Monday, March 05, 2012

A WIP and a COMP

Last week, I completed my goal for February's Write1Sub1 by finishing and submitting 'Jurors', but sadly, I also received a rejection for January's Write1Sub1. It means I have two stories to submit instead of one this month, which brought me to reflect on how I see this years Write and Sub goals.

My goal is to write a new story and submit that new story each month. Stories that get rejected get resubmitted in addition to this, so in December I could be submitting twelve stories. But where's the harm in that?

What else have I been doing apart from entertaining you with my blogs? I have added a few thousand words to one of my novels and realised I'm not sure if I want it to be a comedy or not. Why? My mood. There are days when I get a little more than sad and that reflects itself in my writing, but I also find that on those days, what I write brings to the fore how a particular story should be written. I'll give it some thought, but I may still edit the story to be comedic rather than straight. The scenes I've written are, like most comedy, able to be comedic or tragic.

The play has reached the end of Act 1 and I've put scene five below for you to read and comment on and scene six will follow next week. Enjoy.

What, you ask is a 'COMP'? It's a competition. I'm offering a choice of two ebooks from Starfish Publishing's current list for the three lucky winners. Anyone who enters will have their name hand-written by a handsome man (not me) or beautiful woman on a hand-cut piece of paper. The three winners will be drawn by two lovely ladies and one gorgeous man (still not me) who will stick their hands in a hat and rummage around to find you.

To enter you can do any/all of the following:
1. Tell me in the comments section of this blog you want to enter.
2. Go over to Facebook and 'like' us, then tell me in the comments section.
3. Go to twitter and stalk...errrr...follow us, then tell me in the comments section.
4. Follow the Starfish Blog, then tell me in the comments section.

You get one entry for each of the above and the closing date is midnight, Monday 12th March, GMT.

Now, the Play for Today.


Scene 5 (Town market, midday. There is only one stall holder present in this scene, selling and sharpening knives.)

Man at stall has his back to the audience and is sharpening a knife as Margaret enters from stage left. She walks up to the stall and passes by, then stops, turns, looks at the man and walks over to him.

Margaret: Excuse me. (No answer) Excuse me, can I ask you a question?

Man turns round and stops what he is doing when he sees Margaret.

Man: Yes madam, how can I help you? I haven't seen you before, have I? Or am I just getting old?

Margaret: I move back here yesterday, my father...

Man: Oh yes. (He stiffens and becomes less friendly) I'd heard you'd returned. You're not very popular in this town after the way you left with that...that...what was he? An actor?

Margaret: He wrote plays too, not just acted in them.

Man: And the life didn't suit you, so you thought you'd come back and see who you could leech off now, that it.

Margaret: My husband was killed. By the people in his own village.

Man: Why?

Margaret: I don't know. I just know that he made sure we, myself and our daughters, were safe. He led them away to give us time to leave. My youngest daughter saw them hit him with a club and we all stared as they beat him to death. Then they started looking for us.

The man stares at her and tries to say something, but can't. He's too shocked.

Man: I didn't know that. Sorry.

Margaret: No one knows. No one wants to listen. (She's getting angrier) All you people want to do is judge me on an action you know about but don't understand from twenty years ago. You have no idea what that man I was due to marry was like, but then why would you care. He's one of yours, or was. And you know what. I'm glad he died in pain, but I don't believe he had broken heart. He didn't have a heart. He was cruel and treated me as if I was some common whore. He took me before we were married. In his Uncle's field. And then threatened me, saying that if I told anyone I'd be found floating in the river. As far as I know he was responsible for the death of Hester. Remember her. (She's face to face with him now)

Man: Yes. She was my sister. They were engaged. She told me what he'd done. I'm sorry for what I said, I didn't realise he'd taken you too. I told your father but he didn't want to listen. He said that he had to marry you off or it would be too late for you and...that man, was the only one who'd take you.

Margaret: Only because he'd threatened everyone else. (Pause) Does his family still run this town, still own it?

Man: Not anymore. We have a proper town council now.

Margaret: What happened? Everyone seems so tight-lipped about things. John Maynard, the man who employed.....

Man: You're working for John Maynard?

Margaret: Yes. He took us in last night when everyone else turned us away. Even my own Aunt.

Man: Oh. (He has become reticent)

Margaret: Why does everyone become distant when I mention his name?

Man: It's not my place to say. It's better if....

Margaret: It doesn't seem as if it's anyone's place to say anything. (She turns away and walks a couple of steps before stopping and turns to face the man again) If it wasn't for the fact that I have nowhere else to go, I would leave this place. It's just the same as I remember it. The only difference is the faces of those who run it. (She exits stage right)


Man: It's not the same place, Margaret. It's far worse and in ways you can't imagine. You'd have been better off staying away. You don't know what you've walked back into and you don't deserve any of this.


See you on Wednesday.


Valentina Hepburn said...

Thanks for the award, Martin. You have a shout-out on my blog. I'm also tagging you.'re it. Now you have to answer the same questions that I've answered on my blog. Can't wait to see your answers.
Love Valentina

Martin Willoughby said...

Valentina: Thankyou. I shall be over soon.

Kelley said...

Ooo, I'd like to enter! :)

And good for you with those goals. Sounds crazy hard. look forward to cheering you on!

Patti said...

Great cliffhanger ending. Now I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,

For a bit of fun - I've tagged you on the Lucky Seven Meme:

Martin Willoughby said...

Kelley: You're in. I look forward to the cheerleading.

Patti: Same time, same channel, next week.

Freya: I shall come on over.

Milo James Fowler said...

Count me in, Martin; next time I'm on Facebook, I'll be sure to send a "like" your way! Regarding W1S1, I'm the same way; I'll count new subs as part of the challenge, but there will always be many more resubs that are going back out as well.

Martin Willoughby said...

Milo: You're in...twice so far. W1S1 rocks and I'm enjoying the challenge. It's giving me the chance to dust down some old stories too.

Nick Wilford said...

Count me in for the "COMP". The intrigue is really hotting up in the play, it'll be interesting to see how these threads all tie together.

Martin Willoughby said...

Nick: You're on the list.