Dark, Love, and Light
A 21st century play set in Ireland, England, and the United States, with rich Shakespeare-style language.
The Writing of Dark, Love, and Light
In either 1997 or 1998 (I remember I was seventeen), I was lying in bed one night, and I got the idea of a girl on a beach. Soon after this, I got the idea of a title for a book – Dark and Light. I joined the two ideas together and this was the start of my play Dark, Love, and Light, its first scene, and its lead character, Annabel. I conceived Dark and Light as a novel at first, but whilst I was reading Shakespeare’s complete works, the novel became a play. Dark and Light was the title of my book until 2008, when I was on the Internet one day, and came across information pertaining to a video game called Dark and Light.
I changed the name of my play to Dark, Love, and Light because I wanted an original title for my book. From here on I will refer to the play by its final title, to avoid confusion. I wrote a little of each of a few early versions of Dark, Love, and Light in the five years or so after I got the original idea, and then, in late 2003, after finishing reading through Shakespeare, I started work on the play proper.
I began the writing of Dark, Love, and Light on PC but ended up writing most of it with pen and paper, because with this book I simply preferred doing it this way (although of course I had to type up everything handwritten after I had written it). I did a lot of final editing on PC though. I’m writing my next book, my first novel, mostly on PC however, and I’ll be writing all my future books mostly on PC as well, because now I prefer to write mostly on PC.
A LONG PLAY
At nearly five thousand lines in length, Dark, Love, and Light is a long play. Most of these lines are lines of verse. Shakespeare’s longest (and greatest) play Hamlet is nearly four thousand lines in length, but 28 per cent of Hamlet’s lines are prose lines, which are roughly twice as long as verse lines, and thus Hamlet is of a similar length to Dark, Love, and Light (though the latter is slightly longer).
I wanted to write a play of a similar length to Hamlet, and I decided that as I was doing so, I might as well write a play slightly longer than Hamlet. The book was actually quite a bit longer than Hamlet at one point, and I had to cut a thousand lines of material from it so that it would not be too long. Plays can’t be too long as audiences for theatrical performances of them can only spend so long watching a play. But none of the material I cut was essential to the play. Most of it will be appearing in original or rewritten form in future books of mine.
At least fifty-five per cent of Dark, Love, and Light is written in lines consisting of ten syllables. A small number of these are written in the poetic metre of iambic pentameter (a line of iambic pentameter is a string of five consecutive iambs: an iamb is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable). Lines consisting of a number of syllables of between one and nine, and between eleven and fifteen, are mixed in with the lines consisting of ten syllables in the play. There is a little prose in the play as well.
Before I started work on Dark, Love, and Light proper at the age of twenty-two, I had decided to make it my first professional-quality book. After I had written a certain amount of professional-quality material, I knew I could definitely do this, but due to the newly professional, and so newly advanced, nature of the material I was writing, Dark, Love, and Light was a considerably more difficult work to write than anything I had written previously, and I spent as long figuring out how to write the book as I did actually writing it. And because so much of Dark, Love, and Light (nearly three thousand lines) is written in lines of ten syllables, which take much time to write, the play took longer to write than if I was writing in prose. I’d say that I spent the time of five years of full-time work working on the play over the course of a ten-year period (from 2003 to 2013).
I will be writing my future plays in verse also.
A PLAY WITH AN INTERNATIONAL APPEAL
With Dark, Love, and Light I wanted to write a play that would appeal to readers around the world. This is one of two reasons why I imbued the play with a significant international dimension in terms of its locations, character nationalities, and the things the characters talk about. The other reason is that of artistic preference; I think that for the play to have such an international dimension makes the play more interesting.
I enjoyed writing Dark, Love, and Light, and I hope readers around the world enjoy reading it.