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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Comedy Scripts  /  Blazing Arizona
Posted by: Don, September 30th, 2019, 2:14pm
Blazing Arizona by Gregory Brown - Comedy - {no logline} 62 pages - pdf format

New writer interested in feedback on this work, please be nice :)
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, October 2nd, 2019, 6:14am; Reply: 1
Hi Greg - hope you are well.

Considering the opening post mentions that you are a new writer, I am impressed.

The writing isn't perfect by any means, but for a new writer it is really good so far (I have read up to page 9 - I will read more later if time permits)

First thing first though - you need a logline. You have posted it here for consideration but I fear many may skip past this due to the lack of logline - a logline is your first sales pitch, it's important.

A few things I have picked up below, hopefully, something helps. If not, then no harm no foul.

- Show don't tell. IMHO, showing us trumps telling every time. using your opening paragraph as an example...


Quoted Text

Summer in the city of Blazing, Arizona, the sun beats down.
Not a cloud for miles. The heat waves radiate from the
sidewalk
. And then:


in bold is where you tell us.... instead show us that it is summer... hold on, you did (in italics above) all of that is showing us, not telling, and is the best way to do it.... so the opening "summer in the city..." is not needed and unnecessarily adding to the word count

Oh, and how do we know we are in Blazing, Arizona? to get the info across you need to make it visual/audible - a SUPER, or show a WELCOME TO... sign, or have the characters mention it... you get the point.

Generally, I quite like your character descriptions. I do however have a problem when character traits are just told to me, I find it lazy and well, cheating lol.


Quoted Text
PABLO coming from the back room. A long-time friend, Pablo is the manager of �Light Me Up�, and Jax�s voice of reason.


Here, for example, you tell us he is a long-time friend, the manager of the shop, and the voice of reason. None of this can come across on screen when we first see it, we need to experience this through visual cues (manager badge on his shirt), the relationship dynamic (they act like long-time friends, Pablo acts like the sensible one and guides Jax) - time for more showing and less telling.

There are a few noticeable grammer and spelling errors so another proofread is needed - These may seem petty, but you want to put your best foot forward as a new, unrepresented writer.

Oh, and make sure the action is crystal clear...


Quoted Text
Pablo SHAKING his head in the background. The tears begin to
flow. Truly broken-hearted he accepts his fate and leaves
alone.


This reads like it is Pablo who is crying and leaves, but it's not, it's Dave. Confusion may make readers tune out of your story.

Overall though it's a good start - I got a good feel for the characters, they were distinct and vaguely interesting. The writing wasn't too much of a struggle to read, I got through the first 9 pages quickly and easily enough.

just noticed something else - the size of action/description blocks. Try and keep them to a max of 3/4 lines. Any longer than this and they become a big block of intimidating black text. We want to maintain a good flow for the reader, a brisk and easy experience.... also, big blocks of text may make readers skim read, and they could miss valuable information.

Below for example...


Quoted Text
He�s a TALL, IMPOSING MAN. Draped in black with his signature
Cowboy hat. He says nothing, only giving a stoic nod to his
army of officers, as he passes through the halls. The walls
covered in his own news clippings. Good or bad, he hangs them
with pride. He�s stopped by an eager YOUNG OFFICER.


Can simple be split into two separate blocks...


Quoted Text
He�s a TALL, IMPOSING MAN. Draped in black with his signature
Cowboy hat. He says nothing, only giving a stoic nod to his
army of officers, as he passes through the halls.

The walls covered in his own news clippings. Good or bad, he hangs them
with pride. He�s stopped by an eager YOUNG OFFICER.


also not sure why you have capped TALL, IMPOSING MAN

Best of luck to you in your writing

Matt
Posted by: GregB, October 5th, 2019, 4:24pm; Reply: 2
Hey Matthew thank you so much for taking the time to read my script. I greatly appreciate your kind words and advice. I have no formal education in writing so I will take all of your feedback into consideration. Thanks again and I hope you get a chance to finish reading the story.
Posted by: Matthew Taylor, October 7th, 2019, 7:09am; Reply: 3
No problem Greg - Remember that I am also an amateur, so best to seek as much help and advice as you can so that you can make informed decisions on how best to tackle screenwriting.

My biggest suggestion would be to become active around here, speaking to and learning from other screenwriters is a great resource. You may even get others to comment on your work so you have more to work with in a rewrite.

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