I am writing a script that is three acts long, first act being set between the late 30s to the early 40s, next act being set in the early 50s and the final act being set in the modern day.

However, the events that occur in the modern day all depend on the actions of the second act, which is brought on by events of the first act. This is because one of the main characters is found to have an anxiety disorder and anger issues and after a heated confrontation, accidentally kills her own mother.

I am wondering if this subject is too strong and whether there is any other route I can take to bring on the death of the mother?

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    Whether or not it's too strong would depend very much on the genre and target audience of your script. – CLockeWork Dec 2 '14 at 11:15
  • While the experience of homicide (e.g. witnessing a parent being killed) is one common cose for an anxiety disorder, persons suffering from an anxiety disorders don't typically commit homicide (see. safetylit.org/citations/…). – user5645 Dec 2 '14 at 12:10
  • I agree, though anxiety disorders can lead to outbreaks of anger and even rage a person would have to a deeper underlying issue, such as psychopathy, to be capable of murder based on anxiety and unfounded anger alone, and if they did, that sickness would be responsible – CLockeWork Dec 2 '14 at 13:37
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    Murder as such, maybe not, but "getting physical" in an outburst of anger, and just pushing the old lady - with possibly lethal consequences - why not? – SF. Dec 3 '14 at 7:04
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    This question is very close to being brainstorming to generate plot ideas, which is off-topic here. Incorporating your comments might help make this question useful to more people. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Dec 29 '14 at 22:11

There should be strong reasons that someone kills somebody else. You need to show all those reasons in your script or your audience won't believe your story. Think of the reasons.


I think a good solution is to make the audience resent the mother somehow. Insert heart breaking abuse story.

But as far an anxiety disorder? A fair percentage of todays population have anxiety issues and most of them have not murdered.

But it really depends on what kind of person you want your protagonist to be. If their abused, they are broken. If they have a disorder they are psychopathic. Or maybe you want the protagonist to say "I made a mistake" Are they resentful?


As a writer you need to be prepared to engage any topic no matter how distasteful you may find it. Your current script sounds like a personal project, but you could be asked in the future to write about any number of subjects more unpleasant than matricide.

Check out what's on television today: crime procedurals, historical reenactments full of sex and drugs, family dramas featuring teen pregnancy. I assume you're writing for the stage, but these are all things which are trending right now and subject matter that many people are exposed to. Nearly every procedural involves a murder and most murders are between close relations (either family or friends). It wouldn't take that much work to look up how many involve a mother being killed by a child with or without the added complexity of an anxiety disorder.

What you need to come to terms with is to let go of the need to self-censor yourself. Right now, you're worried about how people are going to view you through this script (which is more likely in the live performance field), but it's a risk you have to take. Those same stories people are so nervous about are also the stories that have a greater need to be told (and have a greater chance of being up for awards).

If you aren't willing to put your writing (and yourself) out there, you will never make it.


Personally, I quite like the idea of knock on consequences and the idea that she has an anxiety disorder is quite a good idea. The idea of a disorder is quite a widespread idea but the anxiety disorder isn't a normal one.

The idea of a murder is quite extreme but may have the desired effect on the audience, you should reveal that at the end and it may add a shock to the audience,

good idea overall.

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