Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for July 13th, 2014

“The darndest thing happened to me the other night…”

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George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart

Be a little suspicious, if you’re a playwright, of play ideas. The important thing really is not that first idea, but the subsidiary ideas that support it. Unless the original notion brings with it a little flood of material, unless it has a beginning and a middle and an end, or at least two of those things to start with, be careful. People are always ready to give you ideas for plays, and they’re worth nothing. Watch out for that true story that somebody brings you—I’ve never known it to be worth a nickel. You know—the fellow who says, “The darndest thing happened to me the other night. You could make a great play out of it. I was walking along the street and I met a fellow I hadn’t seen in ten years. What do you think of that?” Of course all you have to do is take that idea, put two and a half hours of stuff after it, and you’ve got a play. It’s a cinch. And then you get sued for plagiarism.

George S. Kaufman

Written by nevalalee

July 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

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