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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Starfall Moderators: bert
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  Author    Starfall  (currently 1628 views)
Don
Posted: April 18th, 2010, 1:58pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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"Starfall by Joseph Michaeli - Action, Adventure - Starfall, a dramatic fantasy world; where stars have fallen from the sky for twenty years.  Out of the stars arise mythological beings thought to have lived long ago in myth and legend.  Starfall follows a young nobleman, Thomas, as he is thrown into the street, his estate taken.  He escapes as a wanted man and finds his father dead.  With the help of the fallen knight, Lustrious, they travel to the capitol city of Edenia.  There, Thomas finds his love’s estate burned to the ground.  Heartbroken, they find themselves in a nearby tavern.  There they meet, Conscious Hands, a thief who steals from Lustrious, Mark DeLuke, a well renowned warrior of virtue, and a drunken wizard carrying around and talking to his dead cat.  The wizard tells them, not only is Tom’s love still alive, she is also one of the first Starlings, and she has fled south with a map to the lost city of myths.  They all raise their cups and vow to find her and help her on her quest.  “To the city of Myths…” Just as the evil wizard Zohan and his redcloaked knights burst through the tavern doors.
Together they fend off evil wizards, assassins, dragons, and take her to the gates of Heaven itself.  Along the way Tom comes face to face with his own evil, and discovers the friendship of his companions far outweighs his desire to regain his nobility.   164 pages
- pdf, format "


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jackx
Posted: April 20th, 2010, 2:37am Report to Moderator
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Well, having read your logline I pretty much feel I know the whole story, so consider it done.

Overall...well it was decently written, a tad on the short side, light on character development but excellent character names...


Mine:
HARD CASE
            (65 Pages) Stealing the case is just the beginning...

APU
            (80 pages) A city where superheroes are murderers and villains walk through walls...
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Ojoe
Posted: April 20th, 2010, 9:33am Report to Moderator
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I know long scripts seem to get ragged on here.  
So even if someone could read the first 33ish pages of mine, I'd gladly read through your entire script.  Just send me a notice, and which script of yours you would like me to read.  

Thanks
Joe M.


My scripts:
Starfall
Love trouble on family game night
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dogglebe
Posted: April 20th, 2010, 11:17am Report to Moderator
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I got about thirty-five pages into this script, Joe, before I put it down.  And, if not for your generous offer for an exchange, I probably would've stopped after two or three pages.

For starters:  Scripts as long as this are very rarely read.  In the time it would take to read this, someone can read two other features or a boatload of shorts.  Then there's your logline. Loglines shouldn't exceed thirty words, or so.  They're supposed to give us a taste of what the story's about  Or, as someone else said, it should read like a TV Guide listing.  Your logline is over 200 words.  It's a manifesto!  We don't need scene-by-scene breakdowns.  A better logline might read:

"A dishonored knight and a former member of royalty must overthrow an evil king in this tale of magic and adventure."

My logline may not be the most accurate for your story, but it's a lot easier on the eyes.

I found your characters to be under-developed and boring.  Sir Noble Thomas and Lustrious Knight are just plain dull.  Even while I was reading the script, I couldn't recall any character traits about these two, except that the knight may have elvin blood in him.  And these are the main characters!  The rest of the characters are all just a blur to me. Even though I stopped reading five minutes ago, I can't recall any of their names or their roles.

You may want to consider giving your characters real names. Lustrious Knight and Lord Noble Richard just doesn't work.

Your story opens with a battle scene and a long voice-over narrative.  Try to avoid using voice-overs; most of the time, they're not used properly and this is one example. Don't tell the story to us; show it to us!

Your descriptions of the opening battle scene (like everything that followed) was barely there.


Quoted Text
Armored knights fight skeletons amongst a battlefield. Stars
fall from the sky in an unending shower of spectacle and awe.


and


Quoted Text
A group of robed priests walk amongst wounded soldiers
healing them. Their Faith-Magic runs out,


are extremely flat descriptions of what can easily be--what should be--an incredibly dynamic scene. What are the knights fighting with? What the skeletons fighting with?  Any great fighting techniques?  Do the stars land with grace and beauty or do they explode on impact?  How many of each these do we seen?  How long has this battle been going on (don't tell us in time but by the destruction and death that we see).

How do the priests heal the wounded?  Potions?  Wands?  Does green light glow from their hands as they touch the injured?  How do we see the faith-magic run out?  Do they show signs of exhaustion?  Or just mutter, 'fuck me,' to each other?

The kings' guards, the Redcloaks, are introduced as being the most useless guards in the world.  Four of them, in armor, approach Thomas with swords drawn and he scares them off by drawing his.  There isn't even a fight, here.  I pictured the four running and screaming out of the palace, wetting their pants.  If this is how you show the evil king's power, then you can probably seize control of the kingdom with a pillow fight.

Thomas is introduced as a rich kid, the son of royalty, at a party.  The Lustrious Knight is introduced as he's banging the queen, or somebody. If you want us to believe that they are the good guys, introduce them as they are doing something good.

I strongly recommend that you write a few short scripts for here.  People are more prone to read shorts than a feature and you'll get more feedback on how to improve your writing.  And read some other scripts and see how others describe action and use characters and stuff.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 21st, 2010, 8:18pm Report to Moderator
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Joe, check your PM's (Private messages) at the upper left of the screen and get back with me via PM or E-Mail.


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 22nd, 2010, 6:40pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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OK, Joe, I’ve read about 50 pages here and I’m afraid that’s as far as I’m going to get.  I took page by page notes for you through the first 33 pages, and then a few more up to page 43, and then skimmed ahead through page 50.  I’ve got lots of suggestions, advice, and corrections that should at least get you on the right track.

What you’ve got here is a typical “epic” fantasy story, much like Lord of the Rings and the 1,000’s like it.  Actually, much like many swords and sorcery video games, with many, many characters, a quest, otherworldly creatures, magic, and all that accompanies such tales.  These are tough scripts to write, and even tougher scripts to actually pull off.  The problem is in the scope of your tale…it’s huge, and that alone creates problems.

My first recommendation, right off the bat, is to attempt to write something much simpler in nature and structure, just to get all the ins and outs of screenwriting down, before you try and tackle such a beast.

Let’s look at several things associated with this script though, and figure out what’s working, what’s not working, and why.

Story

As mentioned above, your story and plot travels over well trodden territory.  To pull something like this off, you need some uniqueness in your script and characters, high impact visuals and set pieces, big, exciting battles, and most importantly, strong prose that reads easily and is easy to follow.

You do have an interesting and unique feature here, in your “star showers” and Starlings.  Based on your title, I was hoping and assuming that you’d take advantage of this nice creative idea and make it an important plot point…have it play out often, and be the backbone of your script.  It’s not though at all, at least in the first 50 pages, and that’s a big issue.  Instead, you wrote a been there, seen it quest story with characters that are cliché as well as downright dull.

We just don’t need another story like this, because it follows all the others so closely. It’s almost like reading 1 of the 10,000 slasher scripts about a masked, deranged killer, killing hapless teens in the woods.  If I didn’t know better, I’d actually bet that there are several video games that follow along with your story tick for tick…maybe there are?  I don’t know, but I sure feel like I’ve played this game before.

So, my suggestion for making this unique is to focus on the Starfalls and the Starlings…make it their story, as opposed to Sir Noble Tom and Lustrious Knight, who just don’t bring anything new or unique to the table.  Maybe you do this further into the script with Alaya (being that she is a Starling), but you just can’t start out like you have and expect anyone to stay with you…especially considering that this script runs over 160 pages.

You need to up the visuals so we can actually see what these star showers look like…what they do when they hit.  What these creatures are like that come forth…why they’re here, where they come from, etc.  You’ve got a cool premise buried inside an age old, worn quest storyline, and you need to bring it out to front and center, and do it right off the bat to grab our attention, and then hold onto it.

Technical Writing and Format

This is a big problem area for sure.  There are so many issues going on, especially early on, that most won’t get through the first 5 pages. As I’ve said in numerous places in my page by page review, you really need to get a firm grasp on the ins and outs of script writing.  You need to read lots of scripts, do lots of research, and understand exactly how this stuff all works (and doesn’t work).

This is actually a fairly easy process.  Every time you have a question, simply look it up online with a Google search or in the SS Screenwriting Class section.  Look into V.O.’s, Scene Headings, wrylies, series of shots, montages, flashbacks, etc.  You seem to have a general understanding, now you need to hone your knowledge and skills.  Try and keep things simple at first, and as you learn, experiment with things a bit more.  As the old saying goes, you need to be able to walk before you start running.

I think your biggest issue is lack of Scene Headings (Slugs).  I noted so many instances where you went into a new scene without adding a new Slug, or changing the scene.  This is so important, and must be understood completely for readers to follow along with your story and action.  Now keep in mind that adding Slugs, adds to your page length, as you have a line for the Slug itself and blank spaces above and below it.  So “fixing” this problem in its current form, will add many pages to your script length, which is already way too long, which transitions me into the next issues with your writing…over writing and under writing.

Usually, when I see a script that runs over 120 pages, it means the main problem is that the author is over describing things, as well as including things that don’t need to be in a script.  This isn’t completely true of your script though, as a really big, glaring problem is that you often don’t give us nearly enough information and description.  Let’s look at them both…

IMO, you’ve made a big mistake in having way too much mundane conversation going on here.  This isn’t the type of story where this works.  It’s too dialogue heavy, with long conversations between Tom and Lusty and basically every character that stumbles into the plot.  This genre requires action, adventure, and excitement, not dull conversations that go nowhere.  And even with all the chatting going on, I don’t feel like I really know much of anything about anyone.  My advice is to cut back on the unnecessary banter, as it doesn’t work in this type of script.  I’m sure you could easily trim at least 10 pages out of what I read in wasted dialogue alone.

I think you also have a tendency to include scenes that don’t really matter that much to the overall story.  In an epic like this, you have to be very careful what you include, otherwise you’ll end up with a script that runs over 160 pages (oh wait, that’s what we have here!).  Most people will tell you that you can’t go over 120 pages.  Many will tell you not to go over 100 pages even.  I think it’s based on genre though, as well as tone and flow.  An epic like this probably needs 120-130 pages, but a lot of that will be based on heavy description when you first intro things that are foreign to us.  You haven’t done that, but you’re still over 160 pages, and that’s a big problem.

In terms of under writing, you routinely skip over important information in scenes and it makes it hard to follow, and even harder to visualize.  Phil mentioned the same thing and he’s so on target with those comments.  This type of script needs strong visuals and strong description, and you’ve glossed over things so quickly that it almost feels like an outline for a script in places.

I would imagine that these falling stars are quite large and cause quite a scene when they hit.  All I can do is imagine though, because you haven’t showed us or even told us.  Same thing with your battle and fight scenes.  A fight breaks out between Tom, Lusty and numerous redcloaks all the time and basically all you say is either Tom or Lusty “kills” all the redcloaks, the scene ends, and we move on.  I’m not saying that you need to choreograph these fights in exact detail, but we need to be able to see how it plays out, we need visuals, because they create excitement and also add realism to your script.

Again, this is one reason why these sorts of scripts are so hard to write well.  Fights with multiple people or creatures require a deft hand in writing.  Big battle scenes are even harder, because they involve so many small fights and battles going on within the big battle.  Again, you aren’t expected to choreograph exactly what’s going on, but you have to write visually enough to keep us entertained and I’m afraid you haven’t managed to do that here.

One other issue that jumped out at me was awkward writing and phrasing.  It’s tough to really discuss this, but all writing has to have a flow to it.  You can write simple, short sentences, or complex, longer passages, but they have to read correctly…they have to flow correctly.  When they don’t, they stand out like sore thumbs and there seems to be a lot of injured digits in your script.

So, in summary on the actual writing, you need to write more visually, and provide more detail where necessary.  You also need to be careful to only include what’s pertinent to the story, and cut down on the meaningless banter, because it just doesn’t work in a script like this.  Also, work on your awkward phrasing.


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 22nd, 2010, 6:43pm Report to Moderator
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Page 2
Characters

Most people will tell you your characters have to be totally unique.  I don’t completely agree. I think your characters have to be likable, or we have to at least route for them or fear with them, hated, or feared.  They have to move the story forward and interact within the story.

I don’t think you’ve succeeded with anyone here.  They all seem cliché, 1 dimensional. They don’t do anything out of the ordinary, and they don’t really influence how things play out.  It’s more like a video game from the 90’s or early 00’s.  Everything is very linear.  The good video games nowadays have storylines that play out according to decisions you make for your characters, and don’t follow any actual “paths”, like this script does.

There really isn’t anything about Tom or Lusty that makes me want to route for them.  The antags are all typical evil type characters, and again, are all very 1 dimensional.  The bad guys chase the good guys. The good guys kill the bad guys.  Nothing happens that surprises me with anyone here, and that’s a problem.

We do get a little back story for Tom and Lusty but not nearly enough for me to really care.  I don’t think the characters need to be anything more than what I said above, but they need to interact more realistically with decisions that alter the course of the story or quest.  Everything just feels too linear and rigid.

OK, that about covers it for now, I think.  I don’t want you to think this is a complete disaster, because it’s not. It needs a lot of work technically just to get it into proper script format and structure.  From there, the story needs to be developed so that it stands out and comes off as something original and unique.  The writing needs to be more descriptive and visual. The characters need some work and life.

You do have an actual cohesive story here though and that’s a great start.  You may be able to see this all in your head but you have to write it in a way that we can see it as well.  You have to write it so that we’re entertained, enthralled, and want to know what’s going to happen to everyone, how things are going to turn out.  It’s too predictable, too linear, and too common as it stands now.

Hope this helps.  What follows are my page by page notes. I started with some general things that I wanted to get across, as I saw problems immediately.

General notes

Always start with a “FADE IN”.  This MUST be followed by a Slug (scene heading).  Every scene must start with a Slug.  Your script doesn’t have any Slugs until Page 3, and that is a major, major issue right off the bat.

OK, so basically, your “intro” appears to be a “montage” or “series of shots”.  I’d recommend looking into both on the web or even on SS, under “Screenwriting Class”.  Lots and lots of great information available.  There are numerous acceptable ways to accomplish what you’re after here, but the way you have it now doesn’t work at all.

As Phil mentioned, your action descriptions (especially here, early on) don’t do your script justice at all, and are in need a complete rewrite.  Sci-Fi and Fantasy scripts are the toughest to properly write, IMO.  They’re also the toughest to read and fully understand and be able to visualize.  This is because you’re dealing with things, lands, and creatures that are not commonly known or not known at all, making them impossible to visualize without the help of the writer.  So…you need to help your readers along here as best you can, by giving very detailed explanations of exactly what’s going on, what things look like, where we are, etc.  Once something is properly explained, you won’t have to go into the detail you did again, but early on, the writing should be much more detailed so we can follow along with what’s going on, where we are, and what everything looks like.

VOICE OVER – OK, another issue early on we have to fix up.  As Phil said, these things are usually frowned upon in movies, but if ever there’s a time and place for them, it’s in a fantasy type script, as you can help your readers (and hopefully viewers) with info that would take too long to get through any other way.  BUT, you’ve got to properly format it and have it make sense, which you haven’t done here.

First of all, a VOICE OVER lets the readers know that the dialogue is not being “spoken” onscreen.  You have to have someone “speaking” though…not just “VOICE OVER” as you have it.  Who is your narrator?  Hopefully, he is an actual person, with a name…I’d highly recommend that.  VOICE OVER is abbreviated as “V.O.”, and this comes after the character’s name in the dialogue box.  Again, I’d recommend studying up on this.  I’d recommend being very detailed and exact in your V.O. dialogue.  Make sure it makes sense and helps us with what’s either taking place or about to take place.

Your use of “ellipses’” is not correct.  Make sure first of all, you’re using them properly.  Secondly, don’t skip a space after them…go right into the next thought, and that thought should not start with a capital letter, unless the word is normally capped.  I’d recommend not even using them unless you completely understand what they’re supposed to accomplish and how to use them correctly.

When you first intro a character, you need to use all CAPS for the name (if the character is not actually named, you’ll still use all CAPS (MAN, PRIEST, even DOG).  There are so many instances in here that need to be fixed up regarding this.
Line by line notes

Page 1 – Insert “FADE IN”

Properly format either a “series of shots”, “montage”, or just write out each scene properly with Slugs.

Your opening action passage needs attention (as noted above).  Give us details of this epic battle taking place.  As Phil mentioned, you’ll need to give great visuals for what these starfalls look like, and what they actually “do”.  Explosions?  Huge asteroids hitting Earth?  Showers of light?  Are they dangerous?  Whatever it is, it’s integral to your script to start this off right.

Same thing with the characters here.  You don’t want to go into detail of exactly what they look like or are wearing (as in colors), but we need a much better description of the knights, their weaponry, the skeletons and their weaponry, the priests and their healing ways, etc.  Keep in mind that we aren’t familiar with any of these people/creatures…you need to familiarize us with them.

Your 2nd V.O. doesn’t make sense as written.  The first “period” should be a comma.

Again, we’ll need to understand what these “war wizards” look like, and who they are.  As written, I have absolutely no clue what to think they are or even look like.

“Kings” – “King’s”

“mythological beings” – redundant because you use “myth” again in the description of them.

“stars” – “star’s”

“comma” after “Erythor”

Page 2 – no comma after “chained”.  “&” – “and”

“Evil Wizard Zohan” must first be intro’d before he can speak.  We don’t even know he’s onscreen yet.

Need a new Slug when you get to the “busy tavern” stuff.  General note – you need a lot of new Slugs throughout your intro – every time you enter a new setting (scene), you’ll need a Slug, so we know where we are.

Comma after ‘spreading” – actually, this is the kind of place where an ellipsis works best.

Incorrect use of a wrylie with “dies” – that should be an action line.  Look into proper use of wrylies and use them sparingly…very sparingly.  Note – there are such things as “action wrylies”, but at this stage of the game, no reason to even think about using them.  I’m against them all the way, all the time, anyway.  Just try and stay away from directing altogether at this stage of your writing.


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 22nd, 2010, 6:46pm Report to Moderator
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Page 3
Page 3 – OK, finally, a Slug. Not well done, though.  “INTERIOR” is abbreviated as “INT.”.  “EXTERIOR” is “EXT.”.  What does “Stone Keep” mean?  What is “Name of City”?  What does that mean?  You need a time of day, or something like “CONTINUOUS”, “MOMENTS LATER”, “LATER”, etc. in all your Slugs.  Do some research on Scene Headings.

General question – Are you using screenwriting software?  If so, which one?  If not, you need to be. It will take care of all these formatting issues for you.

Don’t go over 4 lines in your action passages.  Don’t use phrases like “the camera”, “we see”, “we hear”, etc.  There are a few examples of where this is acceptable, but just don’t get in the habit of doing it at all, until you know what you’re doing.  Basically, don’t try and “direct”.  Just tell your story through action and dialogue and leave the camera work to the cinematographer.

General note – I’m not going to bring up every example of passages over 4 lines, lack of capitalization for new characters, etc.  They are running rampant thoughout already.

What does “beneath the estate house” mean?  Literally under it, as in underground?  Comma after “bull”.

Comma after ‘arena”

“A well dressed SIR NOBLE TOM (21) speaks up.” – Incorrect!  Don’t use phrases like “speaks” or whatever in your action lines.  Your dialogue blocks do this for you.  Just tell us what this new character is doing, and then have him speak his lines.

Naming this character “Sir Noble Tom” sounds strange. Do people actually call him this to his face?  In your dialogue box, you’ll want to come up with a shorter name…Tom?  Sir Tom?  Noble Tom?  Anything other than continually using “Sir Noble Tom”.  It’s kind of like using a person’s first, middle, and last name every time…just use something shorter, like you would in normal speech.

You need to intro “Brems” before he speaks, as we don’t even know he’s there yet or what he looks like.

Comma after “Starlings” – this is something you need to get used to when using names in dialogue.  There will almost always be a comma before someone’s name in dialogue.  I won’t bring this up again, but you’ll have to look for every example and clean them up.  Commas infer a pause, and you’ll almost always have one in speech right before a person’s name.

“fathers” – “father’s”

Page 4 – Onlon and Melosa need to be intro’d better with an age and some sort of look so we can visualize them.  This goes for all character intros.

“merchants” – “merchant’s” – watch your use and lack of use of apostrophes.  Look them up if you need to.  I’m not going to be bringing these up anymore, as they are running rampant.

Last line  - you’ve already intro’d Melosa.  Don’t change up how you write her name.  Here, you’re calling her “Lady Melosa”.  It’s fine if a character calls her something different, but you have to be 100% consistent in how you refer to all your characters.

Page 5 – comma after “Besides”

“REDCLOAK” – probably should be “REDCLOAK #1”, as there are 4 of them.

Page 6 – the comma after “tomorrow” should be a period, followed by a new sentence.

Page 7 – “You’re” – Your”

“what ever” – “whatever”

“You can not I am Sir Noble Tom…” – “can not” – “cannot”.  Also, you need either a period or an ellipses after “cannot”.

“Morgans” – “Morgan’s”

Page 8 – “Tom flings the stone, cracking Morgan in the nose, knocking him off his horse. The Knights beat Tom. Morgan stands.” – Here’s a good example of how to (and how not to) break up passages.  Basically, a passage is a short scene within a scene…or a “shot”.  This should be broken into 3 passages, based on the 3 different shots going on here.  Each sentence here is a separate shot.

Last Slug – remember, you need a time in all your Slugs – we (and whoever would be filming this) must know whether it’s day or night and when in proximity the scene takes place compared to what we just saw.  Also, “LOCKED DOOR” doesn’t make any sense – I’d imagine this is a bedroom of sorts, right?

You should name the Count’s wife.  “lays” – “lies”.  This entire sentence is very awkwardly phrased and needs attention.

Intro your characters immediately by name (Lustrious Knight).  Do people actually call him “Lustrious Knight” or “Lustrious”?  Sounds very, very odd.


Page 9 – The Butler” is “O.S.”, as we’re inside this room, and he’s outside, knocking on the door.  We wouldn’t be able to see him stomping down the stairs either, unless you switch the scene to the stairway.  Just cut that line out.

Page 10 – “see’s” – sees” – you’ve moved to an EXT scene here, and need to show that with a new Slug…this is a tricky one here, as your scene is still kind of upstairs in the bedroom, but it needs attention as it’s incorrect as written and confusing.  There’s also a passage of time when Morgan and his redcloaks charge in.  It’s confusing and awkward, as you have Tom here again, but the scene is still in the bedroom with Lustrious and the wife.  It all needs attention.

Page 11 – OK, now you’ve correctly labeled the scene as “bedroom”.  Good.

“Morgans” – “Morgan’s” – again, this action here needs to be better visualized…or written more visual is probably the better way to put it.

“Morgans” – “Morgan’s” again.  I won’t be bringing these up any longer.

Page 12 – OK, now we’re outside again and you haven’t set your scene properly, making this very, very confusing.  When you change scenes, you MUST use a new Slug, labeling it properly!

Page 13 – “Arrgh” – Highly doubt that he’s really saying this. This line is more of a comic book caption.   Change it and be careful in the future with lines like this.

Using “DARK” as your time in your Slug isn’t correct. It’s either “DAY”, “NIGHT”, “MORNING”, “AFTERNOON”, etc.  DARK doesn’t work.

Page 14 – Be careful when you’ve set your scene inside a house and start running around different rooms.  Each new room needs a new Slug, or at least a mini Slug.  This entire “scene” needs major attention.

“In his mind, Tom sees the gold he had stored in the alcove.  Anger flashes across his face.” – OK, this is another MAJOR problem here.  You need to properly “show” this, and what you have here is far from correct.  You’ll need a new Slug, showing the alcove as it was before…most likely this is going to be a Flashback scene showing the alcove as it was before it was gutted, with gold everywhere.

Page 15 – “A girl AZELEEN…” – comma after “girl”, but again, we need to know something about what Azeleen looks like, as in age at least.

Page 18 – Where is Azeleen hit with the bow?  This is important and again, you need to start offering more info in important situations like this.  Is it a death blow?  A mere wound?  We need to know immediately in action situations like this.

“Lustrious faces IVAN, a redcloak he knows.” – This is an “aside”…something you are telling us that we can’t know from watching it onscreen.  Stay away from asides and show, don’t tell.

Here’s another great example of how you’re missing out on necessary action detail.  You just gave us a brief dialogue exchange between Lust and Ivan, then, your next action line states that Lust kills all the redcloaks…nothing about Ivan, no detail, nothing. Basically, you’re asking your readers to come up with the details themselves, and that doesn’t work in a screenplay.

OK, now Azeleen dies as well, meaning, basically, that her intro was for naught.  You’re introing lots of characters and then immediately killing them off.  It’s very hard to keep a handle of what’s going on.

Page 19 – Here we go again.  You’ve got a character speaking before he’s been intro’d.  You can’t do this.  Intro them first, so we know they’re onscreen, then let them talk.

Also, is this confessional the kind where the priest can’t see who’s confessing?  If so, we’ve got more issues going on here.  The way it reads now, both characters are together onscreen, but you never intro’d Father Kamancho, so we have no clue what he looks like.  If Kamancho is not onscreen, his dialogue needs to be “O.S.”


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 22nd, 2010, 6:47pm Report to Moderator
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Page 4

Page 20 – “Kamancho stabs Lustrious with a dagger in the arm, then runs out of the confessional, into Tom.” – Why would he stab him in the arm?  I don’t get it.  And why run away then?  This scene doesn’t work at all for me.

Page 21 – Now Tom stabs Kamancho in the arm.  What’s with all this arm stabbing?

Page 22 – Wait a minute here…10 redcloaks burst into the room through a door? That must be some giant sized door!

“Pulling Tom from Kamancho's gaze, and down the back door hallway.” – This sentence makes no sense as written.  Also, you want to stay away from passive verbiage, especially the first word of the sentence.

You don’t want to start a scene out with dialogue.  IMO, there are some exceptions to this, like when the new scene is an obvious continuation of the prior scene, but this isn’t the case here at all.

General note – your characters are using each other’s names in dialogue far too often.  At this point we definitely know Tom and Lusty’s names.  It sounds very un natural for Lusty to use Tom’s name in dialogue twice in less than a few seconds.

Page 23 – Another Slug missing a time.  Also, this “burned out campfire” thing doesn’t really work, IMO.  It’s a campsite they’re at.  There may be a burned out campfire in the middle, but that’s not the setting of the scene.

This “dream” scene has many problems.  Again, when you change your setting, you have to use a new Slug, and you’re not doing that here at all.  Hard to follow as well, with the comment about them growing up as they walk.

Page 24 – Your new Slug now states simply “campfire”, which again isn’t really the setting here.  You’ve also started with dialogue again.

You state “Two days later”, but understand that on film, there’s no way anyone would know that unless you used a SUPER.  If it’s important, you should indeed use a SUPER.

“running dragon” – “Running Dragon”

Page 26 – Lots of commentary about the smell, but keep in mind that your characters need to react to the smell for your viewers to understand that it smells.  That, or make comments about the reek.

“The third body is mostly bones, Tom bends down. It is his father.” – How does Tom know this?  How would we know this in a filmed version?  You’re telling us this and it won’t transfer to film.  It’s another example of an aside.

Page 27 – OK, wait up…what’s with this map thing?  Is this an insert that only the viewers are seeing, or re Tom and Lusty looking at an actual map.  Instead of “SHOW”, it would be “INSERT”.  Also keep in mind that this “effect” is heavily treaded grounded.

Page 28 – “passed” – “past”

This entire passage here is very awkwardly written and hard to follow because of how you write it.  It needs help.

“defenceless” – “defenseless”

Again, we’re lacking important detail here.  How big is this “star”?  How close are they to it?  Where did these bandits come from all of a sudden?  Writing is very tough to follow here.

Page 29 – Remember, that only readers will understand it’s now 2 days later.  Onscreen would not show that detail.

Page 30 – Although Lusty shows Tom the poster, we don’t have a clue what it says.

Page 31 – With dual dialogue, if both characters are saying the same thing at the same time, you can simply use both names together in the dialogue box.

Once again, you’re moving and changing settings without new Slugs.  You have to pay attention to this.

Page 32-33 – This entire scene doesn’t work at all.  The dialogue is getting ludicrous, especially the exchange between Lusty and The Wizard.  Lusty seems to be a real prick most of the time…based on that, he’s a tough sell to be 1 of your lead protags.

Sorry to say but things are really falling apart in this Tavern scene.  “Hands hand” – sounds just awful, and it should be “Hand’s hand”.  I’m losing interest completely…

OK, I’ve stopped with the page by page notes.  A few things though…

“V.O.” and “O.S.” both follow the character’s name in the dialogue box (not on its own line.

Who is Papa?  Is it Garwyn?  You can’t all of a sudden call him something different like this, because we have no clue what’s happening or who’s talking.

Page 42 – OK, so now we apparently have our plot…this rag tag team of adventurers will be looking for the City of Myths, escaping the evil Zohan and Morgan, and trying to find and protect the lovely Starling, Alaya.  You’ve taken way too long to get to this point.  This quest needs to be understood and ready to go within 10-15 pages, not 42 (unless you are seriously gunning for a 2 ½ to 3 hour movie, as your page count dictates).

Page 43 – Zohan busts in and all Hell breaks out.  You move outside the tavern and into the sewers without changing your scene again.  This conflict runs through page 47, and then we apparently begin our story (quest) proper.

OK, gotta stop here, sorry to say. You really need to name “The Wizard”.  He appears to be a main character, so he definitely needs a name.


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Ojoe
Posted: April 27th, 2010, 1:13pm Report to Moderator
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Wow!  Thanks Dreamscale, I've got a lot of editing to do.

Even after thinking I couldnt possibly trim any more.  I see the whole begining thing only needs two or three things.  
1. Tom is thrown into the street.  
2. Tom meets Lustrious.  
3. Tom learns his father is dead.
Everything else is extra.

I'm working on reading Fade to White (Jeff), and A Druids guide...(Phil)
Will post them... It just may take a week or two. Busy schedule, and I'd like to go through them at least twice.  
Thanks again for your comments.
Joe



My scripts:
Starfall
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