1. keysersoze

    keysersoze Active Member

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    Writing seduction in the opening scene of my play

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by keysersoze, Mar 17, 2020.

    This has been really hard. The main character is a repressed individual. He managed to get more money than he can handle illegally somehow and ends up spending it on an exotic dancer. They get hooked to each other. She has seduced him in the past. He ended up having sex with her and then resented her for doing this to him. As he condemns her, she mocks his moral inhibitions and enjoys doing that. Here she is seducing him and she is doing a classy job of it. However, in this instant an unknown blackmailer is also blackmailing him. The blackmailer has revealed his secret (of the money) to his father (and threatens to reveal it to his boss and then statutory authorities) and has already claimed a third of his money. So, he is stressed out as well. He wants to get out of the situation and doesn't know how to. He cannot talk about it to anyone but the exotic dancer as it is an illegal thing. But she has eyes on him as a prize for herself. If she can just push him over the edge, she can keep him for ever.

    There are just so many possibilities of doing this and I cannot seem to be able to put my head around it. I want this to be a fun thing. She is making fun of him. He is a prude. He enjoyed himself but cannot accept it. She asks him in double entendres if he didn't enjoy intimacy with her. He tries to talk about his blackmailing situation. But she only partially entertains him on that. One thing I need to establish is that his angry outbursts do not phase her down. She really enjoys them. Ultimately, he falls in despair and reveals the amount of money he earned illegally. Now her interest and attention are doubled. She tells him to figure out the blackmailer and not how he has got caught. The rest of the scene is them figuring out the blackmailer. There will be enough information in his initial rants on the situation to figure who is the blackmailer. She helps him do that. I think the femme fatale playing the detective could be a sexy thing to write.

    This is a play I am writing. This is like a movie but more dialogue intensive. There will have to be a rhythm in the conversation. She speaks to tantalize him and he speaks his worries about the blackmail and all that is at stake for him. She mocks that as well. Maybe I have too much expectations from myself built here. His character is such that he is extremely reactive to anything that comes his way. He is the rebel archetype.

    How to approach this? When I think about this scene I cannot even seem to be able to pick up the pen. Do I need a list of sexual double entendres? I think seduction goes into the very heart of a character. What provokes him? What is it that he cannot control a reaction to? He is already very reactive. So, she controls him rather masterfully. How do I show this? Like, she is playing with him. At least, until he reveals the money he is being blackmailed for?
     
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  2. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Don't overthink it. Just write it.

    Start with the scene that is strongest in your mind at the moment. Don't worry about where it comes in the story or how it's going to link up with other scenes. If it's an interaction between the woman and the man, write it. If it's an interaction between him or her and the blackmailer, write it. Don't worry about how they all 'got there.' Just write THAT scene, in as much detail as you can. Things will emerge from that scene that you can work with.

    Trust me. This method works. You will finish that scene with a much better understanding of your story and where it should go, and what has gone before.

    You have nothing to lose. If it doesn't work, throw it away. But hesitating on the brink, waiting for the perfect solution for the entire novel or play to drop at your feet is not really a proactive writing technique. The solutions are there within you, now, because it's YOUR story. It's just not fully taken shape yet. Try sinking your fingers into that clay, and start building from there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  3. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I was going to respond, but jannert covered it pretty well. I'd like to add though, that with playwriting, you can be poetic in the dialogue, but the stage directions are where you shine the most. It's where you can show your thoughts on the movements of your characters, their body language, their tone, etc. That said, being a micromanager in the stage directions makes it a bit difficult for directors to put their creative spin on it.

    But I think you have a solid concept here. I second what jannert said, and say just write it. You can always go back and fix it, but you can't do that till it's written.
     
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  4. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Jannert's suggestion is what I;m currently doing for my story. I know I need to make some major changes but not quite sure what they all should be, so I'm writing little test sections, just totally free-form, not worrying about anything. I'm freely letting characters and other things change and mutate, because they need to anyway. I find that writing with no pressure like this (it's just a throwaway test after all) takes helps spur creativity and often lets the good ideas develop and emerge from deep inside, whereas wrestling with a lot of doubt tends to freeze them up.
     
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  5. keysersoze

    keysersoze Active Member

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    I am not relaxed at all. I worry too much about this. A lot depends on this play. I have no life. This and then the next one and then the next one after that. And then another one. No peace, no rest for me until then. Is this counter-productive? I think it should be. Yeah. But can't really do anything about this. My mind has been a raging ball of fire for years now. All dreams, all life thwarted by those who were once a happy part of it. I tried to . . . what did I try? They were just normal aspirations. I did not want anything fancy. But no. Everything is in shambles for what seems like all times to come. Somehow I have managed to transform all the anguish into a "creative murder". Now I must do it.

    I like to talk about what I am writing. Maybe there can be a thread that says "where are you stuck in your work", much like confessions/vent threads on other forums. I have a process. I am moving forward. What does one have to do to talk about the themes one is writing about?
     
  6. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    There's a section where people have progress journals! I find it pretty useful there even if I'm just talking to myself about stuff. Sometimes people respond, mostly it's you talking to yourself, but it's helped me a lot.

    https://www.writingforums.org/progress-journals/
     
    keysersoze likes this.

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