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Old 04-17-2014, 10:43 AM
Jenzie2786 (Offline)
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Default Writer's Block Help!


Hello! I look forward to your feed. I have attached the first 3000 or so words of a play I'm writing. If you like it, please read the rest of it that I'm attaching. I would love some critique. I also need some help finding out where to go from here. I would love some suggestions! I have hit a block and I'm facing a bad case of...."Well, now what?" Thanks again! Also, the formatting in the file makes it easier to read then on here, FYI.

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Assface
ACT ONE
Scene 1

Dim lights up on a typical contemporary looking teenage bedroom. Clothes and books litter the floor surrounding the bed where a young man is sleeping in a uncomfortable looking yet wholly comfortable position. Suddenly, an alarm clock blars through the remaining dimness. A groggy hand fumbles to shut it off. The snooze is hit, only to have the alarm go off again seconds later. ASH lets out a very disapproving grunt as he knocks the clock off the table.


MOM (pleasing but stern)
ASH! Get your ass out of bed before I kick it out. You are not going to be late to school again.

Ash, 17, gangly and awkward, sits up in bed with a strained yawn. He is wearing pajama pants, no shirt, and an ear flapped faux furred winter cap that sits crookedly upon his head.

ASH
Iím up! Iím up. JeezÖ

He throws himself out of bed and goes to leave the room, tripping over various belongings before making it to the door. He walks down the stairs from the bedroom door as the set evolves to reveal a kitchen. There, MOM, DAD, and JOSIE are in the kitchen. JOSIE is sitting at the table with foot on the edge as she is painting her toenails. DAD is reading the paper. Mom is at the counter surrounding by cooking supplies and cereal boxes. ASH stumbles into a chair at the table.

JOSIE
Morning douche.

ASH
Morning.

MOM
Josie! What did I tell you about using that word?

JOSIE
What word? Morning?

MOM
You know what word. Where the hell do you kids learn those words?

JOSIE
I dunnoÖinternet?

DAD
(not looking up from paper, dryly) Gotta love them internets.

MOM
You hush. (to Ash) Morning baby.

ASH
Morning Ma.

MOM

She walks over and gives ASH a bowl of cereal.

I wish you wouldnít wear that ugly hat all the time.

She tries to take it off him, he grabs it before she can barely move it.

ASH
I like it.

JOSIE
Better than the alternative.

ASH
Shove it, Skank in Training

DAD gives a muffled laugh.

MOM
Donít start you two, itís barely 8 in the morning.

JOSIE
Donít get mad at me, I was just making a point.

ASH
If you wanted to make a valid point maybe you shouldnít be painting your toenails that hideous shade of crack whore red.

DAD laughs more audibly. JOSIE throws her spoon at ASH that misses and hits the wall.

Nice shootiní Tex.

JOSIE gets up and tries to chase ASH. DAD grabs her by her shirt barely removing his eyes from the paper.

DAD
Sidídown.

JOSIE
You little As-

MOM
SHUT it, Josie. Can we just have breakfast like a normal family for once?

ASH is noticeable uncomfortable at the word ďnormalĒ

MOM
I-you know-just without the screaming and-

ASH
Itís okay ma. I know. I just-

JOSIE
Am a freak? Yeah we know.

ASH shrugs dejectedly and leaves for his room.

MOM
Ash, come on donít be like that.

ASH
Whatever.
He exits. MOM slaps JOSIE upside her head.

MOM
Dumbass.

Mom follows ASH to his room, the stage once again evolving back to it.

MOM
Hey kiddo.

ASH
Go away, please.

MOM

She goes and sits on bed next to him.

Nope. Look, Your sister is just beingÖyour sister. Donít let her get to you.

ASH
I would, if it was just her.

MOM
Itís only a problem if you make it one.

ASH
Yeah? Tell that to the classroom of knuckle dragginí troglodytes because Iím pretty sure itís them, not me.

MOM
Look, God gave you to me because youíre special, you just gotta be strong.

ASH
(scathingly) Special. (gestures at self) This is not special. Itís a goddamn tragedy.

MOM
Watch it.

ASH
Mom come on, you know I donít believe in God.

MOM
I wish you believed in something.


ASH
I believe in a lot of things. Gravity. The sky. Bacon.

MOM
Yourself?

ASH
Sure. Why not?

MOM
Look honey, one of these days who you are is going to change how a lot of people think of themselves. How they think of the world even.

ASH
Yeah, like how much it costs to see the circus.

Silence.

MOM
You should get ready for school.

ASH
Oh joy.

MOM
I love you.

She hugs him. He is still upset, but slightly comforted

ASH
Thanks Ma.

She leaves. ASH sits on his bed for a moment in silent thought before sighing and grabbing the nearest clean looking shirt on the floor. He gives it a sniff and lets out a gag and horrified face. He tosses it back on the floor and grabs another shirt. He gives it the same test. He shrugs and tosses it on. He grabs a stick of deodorant from under a pile of stuff and hastily puts it on under his shirt. He then grabs a hole-y looking pair of pants from behind the bed and his over-shoulder bag and heads to the door. He stops for a second, looks at his shabby demeanor.

ASH
Shit.

Blackout

Scene Two

ASH is walking to school listening to music. He looks around. Reaching into his pocket he grabs a pack of smokes and lights one up. He takes a long relaxing drag before walking a few more feet.

MAX
(off) HEY!

ASH stops. Unsure if he actually heard anything. Keeps walking.

MAX

Running onstage to catch up.

HEY, DAMMIT! WAIT!

MAX runs up top ASH, visibly startling him. ASH removes his headphones.

You heading to North Abrams?

ASH
Uh, yeah.

MAX
GREAT! Mind if I walk with you? I uh, donít know where it is.

ASH
Sure I guess.

ASH immediately begins walking again. MAX follows. Awkward silence. MAX has noticed the winter hat ASH has in the September heat. MAX practically throws himself in front of ASH to stop his fast stride.


MAX
Iím Max.

ASH
Iím Ash.

Through the dialogue ASH tries continuously to keep walking, only to be stopped or help up by MAX.

MAX
Ash? Thatís interesting. Short for anything?

ASH
What do you think?

MAX
(salvagingly)

UhÖwere you named for the guy from Evil Dead?

ASH
No.

MAX
Pokemon?

ASH
(laughs, opening up slightly)

So close.

MAX shrugs.

ASH
Iím named for my Grandpa, who also had the unfortunate name of Ashley.

MAX
Ah. Well if it makes you feel any better, my full name is Maximilian

ASH
Somehow it doesnít.

MAX
Itís the lame name of the Maxes. I mean, Maximus is where itís at!

Another awkward silence pervades the air as the joke falls flat. ASH manages to get walking again, only to once again be stopped by MAX.

MAX
Alright. I give. Whatís with the hat?

ASH
Nothing. I justÖlike hats.

MAX
Come on, seriously. I like hats too but I also like wearing hats that are season appropriate.

ASH
Fine. I really like this hat.

MAX
Really?

ASH
Yes. Jeez what the hell do you care?

MAX
(sheepishly)

I was just curious.

ASH
I bet.

ASH puts out his smoke and they finish walking as the faÁade of the school comes on. They enter the school. MAX and ASH weave themselves through the few other students in the hall as a few of them stare for a moment before going on their way.

MAX
Whatís their problem?

ASH
Man you really are new here arenít you?

MAX
Meaning?

ASH
Youíll know soon enough.

They come to a locker against the SL/R wall, the front of it hard to see by the audience. ASH looks at it for a second and then starts to unlock his locker. MAX is concerned at the sight of ASHís locker.

MAX
Whoa, thatís not cool. Who does that?

ASH
You get used to it.

ASH opens his locker revealing that someone has scrawled ASSFACE over the front if it in bold black magic marker.

MAX
What does that even mean?

ASH
Itís a long story.

MARCUS, the quintessential jock comes around the corner. He immediately notices MAX as new and ASH, his trusty punching bag. He barrels past MAX and pins him against the adjacent locker with his forearm over ASHís throat. ASH struggles but is overpowered and winds up just kind of flailing uselessly about and is unable to breathe well or speak. A small crowd of students forms during the dialogue.

MARCUS
Gooooood morning freakshow.

MAX
Hey, what the hell? Dude, leave him alone.

MARCUS
Whoís your little boyfriend? Huh, Assface?

MAX
Seriously man, youíre hurting him.

MARCUS
Shut up. Looks like someone has a crush on you.

MAX
Hey shut it!

MARCUS
Sounds like someone doesnít know your little secret. Didnít your mommy every tell you itís not nice to keep secrets?

ASH begins to really struggle as he knows whatís coming next. MARCUS pulls off ASHís hat and tosses it across the hall. It is revealed that ASHís ears are deformed in such a way that they are similar to a donkeyís. They extend a good 6-8 inches above his head. His mid lengthened black hair merges into the soft white color of his ears on the sides. MARCUS drops ASH to the floor as MAX watches in confused amazement. MARCUS turns around and walks past MAX.

MARCUS
You better choose who you hang out with wisely newbie. Only freaks hang out with freaks.

MARCUS joins a group of students who revere his power and provide a shallow praise for his ego as he exits. MAX stares at ASH who is on the verge of tears, but refusing to cry. MAX is unsure of what to do or say.

MAX
(pause) Are you-

ASH
Fuck off.



ASH barrels past MAX and exits the school. MAX is left standing. Alone, bewildered, and with very little explanation about what was going on he goes and picks up ASHís hat. The school bell rings. Black out.

Scene Three

Several hours later. ASH is sitting on a park bench out hastily smoking a cigarette. He has a hoodie on covering his ears. MAX comes on holding ASHís hat.

MAX
There you are.

ASH
Go away.

MAX
I uh, have your hat. I washed it. It smelled pretty gnarly.

ASH
Thanks.

ASH snatches it away and quickly puts it on. Thereís a long silence.

ASH
What?! Can you not stare at me please? I get enough of that at school.

MAX
No. I wasnít staring, I justÖ.look I donít thinkÖ

ASH
Dude, save it. Iím not in the mood for your misguided attempt at befriending me.

MAX
Look, I donít think youíre a freak.

ASH
Yes, you do. If you didnít, you would have said something back there.

MAX
Well, seeing as it was a lot to take in at once I think I did pretty fucking good man. Are you always such an asshole?

ASH
IíM the asshole? Are you fucking kidding me?

MAX
Well maybe if you werenít so damn paranoid youíd at least have one friend.

ASH
Fuck you, I have friends.

MAX
Really? Was it that swarm of people coming to your defense from Doucheface Magee?

Silence. ASH goes back to smoking. He looks over MAX.

ASH
So what? Iím just supposed to assume that you want to be my friend with no ulterior motives whatsoever despite every past instance of this happening ends in a horrible situation.

MAX
Yes

ASH
(scoffs)
Right.

MAX
Yeah, right. Look Iíll see you tomorrow. Ok? Deal? I missed school to wash your stupid hat and bring it back to you so the least you could do is walk to school with me so we can shoot the shit about life and junk. Like friends.

ASH
Fine, whatever.

MAX
Tomorrow?

ASH
ÖÖTomorrow.




MAX exits. ASH grabs his hat off of the bench and a small note falls out of it. He almost misses it. He picks it up and tries to read it as JOSIE comes on. ASH is very startled.

JOSIE
Hey Dickweed, Mom says get your ass home. Youíre late. (Pause) Hey (she shoves him) Come one stupid.

They begin walking.

JOSIE
So, whoís your new friend.

ASH
Max

JOSIE
Heís cute. Too cute.

ASH
Ugh, donít even.

JOSIE
What?

ASH
Sink your slutty little claws into him.

JOSIE
Ashley, I am hurt. Iím your sister. You should expect more from me.

ASH
And Iím your brother. And all Iím asking is you not to be you to one guy in your life.

JOSIE
I will conceder your suggestion but I make no promises when the lights go out.

ASH
Gross.

JOSIE
Donít be such a girl. Sex is a perfectly normal thing.


ASH
Well Iím glad youíre such an expert. I canít even sit on the couch in the living room anymore because of you.

JOSIE
Why? Because of what Iíve done on it, or what Mom and Dad have done on it.

ASH
God I hate you.

JOSIE
Hey, I just call it like I see it. Look, donít worry about your little friend. I donít think heís my type anyway.

ASH
How so?

JOSIE
The rumor at school is that heís a big olí homo anyway.

ASH
How can that be a thing at school already? He was there for maybe 15 minutes and I donít think he even went to a class.

JOSIE
Ash, its high school. Any nice guy with an ass like that is gay until proven otherwise. PlusÖyou know.

ASH
No, I donít. Stop being such a troll and just fucking tell me.

JOSIE
Well, him helping you didnít make him look any straighter

ASH
Right. I forget Iím a freak in every sense of the word.

JOSIE
Just until youíre eighteen and can bail on this place.

ASH
I shouldnít have to bail. Look, why are you even talking to me? Donít you have some mechanic to molest in a dark garage or something?



JOSIE
Jesus Iím just trying to be nice. You should pull the tampon out of your ass and calm down for a change and maybe, just MAYBE you could enjoy yourself.

ASH
I enjoy myself plenty.

They approach the house and enter to the kitchen. It is still fairly messy from breakfast and their parentís subsequent rushed lunches. ASH moves some papers off of a cluttered chair and places them on the table and sits down and begins to fiddle with his phone. JOSIE dumps her book bag on the ground and leaves for her room.

JOSIE
As she exits to her ďroomĒ.

MA! Weíre home.

MOM
ĎKay!

MOM enters

MOM
Hey kiddo.

ASH lets out an acknowledging grunt.

MOM
How was your day?

ASH shrugs.

MOM
I do so enjoy our chats.

ASH
Sorry. JustÖone of those days.

MOM
Did it happen again?

ASH
No. Nothing happened.

MOM
Look, Ash if people are messing you, you need-

ASH
Iím FINE, Mom. No one is messing with me.

MOM
Clearly.

ASH
Fuck will everyone just get off my back already?

MOM
Watch your mouth.

ASH
Itís not the 60ís Mom.

MOM
Yeah well you're still a kid to me so watch your damn mouth. Now go to your room and get your homework done.

ASH
I hope you know the irony of you swearing while scolding me about swearing is not lost on me.

MOM
Good, remember that for when you have kids of your own.















ASH wanders to his room, dragging his book bag behind him. Upon reaching his room he throws his book bag on his bed. He locks his bedroom door, pulls off his hat, and shakes down his hair and ears. His hair is still matted to his forehead from the heat of the hat and he examines himself in the mirror. He examines his face and over all body shape with his hands. Eventually he makes his way up to his ears. At the moment, they are reasonably floppy. He then begins just playing with them, a small amount of solace comes over his as he goofs around. If they werenít such a catalyst for people to treat him like an outsider he might actually enjoy what makes him different. He suddenly remembers his note and he goes to his bed and retrieves it from his bag. Lights dim and BLACKOUT as he reads.

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  #2  
Old 05-04-2014, 04:39 PM
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Hello Jenzie,

I just read the whole thing and can say already, that I'd definitely love to hear the rest of the story once it is finished. Aside from the fresh plot idea, I really enjoyed your dialogue; There are some good laughs in the play, and your writing makes the characters appear smart, well thought out and widely different from each other. I was able to imagine the scenes quite clearly while reading.

Plus I like the pace of the play. I didn't find a line to be unnecessary, or distracting. There are a few spelling and grammatical mistakes, but I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding and fixing them next time you read the play.

It's been two weeks since your post, so you might've continued the story already. In case you still suffer from the block, these thoughs might help you:

I think the most interesting thing to show next is how Ash and Max view their situation and feel about each other. Maybe they run into each other during the next day of school (at Ash's locker, or maybe they could share a table in the school's cafeteria?). After that, you could also show how their schoolmates react to the two of them being friends now. Also there's Marcus, who's probably thinking of a way to take revenge on Ashley. And how will Max feel about probably becoming a target of the bullies because of his unpopular friend now, too?

I'd also be interested in learning more about Max's motives: What did the letter he wrote to Ash say? Why is he apparently doing that every time he meets a guy after moving to a new place? WHAT exactly is he doing every time he meets a guy after moving to a new place?

Anyway, I honestly like the piece a lot and hope you were/are able to knock down that writer's block with a wrecking ball!
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Last edited by LostCauseRebel; 05-04-2014 at 04:42 PM..
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:27 PM
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Hello, in this forum's topic section "writing help and issues"
I have a thread about writers block "Observation Deck"
Check it out. It is very helpful for getting unstuck.


.

Last edited by sdenyer; 05-04-2014 at 07:33 PM..
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:41 AM
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This is definitely something I always struggled with. I get about 10,000 words through a script, and I know where I want to go, but I just can't get it out. I've been told to do 'free-writing', but that doesn't work for me, so a friend told me a novel way of breaking a block: you set my alarm for 4 a.m., then don't let yourself fall asleep till you've written another page. It worked for me, but it's far from a perfect technique. The stuff I came up with was appalling, but it gave me something to work with. Only a last resort, though.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:26 AM
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Hey, I love your script, it flows so naturally. How about we hear something about his disorder/disease. Does it exist in real life?
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