Why can’t the act of writing be solely for me?

In scene from 1 act play, “The Typed Manuscript” Jessica questions world-renowned yet reclusive writer Edwina if she’s still been writing.

EDWINA (Cutting her off.): No.


EDWINA: The answer is still, no.

JESSICA: I haven’t asked my question!

EDWINA: I have not written a word for the public in over twenty years. There.

JESSICA: But you allude to the fact that you’ve been writing. Have you been writing?

EDWINA: Not for you. Not for them. For me.

JESSICA: But why?

EDWINA: Because I’m fed up.

JESSICA: But don’t you want to share the next book in your series?


JESSICA: How can you leave your audience hanging?

EDWINA: I live here, I pay my bills and I can do whatever the hell I like.

JESSICA: Your fans never did anything to you but love you, praise your work. Why abandon them for so many years?

EDWINA: Thought you said you weren’t a journalist.

JESSICA: I’m not.

EDWINA: I have my reasons.

JESSICA: But isn’t there a part of you that wants to –

EDWINA: Not anymore.

JESSICA: But isn’t the act of writing intended for others to read?

EDWINA: Says who?


EDWINA: Why can’t the act of writing be solely for me? What’s wrong with that?

JESSICA: Because you’ve involved the world. You can’t open your door, only to end up slamming it in everyone’s face.

EDWINA: The door was slammed in MY face.

JESSICA: By who?

EDWINA: I no longer wish to be a product, a brand. Controlled!

JESSICA: What do you plan on doing with what you wrote?

EDWINA: When I die, all the original copies will be burned.

JESSICA: How many more books are there in the series?

EDWINA: (Laughs.)

JESSICA: Tell me.

EDWINA: How old are you?

JESSICA: Twenty-two.

EDWINA: There are twenty-two more novels, completed novels.

JESSICA: That’s extraordinary.

EDWINA: It’s only writing.

JESSICA: It’s more than only writing.

EDWINA: I’m not saving the world from destruction. It’s writing! Fiction, fake! It’s imaginary, dear girl. Big deal. I write to stay sane. I couldn’t care less who likes my work and who doesn’t. I just got lucky early on. Had a hit, made a ton of pathetic money and so it sells each and every year like a steady check. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to sit back, be alone and write what I enjoy writing without all the additional fuss?

JESSICA: Don’t you care about the people who read your work?

EDWINA: I couldn’t give a sh’t, to put it bluntly.


EDWINA: Disappointed?


EDWINA: That’s life.

JESSICA: I have a hard time believing you.

EDWINA: Why’s that?

JESSICA: Because for anyone to write about humanity the way in which you do, the compassion you reveal, the depth, the understanding..your contradiction cannot be true..it’s put on. It has to be false.

EDWINA: Are you heartbroken?

JESSICA: I simply don’t believe you.

EDWINA: Good. At least you have some perspective.

JESSICA: Why did you agree to see me?

EDWINA: It doesn’t matter.

JESSICA: It does. To me, it does.

EDWINA: Honestly, I wanted to be rid of you and the only way was to have this meeting. So there.

JESSICA: But why me? Why not someone else?

EDWINA: How do you know whether or not I’ve met someone else?

JESSICA: You’re a recluse.

EDWINA: I’m not. Read that in the papers, did you?


EDWINA: Do you really think you were singled out?

JESSICA: I don’t know.

EDWINA: Right. Well, I do expect all communication between us to be closed now. I’ve met you and that’s that.

To read the full one-act ePlay, find purchase link below:

The Typed Manuscript by Joseph ArnoneIn the one act eplay, “The Typed Manuscript” Jessica visits recluse writer Edwina Fletcher who has not published a novel in over twenty years but has been continuously writing.  2 Women.  Drama.

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Joseph Arnone