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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Victim Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: February 28th, 2013, 5:38pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Victim by George Gregory - Short, Romance, Horror - How easy it to kill someone? What makes you a victim? 13 pages - pdf, format


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crookedowl
Posted: February 28th, 2013, 6:27pm Report to Moderator
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George,

Your logline's a little vague. I'd recommend giving us more of a story... who's the protagonist? What are the goals? The stakes?

Right off the bat you have some really big paragraphs and incorrect slugs. I recommend reading about format online for a better idea of how it's done.

You don't need "scene 1" in your slugs. Leave scene numbers out altogether. Like I said, your slugs aren't good. They should be consistant. Right here, you abbreviate "EXT" but then write out the whole word, "INTERIOR".

Keep action paragraphs at 4 lines or less. But, when you have multiple action paragraphs on a page with a small amount of dialogue, you might want to keep paragraphs a little shorter than that. The more white space, the better.

You could easily break up some of these paragraphs. Right here, you have many individual actions clumped into single paragraphs.

So you have some unfilmables here and there. You might want to take a good look at each line, ask yourself if it really serves the story.

Your action lines are a little passive here and there. Keep verbs active... "he is walking" would be "he walks", for example.

And get rid of "continued" at the top and bottom of your pages.

I'm going to stop here until you show up, but I hope what I have here is a good start.

Will
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hawkeye
Posted: February 28th, 2013, 9:15pm Report to Moderator
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So I'm going to focus solely on the story itself and not on the formatting or the dialogue.

The title:  Okay, I guess.  Works with the story but it doesn't really have much oomph.  Just kind of generic.

The characters:  Kate seems like a much stronger character here than Nathan.  Even given the circumstances, Nate seems too whiny, too weak.  Maybe that's by design, but it doesn't seem to ring true.  Kate comes off to me like the character Annie Wilkes in Misery, a vindictive person with a masochistic streak.  I found her more believable actually than Nathan, even though (SPOILER) she's dead.

The Story:  Like I said, this story reads a lot like Misery, except with Misery you sort of understood where things stood with that movie.

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW:

Your opening has Nate going into the house to kill Kate, but supposedly he gets knocked out and everything that follows is a dream sequence, I guess.  But it doesn't have the Sixth Sense sort of payoff because the sequencing doesn't make any sense.  He's the one knocked out, but she's the one who's dead?  Remember in Sixth Sense, Bruce Willis gets shot in the beginning, and then we find out he's dead later.  But here, how do we get from him getting knocked out to her being dead?  There's no real connection that would allow us to go back and say "ahhh, I get it." I mean, why is he unconscious?  Did he pass out from fear or shock?   This ought to be changed in a rewrite.

The interaction between the characters is stiff.  They don't have any real give and take that makes you buy into either his fear or her cold anger.  She seems too aloof and the way he talks seems almost like "hey, I'm tied up.  What's up with that?"  Even if this is a dream sequence, you still have to sell it so we can get drawn into the story.  And so we get about 8 pages of a dream sequence which really don't pay off.  I could have bought the story if these characters had worked well together.   The only part that wasn't too bad was when he came out of his dream sequence or shock.  That was the only part I could really buy.

Bottom line, the story was just okay, not great and didn't work the way it was laid out.  Take some time to re-write this taking note of formatting guidelines, watch your grammar, and give us a reason to believe his situation and this will be much better off.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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RegularJohn
Posted: February 28th, 2013, 10:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hey George.

Not a fan of the logline to start.  A protag and his goal, that's it.

Opening up the script, I see some heavy action lines.  Four or less is the way to go.  Also, you don't need to put "scene 1", "scene 2", ect. in your slugs.  INT or EXT., the location and DAY or NIGHT.

Silence is misspelled.

"...shuts the door, not knowing who is watching."  This line reads a bit tacky to me.  It reads like a POV to me even though it's not.  Don't know if that's what you implied but countless slasher flicks start this way and it reads really cliche for me.  I suggest taking that out.  Keep us in the dark as to what's happening, just like Kate.

"Nathan is watching..."  Make it active.  "Nathan watches..."

Stopped after page 1.  Wasn't working for me sorry to say.  A lot of unnecessary description and on-the-nose action lines (...wears leather gloves so that he doesn't leave any evidence behind).

Write only what moves the story forward.  All these details grinded the read to a halt for me, sorry to say.  Best of luck to ya.

Johnny


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GeorgeGregory
Posted: March 17th, 2013, 6:53pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the advice guys, yeah I've changed the script quite a bit since I uploaded it. Again thanks a lot for the comments, they're really helpful.
George

P.S QOTSA...nice
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Busy Little Bee
Posted: April 2nd, 2013, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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Hey George

I agree with a previous reviewer, you should consider reading pro scripts or most scripts on here will do for correct format. Also, remember to show and tell, it's one of the key differences between a novel or script. In your narrative you write things that don't show up on the screen at all or could possible yet you didn't write the action.

hope to see some of your later works.

BLB



Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee..."
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