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Deseret NewsJensen's easy, witty, conversational style makes for fast, enjoyable reading and will make a great reference work as a person tries to write a play. She talks about images and issues. "Images make a play turn over in the pit of my stomach. They appeal to something deeper than the story or the characters."
About sound, Jensen writes, "For me finding the right sound is the most satisfying search. Going after the fewest number of words to say the biggest thing, finding those very words, and then hearing them said right, sung right -- that is one of life's great pleasures."
To the question, "What comes first?" Jensen replies that "It doesn't matter." But it does matter that at the end, character, story, issue, sound or image all engage in a way that makes the play work.
One of Jensen's most effective statements is "I typically write dozens of scenes in quick succession. I know that most of these scenes will eventually end up in the play, but at the time I'm writing them I do not know where. I feel very free, at this stage, to wander all around, experiment with all sorts of places, character combinations and styles. It's fun, I'm excited, I feel like a genius."
Finally, Jensen lays it on the line: "If I were you, I would not become a playwright if I wanted to be either rich or famous. And I would not become a playwright if I needed a lot of positive regard all the time. On the other hand, being a playwright is good if you like public humiliation now and then, and if you are good at swallowing hard and going on. In other words, playwriting is high- risk behavior."