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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Short Drama Scripts  /  Stranger Pals
Posted by: Don, October 3rd, 2021, 11:40am
Stranger Pals by Yuvraj Rajwanshi - Short, Drama, Crime - An encounter between two strangers sharing a dark desire takes an ugly turn.  9 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Posted by: Yuvraj, October 3rd, 2021, 11:19pm; Reply: 1
Thank you Don for posting.

Posted by: LC, October 4th, 2021, 7:14pm; Reply: 2
Gave this a read, Yuvraj.

I swear I didn't mean to suggest this much, but then got into it.
Take or leave.

Major points:
Use contractions -
Watch your ellipses, dashes. (see more further down)
Watch your tenses.
Go for brevity where you can/edit to simplify, make more pithy, and thus get rid of Orphans.

I am Luke.
Too formal.
I'm Luke, by the way. Or: Name's Luke.

I was not serious about this.
I wasn't serious. Or: I'm not serious.

Well. Now the smell ain't bothering you.
Smell ain't bothering you now, huh?

the mere sight of
that person wants you to just...

the mere sight of that person
makes you just want to...

A quick refresher on when to use ellipses and when to use dash/em dash -
If the character's thoughts are trailing off, use ellipses.
If a character interrupts the other character's dialogue mid-flow, use the dash. And make sure you put a space either side of the dash.

Pay special attention to proofreading your work:

He still not completely in his physical control.
He's still not completely in control ...
Or: Still inebriated, he wobbles.

What you just said is not easily believable.

What about:
Get outta here.
Yeah, right. (skeptical)

So want a proof?
Want proof? Or: So, you want proof?

I won't be the seeing the light of the day.
I won't be seeing the light of day.

Ray seems to consider this.
Ray considers this.

A thoughtful decision I'll say.
A thoughtful decision, I'd say.

Well, I should be on my way to home
Well, I should be on my way  Or:
Well, I should be on my way home.

A MINI HANDGUN falls from the inside of Ray's blazer on the ground.
A handgun falls from Ray's pocket, clunks to the ground.

Watch out for orphaned lines where you can easily condense.

No... It's not mine. Someone might
have slipped it in my coat when I
was... I was... I was-

Again, (insert space around the dash)
Why does he hesitate here? I'd think he'd be emphatic.
No. That's not mine. Someone must have
slipped that into my pocket when I was -


Drinking! Right. Drinking.

Luke checks the gun.
You need a segue here.
Example:  Luke picks the gun up, examines it

OK OK. You can go to your lovely
wife. She's waiting for you.

Go home to your lovely wife.
She's waiting for you, right?

I already have a count on me.

A count? Do you mean a hit, a target?
My day's are already numbered, perhaps?

Ray looks tensed.
Ray looks tense.

Just tense? Maybe ramp that up to scared, terrified?

I hope it was true.
I hope that's true.
Watch tenses.

Do me the favor
Do me a favor.

Luke puts the gun on his temple.
Luke puts the gun to his own temple. (head might be simpler)

Will stop the line by line there, but I hope it helps.

You need to ramp up the sinister actions of Luke, make the threat more palpable imho

I don't get that Luke appears to have the gun pointed under his own chin and then Ray ends up with a bullet hole in his stomach. Did Luke creep up on him? That needs some filling in the gaps. And motive?

The biggest problem I have is I don't really get the story or the relationship between these two apparent random strangers. I do like the confessing to murder to a complete stranger (Strangers on a Train vibe, but it needs more.

I loved the closing contrasting image and evoking of atmosphere with the dawning if the new day and the birds chirping, music playing etc. You wrote that visual and audio very nicely.

Posted by: Yuvraj, October 5th, 2021, 12:36am; Reply: 3
Thank you, Libby, for reading, commenting, and suggestions/notes.
Posted by: LC, October 5th, 2021, 6:21pm; Reply: 4
Yuvraj, could you explain more of what's going on here plotwise?

Maybe I'm a bit thick, I don't know... Or, you're in training with David Lynch.
I'd love a bit more clarification.
Posted by: Yuvraj, October 6th, 2021, 1:18am; Reply: 5

Quoted from LC
Yuvraj, could you explain more of what's going on here plotwise?

Maybe I'm a bit thick, I don't know... Or, you're in training with David Lynch.
I'd love a bit more clarification.

The story's simple - Luke kills his wife coz he is frustrated with the constant arguing they have and the bad relationship they share. On the other hand, Ray is a person who shares the same misfortune as that of Luke but he's got no guts to go to the extreme just like Luke i.e. to eliminate his wife. In fact, he has the gun to kill his wife but he is squeamish and just can't convince himself to do it. So, Ray asks Luke for the ultimate way out which is to free him from his world instead, to which Luke agrees since he's also doing the same to himself and decides to do a favor to someone in desperate need.    

This is to show that there are many ways out of a situation. One might be extreme while the other might be ultra-extreme. Two people. Same misfortune. Different solutions. That's the gist.      
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