Mutiny against the Playwright
We’ve been throwing subtext at each other wildly, and now, over-the-top speeches, curse-words, and far too many clichés have landed all over my office. What a mess!
“Don’t you dare make me pregnant!” one of my characters threatens indignantly, “You know me better than that! I wouldn’t sleep around without protection! Besides, that’s so lame, so ‘Friends,’ so desperate!”
She’s right. I am desperate. I was flowing along smoothly, but my eyes were bent so inwardly that I didn’t look up till—bam!—I hit a dam right in front of me.
“Oh, I saw that coming,” one of my smarty-pants characters smirks at me, “Any dope coulda seen that. Clear from the start.”
Jeez, you just don’t get any respect from your characters, these days.
“How long are we going wait here?” inquires another character. “I have depth, you know, and integrity,” he informs me, “I can’t possibly sit around like this, doing nothing. Let me pray, or pace, or at least, take a pee, for godsakes!”
Yeah. They all want their memorable “moment.” They all want to be “stars.” Characters can be so damn demanding.
“Got a sec?” asks another character awkwardly, “Like, what am I doing with this knife? Cause I’m supposed to be funny, right? So why’d you stick me with this knife? It’s too big for cutting celery—not that I mind cutting celery, if you need celery cut — but this isn’t a celery knife. And I don’t wanna hurt anybody, I swear, cause I’m no psycho-creep. I’m just comic relief.”
“You’re probably going to stab my baby,” says the first character wryly.
No, there’s no baby! And that knife—here, hand it over to me carefully, that’s right, nice and slow, and I’ll shut it back in the drawer. See. No knife. No baby. Nothing.