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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Sci Fi and Fantasy Scripts  ›  Dead End
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  Author    Dead End  (currently 323 views)
Posted: September 29th, 2017, 7:43pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Dead End by Ben Wall - Short, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Murder Mystery, Drama - After a young man is seemingly murdered in his apartment, two detectives attempt to find out exactly what happened, not knowing that the photos they've taken from the crime scene contain the soul of the young man, who subsequently tries to stop them from solving the case whilst being trapped in the photographs that they're analyzing. 50 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: October 7th, 2017, 2:33pm Report to Moderator

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Hi Ben,

I tried reading a few pages of this.  For starters you’re going to want to look at the formatting - right now it’s distracting from the read.  I’d suggest looking into some screenwriting software.  There’s plenty of free options available to download.  They’re basic, but they’ll do the job and you can generally import or cut and paste your existing work straight into it.  I’m out of the loop on what’s out there in terms of free screenwriting software - hopefully someone else can jump in and point you in the right direction.  But start there and you'll see the page count probably drop when you lose all those extra line breaks between character cues and dialogue.

From what I read you can stand to tighten your action and dialogue - lots of superfluous wording and redundancies that bloat the read.  Think about what’s critical and trim the rest, for instance:

‘We see a body on the floor. LUKE ELLIS is lying lifelessly on the ground, directly beneath the kitchen counter, eyes staring into nowhere. Blood is emanating out from the side of his head. He’s a young man, 20 or 21. He’s pale, skinny, with scraggly black hair.

The apartment is eerily silent since the earlier commotion. We hear a clock TICKING away. A small black gun is lying on the bloody counter. It’s a strangely serene, almost peaceful sight. The young man looks neither perturbed or troubled, but rather at peace, finally.’

Could be:

LUKE ELLIS, early 20s, pale, skinny, scraggly black hair, lies lifeless beneath the kitchen counter, eyes staring into nowhere. Blood pools from the side of his head.

A clock TICKS. A small black gun rests on a bloody counter. The young man looks neither perturbed or troubled, but rather at peace, finally.


IMO, the ‘we see’ is rarely necessary.

‘is emanating out’ - think about replacing wording like this with a single, more visual word: pools, flows, etc.  There’s a word for every occasion...

‘He’s a young man, 20 or 21.’  Seems like a long winded way of giving us an age. If the specifics matter then we’ll find out through the story.

‘The apartment is eerily silent since the earlier commotion’ - is it silent?  There’s a ticking clock.  We already know we’re in the apartment and we can assume (unless told otherwise) it’s quiet now Luke’s dead, so is it critical we get that opening sentence?

‘It’s a strangely serene, almost peaceful sight. The young man looks neither perturbed or troubled, but rather at peace, finally.’ - the second sentence pretty much sums up the first - do you need both?

It seems like nitpicking, but if you go through your work with this stuff in mind you can streamline the action without losing anything from the story.  It makes for smoother, quicker read.

Good luck with it.  Hope this helps,


My short scripts can be found here:
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