Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

The beginning of something I'm working me on. (1 Viewer)

LostCause

Senior Member
I know the format is wrong but what do you guys think? I wrote this up as a short story sometime ago (i think I posted it here with another username when I forgot this username's password) and now that I'm closer to finishing I've decided to see what I can do with it as a play. I'm trying to construct it to flow quickly with minimalist sets and utilizing the stage as three different locations so that set changes can occur on one part of the stage during action on another.

A main question I have is 'is the opening monologue too much? and if so what should i do to correct it?'

The lights raise. The stage is barren save a laptop computer hooked up to a projector which sits on a table. Tyler stands behind it in a spotlight. The projector is aimed at a large sheet.
TYLER
Has anyone ever asked you where you’ll be in ten years? I hate that question. There are two types of people who answer that. First there is Group A, A being for asshole, who see themselves as the future doctors and lawyers and perfect citizens who make our society function, well, perfectly. Reflections on mirrors and words from their fathers tell them they will be, so why not? Then there’s the rest of the world. They work and learn and exist, and that’s all I can say for them. And all they can say for themselves is, "I don’t know. I guess I’ll be surviving." Ten years of enough optimistic thought to kill something with. Me? I’m in a third group. The outsiders. Group X. See, when I was in high school, a teacher had me do a report on where I would be in ten years. The whole class had the assignment and I really took it seriously. So, for a few days I got to listen to the monotonous drabble of a teenagers looking ahead. At college and success. At marriage and a white picket fence. 2 kids and their dog who’ll they probably end up naming Fido. They look ahead at never questioning anything. And after each speech, I got to listen to the teacher say "And I’m sure you’ll get whatever you work for."
FEMALE
(Voice Over) (Coincides with Tyler) And I'm sure you'll get whatever you work for.
TYLER
Then the class applauds. Any one who'll learn the hard way that dreams are something you have to let go off. (Pause) Anyway. Me though … I spoke truth. I didn’t want that life. I didn’t need that life. I needed more. Or less. Depends on how you look at it. I needed to feel like I’m feeling something. Even if it’s pain. Scraping my knuckles on the ground just to bleed. Better than being made of wax.So, here I am. My ten years later. I walk down the street everyday and I see starving artists. You know the one’s. The ones that are young and still have that bounce of independence. Proud of their self-made dungeon. The cold biting at their noses. We all feel that bite, yet it’s different for them. That frost that forms on their windows at night. They need that to prove that they’re still living. I was once there, with them. The faces were different but the souls were the same. I really believed in it to. I thought if I tried hard all my dreams would come true. The delusions you’re raised with. Mommy and Daddy say to you "anything you want you can have" or "whatever you put your mind to you will achieve."
FEMALE
(Voice Over) Anything you want you can have.
MALE
(Voice Over) Whatever you put your mind to you will achieve.
TYLER
I walk down the street everyday and I see starving artists. You know the one’s. The ones that are young and still have that bounce of independence. Proud of their self-made dungeon. The cold biting at their noses. We all feel that bite, yet it’s different for them. They need that to prove that they’re still living. I was once there, with them. The faces were different but the souls were the same. I really believed in it to. I thought if I tried hard all my dreams would come true. The delusions you’re raised with. Mommy and Daddy say to you "anything you want you can have" or "whatever you put your mind to you will achieve." And you don’t say it, but you think from your cradle, your carseat, your kitchen table "Bullshit." But you go along with it. You follow their advice and this is where you end up. The only love you ever felt is dead. You can’t pay rent. Your child is starving. You blame your parents, but that doesn’t work. You blame the god that you don’t believe in but that also doesn’t work. The only one you can blame is yourself. Now on the fringes of death you start to regret. All your life you said No Regrets. But now you say "I should have kept my old high school job. I could have gone up the ranks at grocery store until I was the boss. I could have a $45,000 salary. I could have had the same lover, the same child, fuck, even the same Seconal addiction. My lover could have been my wife and stayed married to me. My child could have food in his stomach and an education in his head. A mother who loved him. A father who was around." But no, instead I assumed the world cared about what my heart was feeling. I wrote those words that I felt. About this life I mistakenly chose. About this love I found and lost. This love I found again and then lost again, this time for good. I lovingly praised her face. I drunkenly slandered her name. I honestly revealed her faults.
The TYLER clicks keys on the laptop and a picture of Anne is projected onto the sheet.
TYLER
(continued) Her. Anne. I met her at a party in a friends of mine basement. I remember she kissed Mark. I remember I got some angry about it. I didn’t even know her. But looking at her I knew she was better than Mark is. Mark did drugs. Mark stole money from eighth graders. Mark carried a pocket knife with him wherever he went. Anne never touched drugs. She never smoked. She never drank. She was an angel. A beautiful brown haired angel. If I hadn't been so selfish she would still be that way. She would still be alive. I remember I got to the party to at about 10:45 pm. It wasn't much of a party as much of a get together. Katie, Quentin, Steve, Mark, Anne, and Me.
Floor lights come up and on one side of the stage heavy lights rise where there is a couch set up. There is a small TV on a stand facing away from the audience. Quentin, Steve, and Mark are sitting on the couch. Anne is sitting on Mark's lap and Katie is sitting on the floor resting her head on Steve's leg. They are watching a movie. Steve grabs the remote and points it at the TV. They all look at him disappointedly.
KATIE
Steve, what are you doing?
STEVE
I gotta smoke.
KATIE
You always smoke, can we just finish the movie.
STEVE
It's been 4 hours.
Steve gets up and walks a few steps before turning back around.
STEVE
(continued) Mark, you coming with me?
Mark kisses Anne and walks over to Steve. They then walk past the Tyler who watches them pass as they make their way to the other side of the stage where they begin smoking. Tyler walks over and sits next to Anne.
TYLER
Hey.
ANNE
Hey.
TYLER
What do you see in him?
ANNE
What?
TYLER
Mark.
ANNE
Mark?
TYLER
Yea, what do you see in him?
ANNE
(shrugging) Nothing.
TYLER
(confused) Then why'd you kiss him? Why were you holding his hand?
ANNE
I just ... needed someone to hold me right now and he was there.
Katie stands.
KATIE
Does anyone want some soda?
ALL
Yea.
Katie walks offstage.
TYLER
I was confused by this behavior. I've never kissed anyone that I didn't think I loved. Mom. Dad. My sister. Even Tracy, my girlfriend for 6 weeks in 7th grade. Sure, in retrospect it was a bullshit attempt to look cool but at the time I thought I was in love.
Mark and Steve cross back to the party.
STEVE
Hey, Quentin, we gotta get going man, its 3:30.
Quentin gets up and the three of them cross stage and exit. Katie returns.
KATIE
Where's Quentin?
ANNE
He, Mark, and Steve just left.
KATIE
Without saying goodbye? Assholes.
Katie hands Tyler and Anne their drinks.
TYLER
(in between sipping his drink) The rest of the night we talked about bands we listen to and TV shows and movies we like. I didn't leave until sunrise.
Tyler stands and walks across stage as though leaving. While he does that Katie and Anne lay down in sleeping positions. Tyler, now back at his laptop and project, turns and stares at Anne before lights fall on the party and we return to the lone spotlight on Tyler.
TYLER
(Continued) A few weeks later at work Katie told me.
Katie, in a work shirt, rushes into Tyler's spotlight.
KATIE
Anne told me yesterday she couldn't get you out of her head.
TYLER
Wonderful. The beautiful little angel was thinking about me. And I was thinking about her too.
Lights raise and Anne and Katie are standing together apparently talking on one side of the stage. Tyler walks over to them. He taps Anne on the shoulder. She turns.
TYLER
(continued) Anne, do you want to walk home with me?
Anne smiles.
ANNE
Sure.
They walk slowly across the stage with a spotlight following them.
TYLER
So we walked. Up the hill and off school property. Far beyond the peers who you care nothing about. Past the teachers who think they know what’s best for you. Anne pointed out her house. And we didn't stop. We just walked. I pointed out my house and again we didn't stop. We just walked. We talked about everything. And we talked about nothing at all.
They walk in silence for a few steps during which Tyler begins holding Anne's hand.
ANNE
Lets switch sides, those knuckles are awkward.
They switch who's on which side and then continue walking.
TYLER
After walking around town for three hours she said she really had to go home. We changed our direction and started walking to her house.
They stop suddenly almost off stage.
TYLER
(continued) Whats wrong?
ANNE
My dad's on the front porch. Fuck...
She begins fumbling through her bookbag.
TYLER
What are you doing?
ANNE
Looking for my CD player. I'm gonna try to make it look like I just went for a walk. I'll tell him I had a stressful day.
TYLER
Will that work?
ANNE
It should.
TYLER
Anne, do you want to do this again tomorrow?
ANNE
I'd love to. But we gotta make sure we get home before my dad.
TYLER
Haha, you got it.
They hug an awkward hug and she walks offstage.
TYLER
(continued) As I watched her walk away I thought to myself "I really like this girl."
Tyler turns and begins to walk away.
TYLER
(contined) And as I walked away I heard her dad screaming at her.
Tyler turns but then continues walking.
TYLER
(continued) I saw her again the next day after school.
Lights come up on one side of the stage where Anne and Katie are standing. Tyler walks over.
TYLER
(continued) Hey Anne.
She turns and seeing its him smiles.
ANNE
Hey.
TYLER
Hey, I'm sorry if I got you in trouble.
ANNE
Don't worry about it, it's fine. He was just mad I didn't call.
TYLER
So everytime we do it henceforth we have to make sure you call.
ANNE
Who implied we're doing it again?
TYLER
Well we are aren't we?
ANNE
Haha, definately.
Anne puts her hand out.
ANNE
(Continued) Shall we now?
Tyler takes her hand.
TYLER
Of course.
They begin walking in silence.
 
Top