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Constance's Monologue

by eiaeh9


I’m not going to send you this, so I shouldn’t be worried how you are going to respond. But I am. Because I don’t even know if you would answer. Mum says you never speak to her, she says she’s trying her hardest but she can’t seem to… get… through… [imitating crying]. She cares, you know, even if she overreacts sometimes, she really does care. I should know, she calls me at least once a week in tears. She read your diary once, it made her really sick, you remember in May when she was off work for a week. You should be nicer to her, she really struggles at work and stuff, to pay the bills and that, but I shouldn’t say that to you because you’re ‘going through stuff’ and it would be ‘insensitive’. Sometimes I want to scream, there’s so much I want to say. The people at school are bad, but that’s not mums fault. And your dad, he is a horrible person but he didn’t leave because of mum so don’t take it out on her or you’ll be just like him. But I can’t say any of that. I wonder if you would reply, we didn’t really speak much when I was at home, I don’t know why it would be different. But you should speak to someone, everyone says it’s better if you let it out. I don’t know if it is. Maybe that English teacher, or a friend from primary. I don’t know. Anyway, I was thinking, maybe you’d like to come and visit me, you could stay in our flat, you could sleep on my bed, I would sleep on a blow up mattress on the floor. And we could talk, I’d show you the city, my favourite park. I could tell you what life was like when it was just mum and me, and you could tell me what it’s like now. It would be nice and maybe for once your diary would have happy stuff in it. But obviously that’s not going to happen because I’m not going to send this.

Lots of love,

Constance.


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Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:06 am
WritingPrincess wrote a review...



Hi there!
Princess here to review as requested.
In this review, I'm just going to go over my thoughts.
As Elinor said below, the word monologue means to speak aloud. I think it could have worked as a monologue, though the word letter would have been a more accurate description.
I liked the style and I think it works very well. It left me curious to find out more about Constance.
I'm really glad I read this. Just like Pan and Elinor, I was delighted to read this as there are not very many monologues around the site.
Brilliant work and I hope this helped!




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Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:53 pm
Elinor wrote a review...



Hey elaeh!

Elinor here to give you a review. Like Pan, I was happy to see a monologue like this since you don't often see them around the site. While I was reading this, I found myself curious as to what your intent with the piece is -- if this is something you'd like to use for performance/auditioning, something you just wrote for you, or something else.

Calling it a monologue gives it the impression that it's meant to be read out loud, so, knowing that, there are certain things to consider. Even though you say, "I'm not going to send this" it would still be effective if read out loud. Think about great monologues in movies and plays. A character is either talking to someone or talking to themselves. In this case, they're talking to themselves, but it's things they wanted to say to someone. The overall idea of this is strong; a sister reaching out to her estranged sibling, and I think you have a lot to work with here.

In the first few sentences, you repeat "respond" a lot, so I would try to consider finding some alternate ways to say what you want to say. I want to know a little bit more about the relationship between these two siblings, and why it's estranged. What exactly has the subject of this monologue gone through to make her the way she is? Does the narrator understand it fully? Does she want to? What are things like with their mom? Try to bring up more personal examples, and that will ultimately make your piece more effective and real.

Great work so far! Good luck with revisions, and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions!

Elinor




eiaeh9 says...


So this is part of a bigger performance following the story of the sister for which I had to write a monologue which may explain the vagueness but I might put in a few more details to explain it.



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Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:10 pm
Panikos wrote a review...



Hi, eiaeh9! Pan dropping in for a review. It's nice to see a monologue kicking around on YWS amongst the chapters and poems and short stories. You don't often see them, so props for doing something a bit more unusual.

This is a short piece, so I'm going to go a bit freestyle in this review and just go over my thoughts. First, I like that you've interpreted a monologue in a fresh new way. She's not actually speaking, but it's got that same rambling, talking-to-nobody vibe, and I actually think it has more realism than real monologues. Talking to yourself is none too common, but writing messages you'll never send is something we've probably all done at some point.

That said, given that this is a written piece, I'm not sure what the '[imitating crying]' bit means. I initially misinterpreted this as a spoken piece, and I think it's because that part looks like some kind of stage direction. It might be worth taking it out.

Let's turn to the content of the piece, then. I feel like it's got potential, but I'm not exactly...wowed by it. I almost feel like it's not personal enough. When you have sentences such as 'maybe you'd like to come visit me, at uni' and 'I should know, she calls me at least once a week in tears, because you didn’t speak again', it sort of feels like you're trying too much to fill me on the backstory of the characters, at the expense of it sounding natural. Given how much shared knowledge Constance and her sister would have, I kind of want this piece to leave me with big gaps in understanding. I want the text to feel intimate and emotional and unrestrained, and for Constance to delve into things in her past without really explaining the context. I want her to talk about things as I already know about them - as if I were the sister. I want to feel more like I'm the one being addressed. I think it's almost there, but there's something slightly lacking.

I also wonder if you could get more out of the format. Because this is written as a text message and Constance is pouring her feelings out, you could take liberties with spelling and punctuation in some places, maybe to create the sense that she's writing it in a rush. It's your choice, but it would be another way to exploit the medium and add to the authenticity. You could even show Constance's punctuation and expression deteriorating as the piece goes on, creating the sense that she's growing more upset or desperate or angry as she writes. It would be an interesting way to subtly communicate her emotions.

In summary, I think you've got a really interesting, original idea for a piece, but you don't quite push it as far as you could. I'd like to see you extend the whole thing, actually, because it would allow Constance to delve into more detail about her relationship with her sister - I feel like we only skim the surface. I'd also encourage you to play more with the format and the text-message side of it, because it feels like too good an opportunity to waste.

Hope this helped! I do apologise if this just comes across as a ramble. If you've any questions or want me to elaborate on anything, please do ask.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




eiaeh9 says...


It is supposed to be a spoken price hence the stage direction, but the price is narrating her writing a text message but thanks so much this is really helpful.




A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
— W.H. Auden