1. Headintheclouds
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    Headintheclouds Member

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    A piece for drama

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Headintheclouds, Aug 2, 2011.

    Okay, so I'm trying to write a monologue for my drama exams coming up, but I'm having a little trouble with putting it all together.

    I've figured out my character. I'm writing a historical peice set in late 19th century Japan, and my character is a man in his mid-twenties who was once a samurai, but after the sword was banned after the Bakamatsu in Japan, is forced to abandon his way of life. He has a yong wife and a new born child, but has no skills or trade to support them with. He feels lost in a changing society, and betrayed by the emperor who he so loyally served on the battlefield.

    Anyway, I've decided to write my monologue in a part of his life when his character shifts. He gets sick of having no money, of feeling lost and isolated, and he abandons his ideals of honour and loyalty in order to rebel against his emperor. There will be a major event which will cause this shift, such as his young daughter falling ill and him not being able to afford a doctor.

    The real problem I'm having however is figuring out how to represent this shift in character through the dialogue. At the start, I want him to still be clinging to his old ideals, but throughout the course of the monologue he becomes more incensed and eventually decides to act. I want to highlight the way he loses who he is when he abandons his ideals and beliefs.

    So, any ideas?
     
  2. CottonCandi
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    CottonCandi Active Member

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    I think your idea of his daughter falling ill is on the right track, maybe that wouldn't be enough for him to lose it but if she died it would.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The key is subtext, the unspoken "true message" beind the literal content of the dialogue. If you haver mastered showing emotion or attitude through dialogue, it will be easy to transition it over the course of a conversation or monologue.

    Subtext can reveal itself in double meanings, or biased word choices, overdenial, contradictions, body language, and evasions, among other techniques.
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what you actually want. You've got your idea. Go and write it. Why would you need any other ideas from us?

    Really, it sounds like your problem is that you haven't tried yet.
     
  5. Headintheclouds
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    Headintheclouds Member

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    The reason I'm asking for help is because I don't have any idea what to do or where to start. I have started writing this SEVENTEEN times, but I just can't make it work. I have the idea, but I have very little idea about how to express it properly. I'm not very good at writing dramatic pieces. Anyway, thanks for everyone's help. I'm going to try to write it again.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    In this case, I'd suggest that you assume that the character is also not good at drama or expressing his emotions and make it dry instead of wringing-wet with emotion. Bone dry, leavened with, perhaps, black humor rather than tears. No arm-waving, no shouting to the sky, no crying over his little peach blossom who's sick. Dry, efficient, analytical, calm, cool, dark, but keep his feelings in mind as you write, and some pain and drama will probably show through.

    ChickenFreak
     

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