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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  In The Dark Moderators: bert
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  Author    In The Dark  (currently 1568 views)
Don
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 7:40am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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In The Dark by Valerie Renee' Campbell - Thriller, Psychological - A straight-laced FBI agent hot on the trail of a killer targeting gay men, struggles with her sanity due to the bizarre similarities to the brutal murder of her homosexual brother nearly a decade ago. As more details of the case unfold, she discovers that it may be more than just a coincidence. 119 pages - pdf, format


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Dreamscale
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 10:17am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Yes, that is my real hair...

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Howdy Valerie.  Thought I'd check this out.  I see it was written in 2/11, and hasn't been touched since.  That's not a good sign, as you should definitely have given this some attention before posting.

I stopped after the first scene, and would have stopped earlier, but I had to see how long the dialogue between the 2 cops was going to go before I threw in the old towel - it went on shockingly too long!

So, here's some stuff that hopefully makes sense and will help going forward.  IMO, your opening scene, or intro as I'll call it, could easily be done and over in 1 page.  You ran this 3 1/2 pages with literally 2 full pages of nothing but dialogue between Brown and Sanchez.  Even the 1 1/2 pages of "action" is bloated and overly long.

Your writing itself has numerous issues.  You provide alot of detail that is not remotely necessary.  Your sentence structure is not strong.  Your passages are not properly put together, meaning you include various lines that aren't connected to the rest of the passage.  You have alot of lines that aren't complete sentences, and should actually be connected to the prior sentence with a comma.  Lots of asides.  Lots of passive verbiage.  It's just not written in a way that makes me remotely interested in continuing, sorry to say.

But, maybe even a bigger offender is your dialogue and the long winded exchange between these 2 cops that goes on literally a full 2 pages with only 3 action/description passages in between.  It's 1 thing to consider if the dialogue is good, but when it's like this...well...it needs some work.

I'm surprised you wrote this a year and a half ago, but haven't bothered to do any clean up work on it and then posted here.  Sometimes, peeps write a script and just can't wait to post it, meaning it hasn't been edited or even looked at, but you've had nothing but time to whip this into better shape.  You can do it and SS is a great place to learn.  I recommend reading and commenting on as many scripts as you can and you'll find your time will be paid back with lots of helpful, knowledable feedback that can only help to make you a better writer.

Sorry for sounding harsh, but I am trying to help, and hope this does.

Take care.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Dreamscale  -  June 22nd, 2012, 10:48am
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Mr. Blonde
Posted: June 22nd, 2012, 10:38am Report to Moderator
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What good are choices if they're all bad?

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Jeff,

That's a perfectly fair assessment and I hope if Valerie is somewhat active here, she doesn't take it as being harsh. I read the first five pages to see what you meant and I had the exact same thoughts.

Valerie,

Just by getting a sense of what I read, you could cut ten-twelve pages from this easily. Probably twenty to twenty-five if you were really diligent. If you go back and re-edit this, you could come back when a quicker read.


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ABennettWriter
Posted: July 8th, 2012, 11:27am Report to Moderator
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I gave this a read last night and I'm sorry to say that it wasn't very good. The twists were good, but overall, it felt fake. I don't know anything about the FBI or cops in general, but I got the sense that you did your research by watching LAW AND ORDER.

I don't buy the ending either. Not that it matters, but as a gay man I know a lot about HIV/AIDS which is what drew me to the script in the first place. The information you supply about detection and transmission is false.

Spoilers below!

If Morgan is the killer, you need to set up more clues. I wasn't shocked to read that she killed everyone in some weird homophobic killing spree but there want anything to set this up. She has AIDS and somehow infects her victims? How?

It's an okay story but you need to rethink it. I liked Bryant and Murphy, but Morgan and Bradley need work. Bradley's kinda thrown in to stir the pot but, in the dramatic structure of the piece, he had no real business except to be a red herring.

Overall, the script needs a huge overhaul. More research on procedure, both with the FBI and NYPD. Also, with HIV. Everything seemed too coincidental. Morgan running into Bryant, who then runs into Bradley.

I'll read a rewrite, if Valerie ever comes back.
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