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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Mickey and the Plow Horse Moderators: bert
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  Author    Mickey and the Plow Horse  (currently 1378 views)
Posted: November 30th, 2014, 8:57am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Mickey and the Plow Horse by Edward Dreyfus - Drama - A shy, asthmatic 12-year old boy is sent to summer camp where he discovers that he has the ability to communicate telepathically with a beaten down plow horse whereupon his life dramatically changes forever. 105 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: December 16th, 2014, 10:32pm Report to Moderator

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Right off the bat you have a slug line that can't be expressed visually. If it's important that the story takes place in Highland Park, write a super or text over image, or have a radio say good morning Highland Park, or something like that. Or don't specify the city.

You don’t just read a book, you
become part of it, don’t you?

This is a ham fisted way of telling the reader that Mickey is an imaginative child. Have his mom crack the door, turn to her husband and say "we'll ask him in two hours." Maybe John says "that's a new record" or something. Lame, but it just popped into my head and there's at least a shred of subtext in taking that route.

Dad, we have the kind of
friendship that allows for lulls
in conversation.

John shakes his head. ..So did I. Maybe I was really dumb when I was twelve, actually I've never been the sharpest tool in the shed, but I do know that a twelve year old wouldn't use the word lulls in a sentence, and if they did it wouldn't be said in such an eloquent way.

Mickey turns to leave then stops and grabs his inhaler.

Make sure to pack a big supply of
these! The kids will be fighting
over me -- they’ll all want to be
best friends after they see me in
action with this!

Reads awkward, took me a second to get it.

The next scene with the kids bullying him has been written many, many, many times. I don't think a twelve year old would ask another twelve year old if he or she were anti-social, and if you're alluding to the fact that Mickey is antisocial I would find another way of SHOWING it.

The next scene Sam kicks Danny in the balls. I wish Mickey would've just done it. Then the bus driver comes over? I thought they were outside the restroom. If at this point in time, the bus driver entered the school with the children it should be mentioned in the action. Also, slug line should be written EXT. BATHROOM - DAY.

Thinking back. You could cut out the dialogue entirely in the first scene if you wanted to. Just have his parents talk to him while he reads and sulks in the back seat as they drive him to the bus.

To summarize from what I've read: Explore the characters of Sam and Mickey more. If you want to keep the bully scenes, I'd re-think the execution or maybe insert a subplot that reveals character for Mickey throughout the narrative. Maybe towards the end Mickey gets sad that the plow horse died (by the way I read to page twenty and it hasn't been introduced yet) and takes out his aggression on the bullies. Or maybe Mickey wins the hearts of his colleagues and the bullies simply can't resist his charms enough to verbally and physically berate him in the most stereotypical way imaginable. I'm just planting seeds here. I hope they take root.

Logline could be trimmed to this:

A shy, asthmatic 12-year old boy is sent to summer camp where he discovers that he has the ability to communicate telepathically with a beaten down plow horse.

All I did was take out the last six words. There's a hint of a story here and it could be heartwarming if you really, sincerely put the work in.

Good luck.
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