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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Back 2 Life Moderators: bert
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  Author    Back 2 Life  (currently 1243 views)
Posted: August 12th, 2009, 9:09pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Back 2 Life by Kenneth S. Dyson - Short, Horror - A cop and her young passenger have an accident in the mojave desert and are greeted by unwelcomed visitors. 4 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: August 12th, 2009, 10:59pm Report to Moderator
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Read it and... It's oddly familiar.

I think you wrote this after watching "Route 666" a William Wesley film from the 90's... hIs 2nd film to credit. Scarecrows, best horror movie ever made, being his first... But that's beside the point, because this story and its concept has already been done.

So, I'll focus on your format... You write too much that the reader cannot see. When you say "The civilian tells her to run" what does that mean? How the hell is the audience going to know that? I don't even know what that means...

Oh well... Focus more on how you word what you say and want to convey. Best help I can give you.
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Posted: August 13th, 2009, 12:38am Report to Moderator

I am a writer first and a critic second.

"On the road to Rome."
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To the writer...

Page 2... She listens to two voices.  The civilian is telling her to go, leave now. But the cop in her is telling her to go check on the injured person.  You helped the little girl, now help him.

Baltis is right... how is the audience suppose to know that.  Show us.

How about this...

Amy looks at Erin.
                           Let's go.  Let's keep going.

Erin considers, then quickly dismisses the idea.
                             I'm a cop.  It's my duty.

Page 3... "She breathes it in, and soon forgot about the cool feel of the cruiser's AC.

How about... "She breathes in the hot desert air."

She starts walking towards the figure on the pavement.

How about ... She walks towards the figure on the pavement.

If the point of your story is a writing exercise, then you've made that.  Sorry, your script needs work for 4 pages but this feedback will help.  

Good Luck,

Ghostwriter 22






"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

Revision History (4 edits; 1 reasons shown)
_ghostwriters  -  August 13th, 2009, 1:06am
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Posted: August 13th, 2009, 2:08am Report to Moderator

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I, too, found this short script overwritten with too much description. There were the things mentioned already, things that the viewer wouldn't ever see, and details like "the vehicle is going at high speed, and doesn't seem to be slowing down" could simply be the vehicle speeds, or, to show they were escaping from something/somewhere, (as the dents and scratches on the car, plus Amy's lines might indicate), you might say the vehicle goes at full speed, or drives like a bat out of the hell it just came from (just for drama).

The story itself was kind of familiar, so, even though you did manage to paint a good visual picture,  I didn't find it very scary. For a moment, in the beginning, I thought the sleeping, innocent looking Amy might be the real threat as it was unclear then whether she was in the care or custody of the police officer but I was wrong.

Revision History (1 edits)
harrietb  -  August 14th, 2009, 1:57am
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James R
Posted: August 13th, 2009, 2:23pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Supper time!

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Right off the bat, if the sky were filled with "wasp-like insects" would it really be quiet as a coffin? And I don't think there are any insects like that in the desert.

Quoted Text
A pair of headlights cut through the darkness. The vehicle is going at high speed and doesnít seem to be slowing down.
Itís a police cruiser. A severely damaged police cruiser with dents and scratches.

This is awkward and unnecessary writing. This could be cut down into something like:

"The headlights of a speeding police cruiser cut through the darkness. The car is uncharacteristically dented and scratched."

And some might even say to leave out "uncharacteristically". There are several more places where this sort of thing happens. Your ideas are good but the execution is, well awkward is the best word for it. It's hard to find it in your own writing sometimes (at least it is for me), which is why these boards are so helpful.

You can't include thoughts in your character's heads, the only way to get thoughts across on screen is through action. When people are worried they have furrowed brows, when they are nervous they fidget, when they are sad they cry, distracted they stare into space. The audience has to be able to see it.

The story is good, the writing needs help. This is only a 4-pager and it could probably be cut into 3 if the extra stuff was cut out. I liked the ending, I too like to leave the real ending up to the viewer. Did she make it? Did they get her? Who cares?

Keep writing.


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Posted: August 13th, 2009, 4:59pm Report to Moderator

Fort Worth, TX
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This was a good little read. A little too much actions though, as I'm always told keep the actions to a minimum and there will be more reads. And the actions also seemed a little too much like a book, I felt like I was reading a book more than a script, but other than that it was pretty good.

We're all just a couple of space monkeys.
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Posted: August 16th, 2009, 9:57pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Los Angeles
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I agree with most of the others here that say you write a lot of stuff that can't be shown on the screen.  The part about her heart booming inside her uniform, for instance.

"Are you willing to bet
your life on that?

That just doesn't sound like something a twelve year old would say.

We have no idea how they got into the situation, where this twelve year old girl came from and what has caused yet another zombie apocalypse.  I understand you wanted to keep it short, but this played out more like a very small part of a much larger story.

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Posted: August 20th, 2009, 9:06pm Report to Moderator

by the cactus
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I'm kind of opposed to using text message grammar in a title.  but i guess if it's kind of ironic since this is a zombie piece its alright.
red glowing wasp insects?  Is there a reason for these since im pretty sure they dont exist?
Why not just say 'the little girl uses the window as a hard pillow'?  the way you have it is a little awkward.
'Amy was already up', dont use past tense.  You could just say 'Amy sits bolt upright, wide awake.' or something to that effect.
Referencing something like the Harries technique might show off your knowledge of law enforcement, but will just confuse most readers.  You don't want anyone to have to open up wikipedia in the middle of reading.  Find another way to say what she's doing.
I think the other posters covered everything else I noticed.  I agree its a little cheesy to have her talking about her 'duty' as a police officer.  I work in law enforcement and I know if zombies/ninjas/aliens attack I'm grabbing some guns and looking out for me and mine.  But of course thats kind of appropriate for the genre.  If everyone was smart in horror movies we wouldn' have anything to yell at the screen
Overall decent little piece, definately too short to feel complete, but a fun read.  

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Ophelia  -  August 22nd, 2009, 5:15am
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Coding Herman
Posted: August 22nd, 2009, 9:59pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Toronto, Canada
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I don't think this is a complete story. This is a scene where zombies attack two people in a car. Given the script is 4 pages, you took a long time to setup the premise. The zombies didn't appear until the last page. The meat of the story should begin at page 4. But the script just ends when things got started.

Erin is alright. You gave us some characterization about her. She is also given some choices to make. But I know nothing about Amy. Who is she anyway? Why is she in Erin's car?

There are only 9 lines of dialogue. It's too little for me to say anything about them. I'm sorry.

Generally the writing and format is okay. But sometimes you are writing a lot of thoughts that audience cannot see on screen. Especially the part where Erin is deciding whether to go out or not. You could have replace this dilemma by having Erin looking back and forth, unlocking the door, grabbing her gun, but sits back down.

Just my two cents.


- Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
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Posted: August 24th, 2009, 3:54pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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Hello Kenneth,

Would like to hear your thoughts on the above?

Your story is okay.  Reads like a short novel that has been attempted to look like a script.  I'm I right?

Lines like You helped the little girl, now help him. is more like ERIN (V.O.), but located within the description.  Not very good.  But if this is a first effort then very enough you've tried and produced and okay story.

The injured person should be PERSON in capitals and the THREE PEOPLE should also be in capitals, new characters that are required to be noticed easily.

All the best,


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Posted: August 24th, 2018, 4:55am Report to Moderator

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Hi Kenneth,

There is already too much criticism on your writing, but I would like to emphasize on your story. The first thing that crossed my mind when I finished reading your script was that the twist part is a bit weak. Overall, the story is pretty familiar and the end is quite expected. May be you could think over an alternative end. How about .... the girl goes out to help the cop, but it work another way - the cop is distracted by the girl and attacked by a zombie while the girl stays alone out of the vehicle and hears the approaching footsteps of other zombie.

Anyway, nice short. Keep working.

All the best,
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