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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Cheating Death Moderators: bert
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  Author    Cheating Death  (currently 1243 views)
Posted: November 8th, 2015, 10:21am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Cheating Death by Richard Russell - Short, Comedy - When death breaks the rules, a customer bargains for his life. 8 pages - pdf, format

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Posted: November 8th, 2015, 11:48am Report to Moderator

You know what a saguaro is?
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Interesting. I felt Bobby should have interjected here and there and at the very least been told to shut up. Liked the ending.
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Logan McDonald
Posted: November 9th, 2015, 2:47pm Report to Moderator

Astoria, NY
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More Bobby and Death, less Death 1 and 2. The banter was fun but it got boring after the second page. You could definitely flesh out the scheme with the meth.

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Posted: November 9th, 2015, 3:46pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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You were kind enough to take a look at my script so I thought I'd return the favour. (I'm guessing it's the same Richard?)

First off, it's a nice concept, one that I haven't seen done before. I liked the way that you tackled some pretty horrific stuff (world wars, gas chambers ect) but put a comedic twist on it.

The set-up was quick and to the point which is always a plus. I would have liked to see a little more interaction between Death and Bobby before Death 2 arrives. It just felt a little too soon. You could maybe have Death raise his scythe above Bobby's head while he's unaware, pouring him his beer maybe, and then Death 2 storms in and interrupts him.  

I would have also liked to see Bobby involved in the conversation a bit earlier on. I didn't really get a sense of what he was doing while Death and Death 2 were having their beer.

'I’m older, so I knew some guys who worked the wars.' This line seemed a little on the nose to me but apart from that, I felt that the dialogue was pretty much spot on, especially the back and forth between Death and Death 2.

On the first read through I wasn't overly keen on the whole death by meth business towards the end. I know you set up that Bobby's a dealer at the beginning but it didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the story for me.  But after a second read it's grown on me and I think Death's last line wraps up the story nicely.

All the best.

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Posted: November 10th, 2015, 4:35am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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Late, almost closing time. Half a dozen MEN occupy stools at
the bar where the BARTENDER busies himself by polishing
glasses. Among the men is BOBBY, 35, a regular, blue collar.
He shakes hands, ready to leave.

There's quite a bit going on in this action block, so I'm going to have to split it up.



Late, almost closing time.

The slug says night... but, how do we know that it's late and almost closing? It's unnecessary information once you describe what's going on inside.


Half a dozen...



where the BARTENDER busies himself by polishing

I'd prefer to use 'a BARTENDER' rather than 'the' here. It's also very overwritten. This is how you should do it:

...where a BARTENDER polishes glasses.

Then when you move on to the description of Bobby you should start a new action block.


Among the men is BOBBY, 35, a regular, blue collar.
He shakes hands, ready to leave.

Again the above is overwritten.

BOBBY, 35, finishes his drink and puts on a donkey jacket.

What does 'he shakes hands mean'? How do we know that he is ready to leave just by he shaking his hands? How do we know he's a regular? Show us how he is a regular... and do it in a clever way, or forget it. Give up now.


The door opens with a WHOOSH. The Men turn, and all talk

If this was any other writer, I'd be out about now. I expect more from you. The door opens with a whoosh... sorry, a WHOOSH. Why can't the door just open? The Men turn and all of their no-talk stops. Nobody was talking before. Why is STOPS in uppercase? wtf?


Inside the door stands a figure in a cowl and holding a
scythe—DEATH. He’s as scary as you imagine.

More awkward writing. A figure is inside the door? Do you mean that a figure stands in the doorway? What's a scythe-DEATH? Why not just write that it is Death from the outset? He's as scary as I imagine... well, that isn't very scary. I tend to think of Pratchett's Death... and this story is also a comedy.

I scanned through page 2... this is quite poorly written and the comedy is lame. Not one of your best efforts, mate.

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Posted: November 10th, 2015, 10:26am Report to Moderator

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Thanks for the feedback.  All comments are welcome and will add grist for the mill.  

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Posted: November 10th, 2015, 11:47am Report to Moderator

Damnit, get to the point!

New York
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Best advice I heard to correct this was the search for: ing. Then you change the tense.

I would change the log line to include death vs. death or something to that nature.
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