Last year, I was talking to my friend Dave about a play I wanted to direct and "write." It would have three parts, connected with a middle story. The first part was called "Cathedral" and was about a guy who was stuck in a room and would only be released once he built "the cathedral" - it turns out that anything he wrote appeared, so he had to look at his wasred life and create meaning... thus building the cathedral.
The next section was going to be an avant garde version of THE TELL-TALE HEART by Poe. I planned to have a giant eyeball on stage watching the actors at all times.
The interconnecting piece was about a guy leaning next to a coffin, telling the coffin these stories. A voice from the coffin confirmed that the guy was burying his friend alive, a la CASK OF AMONTILLADO. At the end, the guy leaves and the coffin opens and the audience sees a rotten corpse - the main character is obviously insane. The whole piece was going to be called RAVIN'.
All this talk of Poe got us thinking about a better way to tell the CASK OF AMONTILLADO story than my idea. We talked a lot about our favorite pieces by him and why we liked them. We talked about set pieces and the best way to get this show to go on a stage. We talked about colors. We talked a lot. (Coffee was very much involved.)
This led to a surprisingly quick very detailed outline and first draft of the play RAVIN' - obviously meant to make people think of THE RAVEN.
After handing the play to my friend Jav (http://www.thethreatisreal.blogspot.com/) who is a screenplay genius, and a number of friends and relatives, I polished and did a second major revision and came up with the first truly great piece of writing I think I've ever done. One of the suggestions was to change the name to something less obscure like POE or NEVERMORE. NEVERMORE fit perfectly.
Now it's just time to get it produced. People tell me it reads more like a screenplay than a stage play. Honestly, if it gets produced, it could be on board a cruise to Tahiti. (Actually, since I'd be there for the premiere, a cruise to Tahiti would be just fine thank you.)
So this play got me back into writing. It was the catalyst for my unfinished novel and my Screnzy script that I hope to finish soon.