Is it really difficult to be a playwright? The answer to this question is both yes and no. Like for anything else that an individual would like to achieve, one has to work very hard and consistently. Similarly, in order to be a good playwright, what is important and obvious is ‘Writing Plays’. Write plays and gradually move on to writing good plays. It is not a rule that the first play written cannot be good, but as you practice writing, it becomes your forte. Writing plays does not mean that you start by writing full-length plays of 5 or 6 acts. Start small by writing plays of 2 or 3 scenes with less characters and a simple basic story line that does not involve too much movement in time and space.
Another important point to be kept in mind is that plays are written to be performed and rarely to be read. Therefore, it will be very beneficial for an aspiring playwright to first understand the dynamics of acting and actors. Enroll for an acting class and then for a direction class. Both programs will help you think like an actor and a director. How will these help in writing plays? Well for starters, you would be aware of the requirements of the actors and directors. Direction will help you in putting together the script and developing the story.
One more useful thing to do, would be to watch as much theatrical productions as possible, especially if the productions are related to the evolution of theater over a period of time, right from classical to modern. Performance is the most significant thing when it comes to plays. Therefore, once you have written your play make sure that you read it aloud or have actors read the script out loud. If you feel that your play is ready to performed then well, congratulations, you have stepped on the road to be a playwright. After the first attempt, join a local theater company, work with them, know the technical aspects and then write your new script. From then on, the more prolific you are in writing the sooner you would become a playwright. Successful productions play a major role in shaping the career of a playwright. So, write, read aloud, act, perform and direct! Some books that might prove helpful are: The Art and Craft of Playwriting by Hatcher, Naked Playwriting by William Missouri Downs and Robin Russin, Stuart Spencer’s ‘The Playwright’s Guidebook, Aristotle’s ‘‘Poetics’, etc.