas of imagination, rather than dwell deep into their sensitivities.