Yesterday’s Writing is Tomorrow’s Outtake

A Father Christmas
Act Two, Scene One
Pages, 9/19/06: 3
Total pages: 114

I came this close > < to deleting what I wrote on Sunday night and replacing it with a monologue. It's a transitional scene, and I had to have some things going on to give a sense of the passage of time. Sunday I opted to do this with some assorted bits of business between characters, but yesterday I started to think about giving a monologue to the character who also acts as narrator and giving him a line like "…and so an hour later…"

I ended up not doing that because at the moment I was considering it, I didn’t want to take a step backward in the page count. Also, I’ve found that, while I can write dialogue fairly quickly, writing monologues is much slower. With dialogue there’s lots of back and forth play, which monologue lacks, so every word has to be right. And I finished last night’s session with a lengthy monologue as it was.

It also felt like cheating to turn the passage of time over to a monologue. But I may end up doing it in the second draft anyway. The play is getting close to the two-hour mark (if you go by the page count – I think it will actually go faster because some of the dialogue is pretty rapid fire), and length may become an issue. It’s okay if you have a musical that approaches the three-hour mark, but for something like this, I think I passed the ideal length about 24 pages ago (DePietro’s Over the River and Through the Woods was almost exactly 90 minutes, and almost exactly 45 minutes an act). Of course, Neil Simon got away with longer comedies, but he was Neil Simon. Of course, Barefoot in the Park, I think, ran about 2 1/2 hours, and that was before he was Neil Simon. And this isn’t a straight comedy, either. Perhaps I’m worrying for nothing.

Anyway, I’m hoping to finish Act II, Scene I tonight. The rest should go by in a blur. Unless I have more monologues to write.

They’ve got womanly breasts under pale mauve vests
Shoes like dead pigs’ noses
Cornflake packet jacket, catalogue trousers
A mouth what never closes

(via iTunes)


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