#1
A play I'm writing at the moment, looking on gathering opinions, won't be surprised if no one doesn't comment.

c4c.

Part One, Scene 1.

[a portly gentleman sits down in a unoccupied booth in a diner off the M1. Directly across from him is a woman deeply absorbed in today's paper, her table is scattered with flimsy knifes and forks and plates covered in cold scrambled eggs with crusts lying uneaten where the butter has long melted onto the table having fallen off the remaining crusts and now creating a sticky like texture. The woman unaware of any of this continues to read about Harry and Jack, Bill, Edward, and sporting heroes with tennis players gleaming out with freshly brushed teeth from freshly printed papers and where the gentleman across from her drinks a freshly made coffee with bacon on toast (he doesn’t like eggs) and then orders a freshly made orange juice to wash it all down before reading the same freshly printed paper as the woman across from him until a radio begins to splutter into life delivering the hourly bulletin.]

The Radio: “North westerly travelling south..incident reported where..off.. crash...pile up...occurred...missing...bodies....later report...will foll-"

The Woman: [looks up from her paper and flashes the gentleman a smile]

The Gentleman: [glances back before signalling to one of the waitresses] Just another coffee thanks love.

The Waitress: Wass thatt the same one as before honey? [in a thick droll]

The Gentleman: [without looking up] Thank you.

The Woman: [shuffles around awkwardly before clumsily folding the papers] I’ll be off then. [as she gets up from her seat an intoxicating odour of mixed sweat and perfume escapes from her flesh as she leaves the diner. Thick in density the smell continues to occupy the diner long after she has left, the noxious odour not only travels with her but also announces her arrival as she heaves her great mass through parks, post offices, cafes, diners, restaurants, her home, her friends home, the home of Angela who lives across the street from her and the home of Julian, her boss who she just visited once to celebrate Cathy’s retirement party and the home of Gertrude where she leaves Betzy her cat there when she goes away on holiday because she knows Gertrude will take good care of her cat as she is work friends with Gertrude and she knows that Gertrude has a cat called William as they went to the work party together to celebrate Cathy’s retirement at Julians house.]

The Gentlemans thoughts: Christ, forgot those damn books! After all that effort where Jackie told me again and again “don’t forgot those library books.” Well I did forget those library books and now i’ll have to go home again (after the coffee) and come back into town and drop those bloody books off. Why the hell anyway is Jackie reading about war? All I hear from her is the war! “oh the war this, the war that” “oh the war!” I could kill a man right now. Cold blood. Right now. I’d shoot him point blank. Right in the temple. Cold blood, cold blood. I'm ready! Just give me a gun to shoo-
#2
First tip: way too descriptive in the non-dialogue sections. Plays are audio/visual, information is transmitted to the audience through the performance media. This is written like a novel, with lots of characterisation and details provided, but minimal dialogue. All that depth you've gone into within the non-dialogue sections is completely pointless, as the audience will only see what the actors and doing and hear what they're saying and that is all they will know.

Second tip: Research proper formatting. Its not a real biggie, but it can help clear up a lot of confusion as far as the presentation of information goes.

Plays are a massively hard thing to write. I was turned off this script immediately by the dense descriptive sections. It reads like a novel. A script should be minimal. He says this, he moves here, she says this like this, brief description of setting and costuming, lighting etc. Any character/story/emotional information must be portrayed in what the actors say, how the actors move, or by props/costuming/staging. The easiest way to get better at writing these things is watch a lot of plays, but also read a lot of scripts. Check out Samuel Beckett, most of his scripts are offered free online. They'll show you not only how to format properly, but how to carry out information through performance instead of written media.

As for the story, well there isn't really one here yet, we have two characters in a cafe and that's about it. So, I can't really comment.

Sorry for the wall of text, hope this helps.
#3
This was not meant to be a play in a sense of a normal play I should have said that. It is not a play.

It is written out as a format of a play. But it is read like a novel. That's the point, that it doesn't go anywhere is another point.

I know a lot about theater and I read and go to plays but thank you for your comments. I can see how this will be interpreted now.

Thank you for going to so much effort.

edit: sorry if I sound so pretentious and condescending as well.
Last edited by Hendrix_fan_14 at Dec 9, 2009,
#4
Not at all. If that is the way you want it, then it works. It's just confrontational to the reader, who goes in expecting one thing, and is instead confronted with another. While this is a great idea, it may turn off too many people. Maybe if you presented it as:

The Diner (lost+found)

A Novel in Play Form
by
*insert name here*

just as a kindness to the reader so they know what to expect.
#5
Quote by Hendrix_fan_14
The woman unaware of any of this continues to read about Harry and Jack, Bill, Edward, and sporting heroes with tennis players gleaming out with freshly brushed teeth from freshly printed papers and where the gentleman across from her drinks a freshly made coffee with bacon on toast (he doesn’t like eggs) and then orders a freshly made orange juice to wash it all down before reading the same freshly printed paper as the woman across from him until a radio begins to splutter into life delivering the hourly bulletin.



Thick in density the smell continues to occupy the diner long after she has left, the noxious odour not only travels with her but also announces her arrival as she heaves her great mass through parks, post offices, cafes, diners, restaurants, her home, her friends home, the home of Angela who lives across the street from her and the home of Julian, her boss who she just visited once to celebrate Cathy’s retirement party and the home of Gertrude where she leaves Betzy her cat there when she goes away on holiday because she knows Gertrude will take good care of her cat as she is work friends with Gertrude and she knows that Gertrude has a cat called William as they went to the work party together to celebrate Cathy’s retirement at Julians house.]


I wanted to point out that these are both immense sentences, and while I don't personally mind this and I like the attention to detail in the description of the characters, it could turn some people off to this.

I feel like you give us more in your description of the man through his interior monologue than you give us through the details of the woman's normal activities. It's not a bad thing, but I feel the man is already starting to develop as a character while the woman is still just a woman.

I think it's incredibly ambitious to post a play here and I appreciate your venturing to do so. I'm sorry I have so little to say about this, but I hope as you post more installments of it (if that's your intention), I'll be able to offer a stronger and more detailed opinion. If you feel like it, there's a link in my sig, but it's a relatively long piece so I don't expect any kind of full crit if you do decide to take a look at it.
#6
Quote by brokencoastline
I wanted to point out that these are both immense sentences, and while I don't personally mind this and I like the attention to detail in the description of the characters, it could turn some people off to this.

I feel like you give us more in your description of the man through his interior monologue than you give us through the details of the woman's normal activities. It's not a bad thing, but I feel the man is already starting to develop as a character while the woman is still just a woman.

I think it's incredibly ambitious to post a play here and I appreciate your venturing to do so. I'm sorry I have so little to say about this, but I hope as you post more installments of it (if that's your intention), I'll be able to offer a stronger and more detailed opinion. If you feel like it, there's a link in my sig, but it's a relatively long piece so I don't expect any kind of full crit if you do decide to take a look at it.


Thank you for your comments.

The man in question is going to be one of the critical characters and I'll just say this is the last time you'll see the woman.

This will be posted in installments, at the moment I am thinking of this being like a novella size.

Yes this is incredibly ambitious and i'll see how it turns out.

I've read your one a few times to gather an opinion, i'll post that crit shortly.

thank you.