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What A Good Boy Does by Ben Clifford (alsoben) - Short, Drama - A young boy feels like he needs to tell his parents about a horrifying thing that happened to him -- only to find out that they might not want to know. 10 pages - pdf, format
This was solid stuff. Well written for the most part and a very dark, emotionally complex tale. Only issue I had was with how normal the family seems at first. Maybe you did this on purpose, but they seem happy and healthy right up till the moment she makes that astonishing decision.
Unless I misread things completely, we're dealing with a woman who was possibly sexually abused as a child and is now convincing her son to meet the same fate to keep the husband's job safe. There has to be some serious psychological issues here that go way beyond needing to bring in the next paycheck.
I would rather you dole out at least one clue early on that all is not well in this household. For example, maybe when the husband mentions the last minute boss dinner she wildly overreacts, sobbing, and he snaps at her to keep it together. Or maybe she has a habit of pulling out her hair.
That's just some ideas off the top of my head though. Possibly too extreme. They're your characters so you'd know what fits best.
LC, Eldave, Steven, Markit - thanks for reading, great comments. I'm happy to hear you all had a good time reading it.
LC: You're right, I suck at little things like that. I'll fix that sort of thing in the next draft.
Eldave: The day/night thing haha! There's only one EXT scene so I would think the INT scenes don't need it, right? I feel the same way about that particular line, thanks for the help.
Steven: Great idea. Will write something like that in.
Markit: OMG that's an awesome idea. It fits with my writing style and the kind of thing I was trying to accomplish here. Can I steal something like that? EDIT: And yes, you read the script completely right. Spot on.
I think Julie made up her mind way too fast. She kind of changed her mind about a big thing and we didn't get to see it. Why would she want to keep it a secret and make Bobby suffer any further - I think this ought to be explained. The ending reads a bit dissatisfying for me - I think if you adjust the middle the ending would sound very right.
What you have makes very good sense - I just want you to add to it.
And I suggest you make mom's motive clearer - she was abused by the priest? And she is not against abuse because she used to be kind of used to it. At the same time she want her husband to keep his job.
I was a little, scratch that, tremendously, uncomfortably, over the top sickened by the story. You know from the start where the story is going and I vomited early on; with Bobby. So congrats, good writing I guess. My stomach is still on the queasy side.
I'm new to screenwriting but at the end of your script:
John says, "Do you want to show me your comics after dinner?"
Bobby looks to his father . . . .
John says, "Can I Dad?"
When I first read, I thought you were throwing a curve ball. Just a typo? yes? Good stuff!
The writing was pretty good here (an improvement of what I last read of yours). It was a fast read. But it sort of left me feeling empty inside. So, Bobby, a child, is pretty much taking one for the team so that his father's job remains stable. Christ, that sucks. You did a good job making me care about what happens, it was effective. And the ending made me queasy, which is, I guess, what you were going for. But still. I was kind of hoping something would happen to John. But, to my dismay, John kind of wins and gets away with what he's doing, opening up the possibility of things escalating in the future. And the mother... good lord, what a despicable person. She's actually the real villain in this one, at least IMO. Was kind of hoping that the mother would maybe give John a hint that she knew. So that John would know that she knew.
Overall, you got a strong reaction from me, so that's saying something.