Writing ‘I’m The One For You’

The gem of the idea for ‘I’m The One For You’ came from a conversation with a friend of mine earlier in the year. He has a housekeeper, who comes in once a week, but he has to tidy the house before she comes in to make it presentable for her. That struck me as so funny and set me thinking.
And once I start thinking, anything is possible. I thought the idea of a man living on his own and a housekeeper coming in had plenty of story and comedic possibilities.
I had the name ‘Dorrie Sinnott’ before I had a character, but the name sort of defined what sort of a character she would be. I decided the man living on his own would be a widower and a farmer. He would also have a daughter, who had outgrown her background and had grand ideas. Dorrie would be a widow with designs on the farmer.
Other strands of the story also came to me, but they were undeveloped until I started writing the play.
I hadn’t planned to start the play until January 2012, but with the bad Summer weather, there wasn’t much I could do outside and this play seemed to be just crying out to be written, even though I didn’t have an Act 2 or Act 3 in my head.
Once I had the main characters in place, the play just seemed to write itself with very few rewrites necessary. Having the right characters make playwriting so much easier. Every gamble I took with the story paid off.
Act 2 was mostly a blank in my head, but I just started typing and one line of dialogue led to another. I suddenly decided to have Hugo (Eleanor’s husband) in trouble with moneylenders and to have him help steal his father-in-law’s farm machinery. That storyline dovetailed nicely into the main storyline at a crucial point in the third act. Hugo was originally called Humphrey, but I didn’t think that was a right sounding name for such a shady character.
I had to do some research for various aspects of the play including flatbed lorries and colour-blindness (apparently red and green are the colours most commonly mixed up by people who are colour blind).
I ran into problems with a confrontation scene between Hugo and thug Frankie Deane. Frankie originally uses a knife to menace Hugo. But with the amount of knife crime about these days and given the fact that children attend my plays, I rewrote that scene and eliminated the knife. I figured Hugo was such a coward, it would be easy for Frankie to intimidate him with a few threats.
I thought I had finished the play, but then felt that the ending was too abrupt after Dorrie’s exit line, so I wrote half page between Ruth and Gerry.
I am very happy with how this play has turned out. I hope some group will think it worth staging. This is the first time I have written two three-act plays in the one year.
Finally, my thanks to my friend Ron Masak, who, as always, was the first to read the play and give me his valuable opinion. Thanks, Ron..

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