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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Radio and Stage Plays  /  Soma
Posted by: Don, December 22nd, 2011, 9:33pm
Soma by Jonathan Bishop - Play, Short, Drama - A befuddled writer undergoes a therapy session. 5 pages - doc, format 8)
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), December 22nd, 2011, 9:58pm; Reply: 1
I can't comment on the formatting as I am not familiar with stage plays.  I can, however, comment on the story and characters.  There wasn't anything about the characters that made me care about them.  They were dull and two dimensional to me.  The only depth that the patient had was very negative to me.  I didn't like him as he was just a bitchy pretentious loser.  The doctor just phoned it in, as far as I'm concerned.

And unless you care about the characters, you don't care what happens to them.  I'm not sure if I understood the ending, but I really don't care.  Maybe if this was longer and you had time to expand on the characters.  As it is, it's just a dull confrontation.

Posted by: currentcmine, January 4th, 2012, 10:55am; Reply: 2
I think what you're trying to do here is to portray a conflict between an agent of free will (the patient) and an agent of fate (the doctor).

It's difficult in such a short scene to give the characters the kind of depth that make them interesting. Because of this, the two characters come off as stick figures who become taling heads. They bounce the intellectual topic between them like a ping-pong ball, rather than giving the audicnce anything compelling to watch.

Keep trying. Research neurosis, not psychosis.
Posted by: TheRichcraft, January 12th, 2012, 10:19pm; Reply: 3
I'll admit that you lost me on this one, though the doctor has happy destiny versus patient has unhappy free will was obvious.

I would suggest that you do spellcheck to avoid those red and green underlines that crop here and there. Also, look up play formats online and from plays available at your local library. Also, read a few on this site.
Posted by: courhaw, January 15th, 2012, 4:22pm; Reply: 4
hey soma, read your play -- there's a story here, but it seems to not really end so much as it dissolves -- which with stage lights and stage conventions would be a perfect ending for that genre. don't worry about the negative responses that you get lightly peppered with a supposed pat on the back or two -- they're usually not very good writers who in many years of writing are still putting out 10 page shorts...their mindset and highly trained eyes only know that type of writing as a result. broader concepts are lost on them -- too much information i guess. but your writing is good. though i think that you should write your dialogue just a little bit thinner and more off center while remaining on the subject. it's a fine line, but when you see it you'll experience a big boost in your confidence as a writer. also, the doc's prosody seemed to change later on, which i think is good too bc it shows an added dimension. you should definitely keep reading and writing -- i think simplyu has an entire section for stage plays. you're good at it now, so imagine how a little more polish will make your work shine. all the best, soma -- stay positive and keep writing.
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