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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Critique my Play > Memories from the Cloud or Narrative of a Loss

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 Posted: Tue Feb 4th, 2014 03:42 pm
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RoWright
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Mana: 

Last edited on Fri May 2nd, 2014 05:44 pm by RoWright

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 Posted: Wed Apr 2nd, 2014 09:39 pm
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in media res
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RoWright,

I saw this when you first posted it and made a note to get back to it when I had some time. I was intrigued by it. And thank you for posting it and Welcome to the Forum.

I copied and pasted 18 pages in 12 point type to get an idea.

First, it is an intriguing idea. Second hit is very heartfelt and also funny and painfully funny and ironically funny and all painful at the same time.

I like the personalization of Mr. T.

Now the other stuff:

You have a lot of great raw material. I think it needs more of an immediacy and some kind of a solid structure and form. When you write in the past tense, it is not immediate. Memoir does not fully work well on the stage. We need to be pulled into the present tense of the drama before us. And there is nothing more immediate than imminent death and the forestalling of it.

The monologues are thorough, but too long. We need to know the important things, not everything.

It needs something more like putting it in more of a timeline. The timeline does not have to be linear. It is not linear now. But the way you have it now is a little confusing. You can play around with the timeline, but first i would suggest getting a narrative of the real timeline and use that structure as a jumping off point.


As I said, you have a lot of raw information. But I would suggest you take a good look and see how much of it you really need for the immediacy of "the drama" of it to take place. All information is too much information. You need to select information that will move the story along.

Maybe use shorter snippets of scenes along the way?

Mr. T is as charming as he is knowledgeable and vicious. What a charming bastard of a prick. I like when there is interaction with him and someone trying to toss him out. This is immediate.

Again, I would suggest to write a linear timeline for yourself. (Maybe you already have done this.) But this linear timeline will then give you a map in how to structure the piece.

I thin what you are trying to accomplish is beautiful and terrific.

Some people I know have had conversations with their disease. (Hey I have cursed the arthritis in my knees and had dialogue with it often over years. This would work. You could have Mr. T visit everyone at different times or even concurrently. These are just suggestions to get you thinking.

I do not have time to read the entire piece. Most posting that works well here on The forum is about 10-15 pages of a one-act or the beginning of a larger work.

I wish I could be more helpful, because I think you have a wonderful idea and obviously a deeply emotional story.

Hope some of this helps. And I hope you continue to work on it.

Love the title!

Best,

IMR

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 Posted: Fri May 2nd, 2014 05:42 pm
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RoWright
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Mana: 
Thank you for your reply and suggestions. I just now discovered your notes and am sorry for not replying earlier. Am also very thankful for taking from your time in bringing up some good points. I've been working on the piece in the past month - bridging some scenes, making it flow better, cutting the "best writing" - which is usually the kind that slows down the play. Will have a private reading of it at Lark Theatre Center in June which should be helpful. I feel it's at a stage I need to hear it, I need to fall asleep at my own writing, and figure it out. Otherwise I'll keep just moving things around and play with it in my own head. I have a bit of distance now from grieving - that I can approach some scenes with more dramaturgical precision than four five months ago when it was still about the personal experience of losing someone. I also had the chance to read a few plays on cancer, palliative care, and such and I found it interesting that in quite a few instances the other playwrights used similar techniques ot mine when it came to dramatizing material related to doctor conversations, correspondence, etc. I guess there are only that many ways in which we can make sense of all that. Thank you again. Best, Cristian

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