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I liked this. Well written, good dialogue, nice little twist and reveal. Good work, writer. It does need some cleanup but quite good overall. Some might pick on your prose as unnecessary but I like a bit of prose thrown in every so often.
So this was very well written, obviously by a Brit, and I enjoyed the very proper pace and tone and language. It did get a bit aside-y at the beginning, however that doesn't really bother me when it's done well, as it is here.
So, good twist, very clever how clever Reg really is. The only question I have is its connection to COVID. So this story could happen anywhere at any time, if not for the 8:00 pm clap. So I got a bit confused with how the FLASHBACK was written - Reg obviously spies on the nurse while she's upstairs, but does he take the credit cards while she's outside getting applause? That part really didn't flow for me. If so, then COVID is well-used as a plot device, though it's a bit of luck that a thieving nurse comes around at just the right time for her bag to be unattended.
I thought you were going to shame the nurse with the applause (is she even a real nurse?), so good misdirection on that.
A solid story, nicely structured. The pacing and gradual reveal kept me hooked. No loose ends; it's a complete story with a satisfying ending. I sensed it coming, yet I was still curious to see exactly how the twist would be executed. You've also done some great world building here, establishing that the behaviors and motives of these characters are commonplace. That allows us to route for them despite their two-faced nature.
My only nitpick is the description "It’s like a scene from a movie where we expect a distant scream to break the silence". Since it's a scene description, you're already describing to us a scene from a movie... your movie. Something along the lines of "you'd almost expect a scream to break the silence" could work better, as it wouldn't distract readers from the current movie scene they're engrossed in.
My take on this is that hits all the marks from a story perspective and has a pretty clever ending to it. Pretty decently written as well, although I would say maybe a tad overwritten in spots, but not enough that it took me out of the read.
I like how you weaved the script’s title into the storyline. For me, that’s important and the sign that the writer is really thinking about their work.
This was good. The dialogue was natural and the script, overall, was well written. I saw in other comments people saying the beginning part may have been over written... but the way I see it, it's a great way to draw out a beat in real time. Though I'd go with something other than that "scene from a movie" description line.
Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I got a little confused by the ending and had to go back because I felt like I missed something... but I didn't. So, he sees on his Ipad (nice set up by the way) Karen stealing his shit. I get that. What I was confused about was him hooking her purse with his cane, which I assume happened while she was preoccupied with everyone clapping. But it says he just took the credit cards... why didn't he get his cash back, too? Also, I wasn't sure if she was a real nurse or not... thought maybe she did something to Sarah. But, looking back, I assume that Reg robbed Sarah, too (which caused her not to be able to show up, hence Karen there).
Hmmm. The force is strong with this one, too. Nicely done, but your probably looking for a bit of critique. Ok.
Everyone has given some great comments already. The truth, not much to add. I'd only be nit-picking. So...not going to reiterate what others have said. The writing; I was drawing pictures in my mind through the descriptions and so forth. Second, I luv the name Reg.
I liked this too, just didn't love it. But my spidey senses tell me this one will score well in the end. My apology for the useless notes. -A
"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."
The writing and the dialog especially - all top notch.
The plot was a bit convenient. He was expecting a thief and he got her. Too much of a coincidence for me. Also, I might have missed a few moments, but I think it's just me. Couple of things I didn't get. I might return to it.
My first read, as the weekend was a blur with pool, alcohol, and food.
I decided not to take any actual notes as I read, but as I comment, I do have the script open to go back to, if anything pops up I want to mention.
Overall, I'd say, "Not bad". But, in saying that, I can't tell you honestly that I liked it or liked the writing.
Obviously a Brit here, with Brit slangs that shouldn't be included in descriptions and the like. There are numerous examples of awkward phrasings.
Story-wise, it didn't do much for me, but I think that's most likely because of a few choices you made...
It's very obvious that Karen is a bad person, or just not who she seems to be, long before she robs Reg. Now, maybe that's on purpose to highlight the "twist" at the end, but for me, it worked against your story and the read.
Reg may be a good character, but making him be 95 years old and having him speak the way he does, doesn't work for me. Obviously, everyone is unique in real life and in fictional life, and there are very few times someone can say, "that would never happen like that", but Reg doesn't seem anywhere near 95 years old - and I don't think he needs to be or should be. 80, 85, sure, but 95 is a completely different thing (my Dad is 95 years old and probably easily in the top 1% in terms of health, mobility, and just being with it, but he's nowhere as young acting as Reg is).
The ending - yeah, I get it, it comes off as clever, but it just didn't do anything for me, as I didn't buy it.
I've read over the other comments and see that everyone really liked this, but I just can't be that lenient or excited. For me, it's 1 of those that falls in the middle and will quickly be forgotten.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Weak connection to the criteria, but since the virus is the only reason Karen is back on the job, it works. This is a solid turning-the-table story, but I'd maybe tone down Karen's decrepitudinous persona. She must have some redeeming quality. She gets what she deserves, but Reg is also a rat and quite smug about it.
The set-up for these characters to meet was interesting and the characters came across as believable. The dialogue was snappy but evocative. Reg asking her to make him a cup of tea was a nice realistic touch. The Blitz spirit talk foreshadowed the climax in a way that wrapped the story up nicely.
It took a few nice twists and turns with both of them being thieves. The writer managed to get in Covid topicality with the clapping angle which was nice and novel. Karen’s awkwardness at the clapping was a nice piece of dramatic juxtaposition – she knows what she really is, and Reg is enjoying her discomfort.
The fact it’s inspired by a genuine statistic gives it a darkly subversive ring of truth when everybody is forcing positivity.
To nitpick, maybe the clapping could ring really loudly in her ears to dial up her discomfort in this scene. Also, not sure if it’s standard to put ‘Flashback’ on its own line but can be missed by the reader more easily at the end of a slugline.
Otherwise I thought this piece was pretty flawless.