Update August 7, 2022: Progress on Incommunicado-Second Draft Completed

Today, I finished the second draft of my full-length play “Incommunicado”. Hopefully, I will do only one more to tidy everything up and it will be ready to be submitted.

Today, I finished the second draft of my full-length play “Incommunicado”. Hopefully, I will do only one more to tidy everything up and it will be ready to be submitted.

Phil Slattery, Arkansas Post National Memorial, 2019

This has been a great learning experience for me. The main challenge throughout this process has been to not only be diligent in progressing on it, but also to ensure that everything is tied up neatly and that the reader will know why anything happens.

The themes, if you can call them that, are honesty, personal courage, self-control, controlling one’s life, and probably several more. I am sure someone will see some that I do not.

I wanted to keep the cast at three characters, but I had to increase it to four so that there would be more action and tension by introducing a villain of sorts. Not a true antagonist who opposes the protagonist throughout the play, but a character that appears only briefly but nonetheless has a major impact on the storyline.

Anyway, I hope to have this completed before long and I will start submitting it around and maybe start looking for an agent. I am not certain what I will tackle next. I have two novels near completion, but I have the bug for writing plays at the moment, so I may resurrect my original full-length play called “Centaurs” that has been languishing in the background for a few years now. Having completed “Incommunicado” may give me some ideas on how to finish “Centaurs” which has a similar storyline.

That’s all for now.

Hasta luego.

Update April 26, 2022: Notes on Incommunicado and The Chamber

A quick update on what I am doing these days.

Watch for the next issue of The Chamber coming out May 6. Great dark stories and poetry as always. I haven’t finished selecting all the material yet, but so far here are the contributors: Alan Catlin, James Mulhern, Peter Michael Bush, Janelle Chambers, Patrick R. Wilson, Hareendran Kallinkeel, Cecilia Kennedy, Kate Bergquist, Damir Salkovic, Jessica McGlyn, and Prithvijeet Sinha.

I estimated the number of pages I have for my play “Incommunicado” a few days and discovered there are only 45, which makes a performance of about 45 minutes. I want to do a full-length play of 90 minutes, which means I will need about 45 more pages. So, I am only halfway done. The real trick will be to add 45 pages of quality material vs. filler/crap. I believe in leaner, muscular writing, keeping the text to as few words as possible while giving as much meaning to each word as possible. This gives impact to the writing and makes it powerful. There are only three characters: Quinn, Cassie, and Ruth, but most of the dialogue is between Quinn and Cassie. There is not a lot of action in the play, so I am banking on having deep, fascinating characters, but I don’t want this to be overly intellectual. I want the average Joe in the street to appreciate what is going on. That makes the play more marketable and will attract a broader audience.

Quinn, by the way, is Quinn Gallagher, who is the protagonist in two of my short stories: “The Scent” and “The Slightest of Indiscretions”. I would post a link to “The Slightest…” but the website is down right now. You can find it along with several of my other stories on https://fictionontheweb.co.uk. Both of these are included in my short collection of relationship-based stories in The Scent and Other Stories.