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Consequences by Brian Howell (reuel51) - Short, Thriller - When a popular, fifteen year-old girl is asked to a dance by the kid that nobody likes, her answer may determine more than what color of dress to wear. 7 pages - pdf, format
Hey Brian. This is short but to the point and very effective. More than capably written and carries a clear message regarding the actions one right move (or wrong) can make, and how it can affect another person's life. I didn't see the plot twist coming midway either, despite your logline. And then it finishes. Optimistically for a change. Impressive.
I think more SS's should give this a read. Then again, they're probably seeing if you pop in.
This is a straightforward competently written short. It's visual enough and there was nothing in your style that inhibited my reading. I'll be honest, I read it twice, but I didn't get the ending. The whole instant phone call and stuff, I missed something there. If you're around, perhaps we can discuss it.
Thanks for posting and keep writing and rewriting.
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I enjoyed this. It was a quick, effective read. At first I was thinking to myself, "why is this kid fighting a tear?" But then, when I realized that he was suicidal and/or about to execute his peers with the gun, it clicked. The ending has left me glightly bothered. But I guess that is anotehr reason why the ending is effective. I feel empathetic toward Evan and proud that Lilly potentially saved a life/lives. But then I feel somewhat disturbed that Lilly is about to go to a dance with a potential maniac. Lol. Job well done!
I think this story needs more pages to be effective. You want us to feel Evan's pain a bit, though I never really did. I really can't fall behind him if he wants to shoot up the school because the probable prom queen doesn't give him a real number.
Also, it seems out of character for him to give her a note anyways. He believes, in my mind, he has no chance with her.
I love a good high school story. Rough times for many. Would rather see him ask a fat cow to the dance and get shot down. Then, Lilly observing, she asks him whilst he's grabbing the gun.
I did enjoy it though, just needs a bit of honing so theyre true to character IMO.
Crisply written, and there's decent tension when Evan's toying with the gun, but I didn't really buy the ending. I agree with James that you could probably expand this with a few more scenes to really sell the characters. From what's on the page, I didn't really buy what Lily did at the end, and her motivation to do it felt slightly flimsy.
Did she suspect what Evan was about to do? Does she immediately run off and get the cops? At the moment you have an ending, but not really any resolution. Ironically, though, I think where you can add is the start. A scene of Evan watching Lily from across the room in class, or in the cafeteria? Some chat with Evan and someone else, to give us another look at his personality? Something. At the moment I can't feel sorry for him because I don't know him. I don't really know Lily, either, so when she has a sudden change of heart it doesn't really have the effect it could have.
Your choice of title suggests to me you want this story to have some proper weight behind it, and while you've picked meaty subject matter and what you have on the page is well-written, at the moment it's lacking context. It's a fragment without real emotional context. Develop the characters, and the script will move up a notch.
This is effectively a recalibration of the 'Loved Ones' premise. I guess that was intentional? "Consequences, David" is a line from 'Vanilla Sky' that deals with a similar notion: it's the small decisions and actions we make and take that create our situation. We are the architects of our own destiny and while you touch on the uncontrollable here (his presumed insanity) we can tailor our actions to augment our outcomes. This also evokes the conceptual framework of karma, of course: love thy neighbour, treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself and "the love you take will be equal to the love you make", if you will.
The fact you end the script the way you do (without a firm conclusion) suggests that karma's yet to be firmed up in either direction, or at least that was how I read it.
Thank you everyone for reading this. I haven't been very active on this site as I have wanted to be... well, almost dead to the site. But I'm changing this new year and will be a much more active participant.
Thanks for the feedback, and I will start reading everyone else's scripts.
This was simple and, for the most part, effective. Format and general writing are solid. Characters aren't as fleshed out as I would have liked to have seen, but they work for the purpose of the story. You only have three characters, but Lily stood out to me in a good way. I don't know much about her considering how short this is, but you made her appealing. You get the sense that there's a tug-o-war of emotions going on inside her, even though she plays it cool. I don't know how you managed to do that in such a short time and with so little actions taking place, but well done.
My problem is really with the ending. It works, barely, but I found it unsatisfying. Let's say Lily gets the flu and suddenly can't go to the dance. Who's to say Evan won't shoot up the place then? I feel like you were going for a happy ending, but I didn't quite buy it. I feel like the poor kid is still teetering on the edge and could fall at any moment.
I thought this was pretty good, and given the events that recently took place in Arizona, very timely. Pardon my bluntness, but I've always felt that if some of these suicide bombers and school shooting perps had gotten laid more, than they wouldn't have caused so much anguish. Sadly, I'm not really kidding, because what they fail to realize is that High School is a tough time for everyone, even the "cool" kids.
Anyway, I though tthis was very well written, and it got me thinking. I breezed through it and was happy that you ended it the way you did. That said, as JColon mentioned, now I'm worried whether he will wig out about something else, but I guess that is kind of your point.
Interesting and well written. Thanks for the read.
MADISON I bet he tortures kittens in his basement Nice. IRL It's difficult to tell which of our instincts to ignore and which to pay attention to. Wow. The sh!t you learn doin' homework around here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat-burning
He does have a backpack on, but it looks empty. Goober.
He turns his head. At the site of Lily's approach... sight
Evan sniffs back a tear and drops to his knees to gather his books again. His hand tremors. BPD. Not barrels per day and not bipolar disorder.
Left justified FADE OUT, just like the FADE IN.
Okey doke. This is more of a scene rather than a short, but it's decent enough.
Easy to shoot yourself at your local high school, assuming you can get the principal's permission to use a water or airsoft pistol. Might even require some creative "from inside the bag" camera work as a dodge.
Good work. Keep 'em coming!
EDIT: And if you want to take this vignette to the next stage, for a hard left turn have Lily turn out to be a budding sociopath that falls in love with the borderline personality disordered Evan, much to Madison's dismay. Her instincts may be geared for one freak flavor, but not the other.
Lily and Evan high-five.
LILY Gotta love it.
EVAN Not as much as I love you.
He slams the shovel's blade into the soil of Madison's shallow grave, grabs Lily and they enjoy a long kiss.
Dirty sweat drips from their hair before she pushes him down on his back as she unbuttons her blouse.
I liked your script - it was well written and a breeze to read. Out of the characters, I thought Lily was the best written, and personally I didn't have any problems with her actions at the end. I didn't fully buy into the Evan character though - he seemed like the stereotypical loser/loner type, and there was no hint of his suicidal/homicidal tendencies until the very end, which leaves you with a bit of a weak ending.
I think if you maybe had a scene right at the beginning before we get to the hallway, that shows the state of mind that Evan is in, it will ramp up the tension at the end as we will fully understand the consequences of the decision Lily has to make.
Brian, I think this was simply wonderful. I could easily visualize this happening in real life. It reminds me of a couple of films I saw that effectively deal with situations like this and kids like all three of your characters.
I really liked Lily. She was great. As for Evan, I'm not sure if I liked him so much. I wasn't sure if he was supposed to be a total geeky outcast, or just an awkward, but relatively normal and maybe even a good-looking kid if he wanted to be. I wanted to know more about him. Like what's truly going on inside of his head, besides being suicidal. The natural assumption is to think he wants to kill himself because he's lonely. But maybe there are other reasons. I just wanted to get inside his head a little.
I feel okay about the ending. It could have been more satisfying if Evan's life was explored a little more. But maybe you wanted to leave things completely open and uncertain, and in that way, it's disturbingly effective.