So much that could be invested with this one.
In this portion of dialogue:
Reverend Osgood. She put that in my
If you’re in a theater and you sneeze, you’ll miss this one.
On page 3:
She will guide us. I can feel it.
I felt that they didn’t know where they were going (even though prompted by Christine’s dreams) and yet they landed conveniently in the church, which is good, but I think there needs to be some element of surprise. What I’m referring to is the fact that they entered that church for a reason: to get shelter and warmth yes, but because they were searching for Osgood. That being the case, I don’t think they would have just sat down.
What’s difficult for me is that I’m trying to discern the issues I’m having with it and make the discovery of little things that can be fixed and there’s something in what I’ve written above:
They’re on the run, they’re stressed and pumped with adrenaline and they know that Reverend Osgood’s in that church. So when they enter, I think they’ll immediately start searching. Calling.
Also, I’m thinking that you need to provide more work on Rafti’s character. He wants that treasure. That is motivating hard to pressure Christine. By drawing up a short scene focusing on “something wrong” between them, I think it would be powerful. (Rather than conceal by trickery to the audience, forshadow in truth).
What were you gonna say before? When
she mentioned the tall man?
But he didn’t mention him before that.
There's a local legend 'round these
parts, a tale for children, passed on from generation to generation. About a man called the Executioner. Eight feet tall and wielding a giant axe. He's somehow connected to Goody Morgan, a local woman hung as a witch.
That's the woman I NEED TO SEE. And I need to see her looking EXTRAORDINARILY LIKE Christine.
**Because of the twist at the end, the following shows Rafti out of character:
>Rafti becomes embarrassed.
We ran outta money, reverend. We're
I don’t think he’s the type to be embarrassed; more the type to answer Osgood’s question of “Where you staying?” with:
Rafti grabs the collection plate, holds it out like a panhandler.
We’re out of time and money. Thought
We’d stay here.
…and then Osgood can issue his reply regarding Dane. HOWEVER: I'm thinking Dane can be eliminated altogether. (You're a heartless woman, Sandra. Poor Dane can't get a break nohow.
*Now a question comes to my mind. Even though Dane seems to just know that Christine is a descendent, something doesn’t feel right and mostly, I just feel that the following should be visual and not just exposition through dialogue:
Goody Morgan was declared by Cotton
Mather himself to be the queen of hell. Several of her neighbors, mostly Abbots, gave sworn testimony against her.
And on the day she hung for
witchcraft, her empty cabin somehow caught fire and burned to the ground all on its own.
*Again, would like to see that as visual.
What has this to do with me, though?
***(Why does Christine suppose that Dane has the answers. Goody led her to Osgood, not Dane. He’s some stranger. So I guess I’m saying it feels like it’s not hitched together quite right. Like something’s a bit askew. Like I mentioned above: my solution would be to eliminate Dane altogether for one thing. I don’t think he’s required.)
**And it follows:
You are her descendent. I've known
many Morgans, and you have the look about you.
But why am I in danger?
I couldn't say. But I would, however,
be careful in trusting the guidance of Mrs. Morgan.
Why, yes. You have already met her
husband. The Executioner.
He is her HUSBAND? The Executioner?
*** Thinking about the story as a whole: For myself, I feel like the set up with them on the run was good, but somewhere here, there’s the problem because Dane has all the answers. Also, I’d like to see Goody and the Executioner in scenes at the beginning to help us establish in our minds all of the back story that’s being discussed.
You might even consider (and I just thought of this now) Having the Executioner enter the church and haul Christine away by the power of his thoughts where she finally, “feels she should follow him rather than run from him”. Show “the shift” somehow in a way that’s to your liking, but show it. Then:
Rafti chases them, (apparently to save Christine. Create “the chase” however you like, but I think it would be good to make a hard general shift in visuals where THIS is now NOT a dream. So, with that, the qualities that existed in the dream scenes, are now vastly different.
Before my husband came to this land,
he was in the Royal Guard. When Charles the King was sentenced to die, Thomas insisted it be by his blade.
Who’s Thomas? – I only now just learned from more study that Thomas was the executioner. I thought before that Thomas was someone else. My screw up.
I think the “who’s who” of it all can be generated at the end where the stashed treasure can be found. Also, I think this stashed treasure and some of the hard facts of Goody and Thomas need to be established at the beginning through visual and not through dialogue as I said. Feel strongly about that.
If you could possibly show a dream of that variety first, then whip us awake! Out of Christine’s POV as it were, then I think this might be a start. I think it would have to be done all very quickly and nifty-like for this one to create the speed of the train. The flashing images. As it was, the train beginning had me feeling Source Codish. With a bit more of the creep factor going on, it could be eliminated.
Really, I think so much could be done with this. Even with a short, but like DARK ESCORTt, I think it would make an even better feature.
I think this one is loaded with potential and excellent for an OWC. I really do feel like I'd love to be able to suck all of what's explicit in in dialogue and feel it inside my bones, feel it in my blood, taste it on my tongue and then, I'd love to have it take me somewhere beyond twists and plots and history. I'd like it to be served like a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, on my tongue, not from the formless memory of just a Dane or an Osgood.
This is a wonderful entry for this OWC and I think it shows how powerful participating can be because it's not just about a single story being created and whomping perfect right away; rather, it's about the subtle shifts that take place during the whole process.
I'm glad that I could muck around in this land with Goody and Thomas even though they're not quite here yet.