Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monologue Revisal

Okay, next response from my tutor:

This is vivid and gripping, and you’ve thought about how it’s paced. I
think it would work even better if you told us more about the acts of bullying; as it stands, we have the uncomfortable and not very rewarding sensation of standing inside the head of a maniac with little apparent motive. Make us sympathise with the speaker more before you show us how he takes it out on the bully. That will give you a better tonal balance, too. At the moment you are over-explaining – it’s a very difficult trick in a monologue to reconcile performance of a mental state with the need to narrate, and in this draft there are too many moments when you are in prose fiction mode (especially looking
around the classroom). Think seriously about ditching the beginning and ending, which give too much away and try to buy our sympathy instead of earning it. I would start from the ‘primal scene’ – the classroom and the things that happened there. Make your audience imagine the place, and things will follow.
So, positives:
  • Vivid and gripping
  • I've worked out my pacing

And the suggestions:

  • Work in the bullying more - relate the acts to the audience; to build upon his motive and gain the audience's trust and identification with the protagonist
  • Change the order, removing descriptions of the place - possibly talk about the Dictators' faces and pasting the bullies over the top, but develop the tone over the original plot
  • Possibly ditch the beginning and ending - as these give too much reasoning - buys audience sympathy... I guess through telling
  • Think about beginning with the 'primal scene' - that moment when it all turns for him:
    "I was sitting here, minding my own, you know, whispering to Rose in the first row that I'd heard she'd put out for Julian Satiety, when Mr... answered the door to a year 7 student with a note.
    'Excuse me,' he said, and I replied, 'You're excused, Sir.'
    I hadn't meant anything by; it got a laugh from the class, but when Mr... came back in he looked fuming. 'Your mother says when you return to the Bates Motel tonight,' he said, staring right at me, like he'd had enough, 'keep your socks on, she's fed up of your cold feet in her bed'...

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