Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 29 May 2016 (theater excerpt)

Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from writers in multiple genres and forms. Check out the full roster here.


VERA. Do you have stormy fights and passionate reconciliations?

LOPHUKHOV. No, we try to work things out rationally as far as possible.  Of course, opinions differ as to what’s the correct course, but we try to be respectful of the other’s opinion.

VERA. You wouldn’t insist on your opinion simply because of your position in the household?

LOPUKHOV. No, whatever for?

VERA. (kisses him on the cheek) Thank you.

LOPUKHOV. For what?

VERA. For telling me how we’re going to arrange our married life.


Vera asks her fiancee about his relationship with his roommate and best friend.

For a little change of pace, an excerpt from What is to be Done and What They Did: A Revolutionary Comedy in Five Acts. This adaptation of N. G. Chernyshevsky’s What is to Be Done? is a play-within-a-play enacted by an ensemble of six young people whose lives were changed by the novel and its template for new social arrangements. 

Chernyshevsky’s romantic comedy spawned scores of real-life fanfics, including the Russian Revolution and the American free speech movement. Score another one for Team Romance and file it under Science Fiction, as a high-tech near-future utopia.

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8 Responses to Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 29 May 2016 (theater excerpt)

  1. Great snippet! I really liked the dialogue.

  2. I enjoyed their conversation although of course a roommate and a wife have different levels of things to discuss and feel passionate about LOL.

  3. Good dialogue, but I agree with Veronica, I feel like a roommate and a wife might not be so similar,hehehe

  4. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I liked how she knows exactly what she wants and what’s going on, while he’s clueless.

  5. Whitney says:

    I love play dialog like this because you don’t need all the other “he said” or “she said” around the dialog to know what they’re doing or how they’re saying the words. Well done!

  6. Fun! As a former drama coach, I loved this snippet! Great interaction.

  7. epbeaumont says:

    This project is truly a collaboration, not only between myself and N. G. Chernyshevsky, but with all the scholars, translators, and (auto)biographers who have thought upon his work. Special thanks to Michael Katz, whose translation of What is to Be Done? has an invaluable apparatus of scholarly sources and Irina Paperno, whose monograph Chernyshevsky and the Age of Realism gave me not only insight into his influence, but provided some interesting prompts for my own writing.

    Chernyshevsky’s novel raises some interesting questions about the relationship between friendship and romance, as well as a model of comradely polyamory that was taken up by young people as diverse as Mayakovsky, Lenin, and Emma Goldman. The questions he raised are very much still alive, as we consider healthy vs unhealthy relationship models.

  8. E.D. Martin says:

    I’d love to have a rational roommate – or husband even – like Lopukhov.

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