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Hi, I’m a character in a satirical monologue and, you know, it’s nice to be involved, it really is, but I can’t help thinking that I’m a little underdeveloped.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know the piece only really calls for a person who is reasonably articulate and self-aware, and I think it’s clear that I am reasonably articulate and self-aware, so that’s fine. Box ticked.

But there’s got to be more to me than that, surely.

I mean, “reasonably articulate and self-aware”—you know, it’s not amazing, is it? I’m not going to get many swipe rights if my Tinder profile is just “reasonably articulate and self-aware,” am I?

I’m not saying I need to be a really deep character like Hamlet or John McClane or anything. I know we’ve only got a few hundred words to work with. Surely, though, it wouldn’t take much to give me a bit more personality. Maybe make me a forger or the tall one in a nineties boy band or the King of Bulgaria. Something to set me apart from all the other reasonably articulate and self-aware characters who populate satirical monologues.

Okay, I think you’re worried that this would lead to unnecessary flab to the piece. I hear that. You need to make these monologues tight. But, it’s not like we’re talking about a whole back story or anything, it could be just an aside, a couple of words. For example, how about this as for an opening:

“Hi, I’m a character in a satirical monologue and I was just putting the finishing touches to a forgery of Matisse’s L’Atelier Rouge, when I realised I was a little underdeveloped…”

You see? I know it’s a bit clunky, but you’re the writer, not me. I’m sure you’ll be able to finesse it a bit. But, quality of writing aside, what about this forger idea? I think it could really work. First line of the piece and, already, you’ve got the reader going “hmm, a forger, eh? You don’t get many forgers in satirical monologues, do you?” They’re intrigued, they’re invested.

Also, L’Atelier Rouge? That’s a nice detail, there, because the first painting that comes up when you google Matisse is Le Bonheur de Vivre so subconsciously, your reader is going “Wow, this writer hasn’t just googled Matisse and used the first painting that comes up. They probably know a bit about painting. And a forger in his satirical monologue? What an interesting writer. I’d probably read more from them”—you see? Win/win. I get to be more fleshed out, you get people thinking that you’re pretty sophisticated and know about Henri Matisse and early 20th Century French art and whatnot.

Oh, and I don’t think it would hurt to give me a partner with a voracious sexual appetite, would it?

So, there you go, I’m a forger who’s getting lots of sex. By giving me that greater depth, it gives my realization that I’m underdeveloped as a character a greater poignancy and depth.

Although, now that I think about it, an oversexed forger who’s worried about being shallow is actually quite a well-developed character for a six-hundred-word satirical monologue.

Right, I’m seeing that may be a problem now. The whole point of the monologue is that I’m underdeveloped as a character, but I’m this sexy forger now, so that kind of renders the piece pretty much redundant.

Sorry about that.

But, listen, I’ve got faith in you, I’m sure you can do something else instead. Why not try writing Fast and Furious 7 in the style of Jane Austin, or doing a list of theoretical physics puns instead. Those sorts of things always go down ever so well.


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