Mr Hey's Dream Machine.
I tried to leave a review, but for some reason it wouldn't work.
I really liked this. An interesting idea, and I would have liked to read more. It has a big enough hook to make people want to read more. Your research is good and you are obviously very well read. The contrast between old language and new was well done. The scene/conversation between Elizabeth and Victor was a superlative example of good writing. You managed to say a great deal between the lines. That is a great skill to have.
I agree with Steve your characters are well-defined, interesting and strong. Well researched and believable.
I loved your hints at Gnosticism and the philosophical project of Modernity, and I think they will serve you well. The clues are in all successful writer's work, so I can't see the harm in putting them in here.
Now onto the bad points. Well, not necessarily “bad” I mean things that need addressing. I hope you don't mind me offering critique? It's just that I believe that is why we are here, and I believe constructive criticism is lacking sometimes on this site. At least, there's no point in telling someone how wonderful there work is if one is not honest enough to point out where it might be improved.
My first impressions were that it would work as a screenplay, but just doesn't as a radio play. Not in its present form that is.
It jumps about too much for a radio play. Without visual references there's no way to tell the difference between the past and present (apart from the language). You need some way of distinguishing the two.
There's something wrong with the scene transitions too. A listener can't tell where they are when we jump to a new scene without visual reference. Scene 2. Between the Head and a Student would confuse a listener because there is no way to tell that it is now modern day. Present. It would make a listener stop and think, hang on! Where are we? What's going on? In other words they would have to suspend their suspension-of-disbelief to workout what is happening. You need to seamlessly carry your listeners through the play, scene by scene.
I got the same confusion on most of the scene transitions. Remember a radio audience wants to be carried through the play without having to work too hard at it.
I don't want to be picky but buses weren't invented until 1833. My history's not very good, but that's what a google search said. Also, seances in 1816? I don't think spiritualism became popular until 1848. Small points I know, but ones people are likely to pick-up. They jumped out the page enough for me to look 'em up!
That said, I think you have a wonderful imagination. The play has a great hook and is obviously going interesting places. I just doesn't work as a radio play in this present form.
Helo again, Jane,
You are so welcome, and I'm glad that you appreciated my praise of your work. I realise that you'd like some criticism, but I can't really say that I have any. All of us write in different styles that suit our personalities and that is how it should be. I couldn't find fault with your writing style (I liked it very much) and neither could I fault the work technically. There will be people who do this, but it isn't always constructive. What ends up happening is that you then try to write your work to please the critics which would be a tragic turn of events. We primarily write the things that we ourselves want to read, and that's how it should continue. The minute we diverge from that stance, the writing style and quality fails and then it becomes a tedious chore in an effort to please others. My experience is that if you're still engaged with the story and enjoying it, looking forward to adding more, then it's a very good chance that feeling will rub off on the reader. I listen to my own 'emotional barometer' and that tells me whether I've written something that others might also like. Mind you, you'll never please 'em all!
Keep writing in your own fabulous way and let your imagination take you further.
I also find that our writing generally improves by reading other people's work (famous or not) as it serves as a source of subjective inspiration.
I wouldn't upload the whole story in one go, as it is doubtful that many people will have the time for that. However, it might work if you were to upload it in parts, perhaps a few chapters at a time, which could then be reviewed individually?
I think that you have genuine talent and I would definitely keep persuing opportunities in the literary world. It's a tough game, and not everyone gets there, but I'm encouraged by the fact that many do, and a large number of them on very little real talent! But when you have real ability, as in your case, there is always a chance. You just need exposure.
P.S. Read some of Tom's work (he's on my Friends network) which should be right up your street. His "Stranger Things" series is just great, like your play.
Best of luck,
Steve (Stephen Austen)
Welcome to my Friends network and to my Metaphysical Writers group. I don't spend as much time on Circalit as I initially did - finding things a bit flat here these days, but I do visit from time to time to check on things. Best wishes in all your writing. At some point I will try and review your work.