1. PAwriterwannabe
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    PAwriterwannabe Member

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    How should I end this?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by PAwriterwannabe, Aug 19, 2007.

    Hi. I've been working on a play for probably 2 months now. I wrote the majority of it overnight and since then I've been struggling with the ending. So I'll give you a summary and then ask my question.

    ACT ONE.
    PART ONE.
    We meet Tyler and Anne who are the main characters. Tyler is a musician and Anne is his girlfriend. This part ends with them breaking up.
    PART TWO.
    This part takes place a year later. Tyler is living with his best friend Tom and dating a girl named Lisa. His music is picking up and its making him a supplemental income that his job doesn't provide. He runs into Anne at a show and they talk and start hanging out again. Despite the fact that they aren't dating everyone assumes they are including Lisa who breaks up with Tyler assuming he's cheating on her. Tyler calls Anne. They get together at a restaurant and Tyler tells her he is still in love with her and they end up kissing as the lights fall.
    INTERMISSION.
    ACT TWO.
    PART ONE.
    It is now five years after the beginning of Act One. Tyler and Anne have a child, Brendan. Anne is a drug addict. One day Tyler comes home and tells Anne that the label is sending him on a tour. When he comes back he finds a man named Mark in the apartment. Anne is having an affair with him. Tyler and Anne get into a big fight and Anne leaves. Mark calls that night and tells Tyler than Anne is in the hospital having overdosed from mixing alchohol, Xanax, and hydrocodeine. Tyler goes to the hospital where he and Mark talk about everything. The doctor comes out and says Anne died.
    PART TWO.
    It is now Seven years after the beginning of Act One. Tyler's record contract expired and he didn't resign. He moves back to his home town where the first act takes place after being gone for five years. He finds out his mother has cancer and she is refusing to fight it. His father is angry at him for leaving. After a fight he goes out to a party with Tom and his childhood friend Cole who serves as a conscience through the play via phone calls. At this party he attempts to isolate himself but a young girl, Iris, forces him to talk to her. While it's good to talk he doesn't feel comfortable doing it yet. He goes home to his new apartment. He dreams about a conversation with Anne where they talk about her death and what Tyler will do now that she's gone.

    (Here is where I get shaky about if I'm doing this right.)

    Tyler's sister, Tracy, comes and then get into a fight where Tyler says that his family doesn't love him etc. and Tracy calls Tyler a selfish immature little kid. She throws a VHS tape at him and leaves. Tyler is angry and goes out to get alcohol and in the process runs into Tom. They get really drunk together and talk about old times and catch up. Tyler eventually gets home and while stumbling to bed sees the VHS tape. He puts it in the VCR and realizes its a home tape. As he watches all the family happiness, in his inebriated state he begins crying and eventually just passes out. The next day he wakes up and goes over to his parent's house to apologize but his father refuses his apology so he takes Brendan and leaves.

    End.



    I couldn't think of any ending that seemed realistic other than that one. Any suggestions?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, in a play, there are no 'parts' [other than the roles actors are desperate to be hired for ;) ]... so an 'act' is broken up into 'scenes' not 'parts'... and keep in mind that each scene has to have its own set, unless you're using the same set for several or all of them...

    as far as your ending goes, there's no 'right' ending, only the one you, the playwright, want it to have... what's the point of the whole thing--the point that you're trying to make with this play?... that will tell you how it should end...

    is this being written for a school production?... if so, is there a 'message' you're wanting to put over with it?... writers usually know how their stories and plays will end, before they start writing them... why didn't you know how you wanted it to end, when you first had a plot in mind?...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. PAwriterwannabe
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    PAwriterwannabe Member

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    Maia.

    Thank you for responding.

    I know there aren't parts, and those don't represent scenes. Originally it was four acts and then I decided to just make it two acts but I still think of it as four sections.

    I guess what I'm going for is an existential kind of whatever happens happens kind of ending. So I guess that ending fits in my philosophical scheme.

    I am not writing for any specific production. I'm just writing right now.

    As to not knowing the ending before I started... I had a completely different ending and general scheme of the play initially ending but decided midway through writing that ending was completely over dramatic and ludicrous and decided not to use it.

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Dan
     
  4. Laimtoe
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    Laimtoe Senior Member

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    ... Here's the problem with your ending. The Character doesn't seem to have grown.

    In fact, by reading this, it seems like a series of events and then "THE END"

    There's no climax, there's no real point... I don't mean to be an asshole -- I really don't.

    The part that I thought was interesting was when he was trying to isolate himself. You could START a story from there.

    You have mistery character who's miserable and on a slipery slope to killing himself eventually and rediscovers beauty in his life as the story develops...

    I'd reformat your story. I'd have the story start there, then he narrates what's going on in his life to someone else.

    By the end of the night, imply that he's going to kill himself or something and have him rediscover beauty.

    You don't need him to fight with his family really... it just seems like he's going to one problem after the other without a consistant theme.

    He's having a hard time, but there seems to be no point.

    I hope I've helped.

    I don't mean to be an asshole.
     
  5. PAwriterwannabe
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    PAwriterwannabe Member

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    Hey. Don't worry about sounding like an asshole because you don't.

    I was kind of going for the existential no conclusion ending.

    Originally I had the whole thing being a suicide note being read by Tyler's son Brendan. Tyler was going to illustrate his life story for Brendan which he always kept hidden from him. But I broke away from that given that the timeline in the story has Brendan being like 4 haha. So that's just cruel and stupid. So now I'm lost.

    You're saying work from the isolation, detail the depression, find a light of some source? I'll try to think that through, see what the light could be.

    Thank you.
     
  6. Sir Cameron
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    Sir Cameron Member

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    It may just be me, but it has a tiny hint of Death of a Salesman for some reason. You could take some ideas from that
     
  7. PAwriterwannabe
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    PAwriterwannabe Member

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    Hmm. I'll have to look some stuff up at Death of a Salesman. I really like Arthur Miller but I know practically nothing about that piece.
     
  8. Sir Cameron
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    Sir Cameron Member

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    It's an amazing play. I had to do a monologue by Biff, one of the Main characters sons. One of the greatest parts of the play is how Miller twists our perspective with the characters, bringing to light the evil and good in certain parts.
     
  9. PAwriterwannabe
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    PAwriterwannabe Member

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    i wiki'd it and it sounds pretty interesting. i read the crucible a few years ago, that was a really good play in my opinion. the whole thing was an allegory relating to mccarthy and the red scare. wonderful.
     
  10. Sir Cameron
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    Sir Cameron Member

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    Heh, I know that play all too well. I did it junior year. Played Cheever and wore these rediculous harry potter glasses with a shirt that was way too short. That name stuck for the rest of high school for me.
     

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