Writer's block - part 1

At first I thought my inability to sit down and write was due to my schedule. Then I thought perhaps I couldn't write anything because I was mercilessly dumped in the most cruel and inexplicable way last weekend. Then I thought maybe getting sick had something to do with it (cough). But now I realize, as I sit here with the entire weekend stretching lazily before me, that I just have writer's block. I'm officially stuck, you see, and there's no help for it but to blog.

The play I'm writing was really chugging along there for a while. I started with a basic idea of a plot about two brothers, one a savvy, successful fop, the other a brooding, sensitive failure. Having never written a play before, I thought I should do it right, so I've been working out of a book called The Art of Dramatic Writing. First and foremost, I established a premise for my play: He who digs a pit for others will fall into it himself. Good. Now I'm working on drawing the characters. So far, I have the two main characters filled out in exhaustive detail. I have their star signs, their Meyers-Briggs personality type profiles, their physical, sociological, and psychological profiles all fleshed out, including some bits about their backgrounds. Here is an example of the abridged profile for Nicholas Quite, my pivotal character:

Nicholas Quite

Physiology: Male, 27, 6'0, 155lbs, Light brown, straight thin hair, green eyes, fair skin, erect posture, graceful, very attractive, fashionable, trendy, wears expensive, well-fitting outfits from trendy Pearl District boutiques, handsome, too thin, has a girlish, weedy look.

Sociology: Middle class, lives in comfort, works as an art gallery errand boy, has a B.A. degree in painting, Nicholas's father was not his birth father. In fact, his mother left his birth father when Nicholas was very small. She remarried early. Dr. Quite, her second husband, was a wealthy doctor. He was a good man, but his career left him little time for his wife or for Nicholas. This didn't stop him, however, from adopting Nicholas's foster brother Gregory after seeing an article in the paper about a tragedy that happened to Gregory's family which left Gregory an orphan. Nicholas resented this move, although he liked the idea of having a younger brother to care for and pick on. Eventually, Nicholas's mother left Dr. Quite for yet another man, and Dr. Quite was left to raise two boys on his own. The strain caused him to drink, which in turn led to his death when Nicholas was 18. Nicholas, armed with another reason to hate his father, took over as guardian of his younger foster brother.

Psychology: Nicholas has a rather overactive sex life, he attends regular swinger parties at the house of the couple he's dating. He hates children and abhors the idea of marriage. He wishes to be the center of the art and fashion world. His chief disappointments are his parents. He resents his mother for marrying and leaving bad men, he resents his father, Dr. Quite, for being passive and too preoccupied with his career. Nicholas can't tolerate failure. He's exceedingly optimistic, sarcastic, quick-witted, and a social butterfly. He has a talent for influencing people. He's an Aries, which makes him adventurous, ambitious, impulsive, enthusiastic and full of energy. His Meyers-Briggs personality type is Extroverted Sensing Thinking Perceiver, or ESTP. This makes him a spontaneous, active person who derives great satisfaction from acting on his impulses. Activities involving power, speed, thrill and risk attract him. He is competitive and unscrupulous.

See? Now in order to draw the other characters, I just started with Nicholas and gave them qualities that were opposite him in every way. The end result was a wheel, similar to a color wheel, with all six of my characters laid out in opposite spaces. So if Nicholas is red, then Gregory, his brother, is green, etc. It's all very complicated, I'm realizing as I look at it.

And now on to part 2...