Author Topic: Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)  (Read 13221 times)

Offline Jay Cutler

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Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)
« on: August 20, 2014, 06:21:28 PM »
INT. WAREHOUSE-DAY

A ruptured building comes into view. The camera pans up to reveal demonic scramblings throughout the building.

We then glide into a room, revealing a corpse and a man lying down, revealed to be shot in the leg. His name is EDWARD (mid-20s). He lies panting and sobbing at his condition.

Someone walks into the room and stares at him; not revealing the face. Edward being wheezing.

He backs into a wall as the killer walks toward him.

Fade to black and reveal the following text:

"The following events are not exactly based on a true story"

EXT. FIELD MORNING.

A black SUV pulls up to a field filled with police. People running back and forward. Constant chattering.

Out steps the main character JOHN DOE (mid-30s). Everyone treats Doe with the utmost respect. As he walks, everyone stares at him. Almost god-like.

Doe walks towards the crime scenes to see a horrific, brutal murder.

A man's body is crucified to a tree. There are words scribbled onto a tree.

"Diabolum regnare abovr"

This catches Doe's attention. Someone tugs Doe to turn him around. Revealing Edward from earlier.

EDWARD
Detective John Doe! Greatest faceless detective.

DOE
Edward...

EDWARD
Edward Sullivan, at your service... Well, (looks up at the scene) ain't this a pretty sight.

Doe turns around and stares at the scene.

EDWARD
Religious intent?

DOE
Precisely. Can we ID the victim?

EDWARD
Might be a minute.

DOE
Minute?

EDWARD
It's a new saying. Takes a while. Killer is very meticulous. Cut off all fingers, teeth and disfigured the face to get a few minutes- I mean to buy time.

DOE
So, any missing people around here?

EDWARD
Yeah, a few.

DOE
A few?

EDWARD
Around five or seven. They didn't brief when you came back?

DOE
A few missing persons was never in the document.

Doe stares at Edward for a while, who walks away.

Just then, police chief JOHN BURKS (mid-50s) walks toward Doe.

BURKS
Doe, thought you'd be busy sleeping with another woman to be hear.

DOE
Not exactly a warm greeting, is it.

Doe bends over to read the Latin text. He takes a picture of it.

BURKS
Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to offend ya. Just, you arrived at a very convenient time. You know, as soon as you come back home from your little trip to New York, a body is found and you just come straight here.

DOE
It's alright. Not like I got anything better to do-hey, do you know what that means? (Points to Latin words)

Offline Laura H

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Re: Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 09:23:52 PM »
Welcome to MWC, Jay. We ask newbies to take a moment to introduce themselves on our Welcome Board - http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?board=1.0

And please read through our rules.

You'll likely find more members willing to give you feedback if you do the same, so dive right in on one of the review boards.

Thanks & welcome,

Laura H
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline Louis D. Thorpe

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Re: Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2014, 01:10:16 AM »
Sounds like you are trying to direct a movie. I'm not sure I can critique the writing because it's more about stage directing in my opinion. I'd use a spell checker and I'd stop trying to direct a 'film' before I sought input,

Write the book and the movie may or may not follow.

Offline artalis

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Re: Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 06:32:31 AM »
INT. WAREHOUSE-DAY

A ruptured building comes into view. The camera pans up to reveal demonic scramblings throughout the building.

We then glide into a room, revealing a corpse and a man lying down, revealed to be shot in the leg. His name is EDWARD (mid-20s). He lies panting and sobbing at his condition.

Someone walks into the room and stares at him; not revealing the face. Edward being wheezing.

He backs into a wall as the killer walks toward him.

Fade to black and reveal the following text:

"The following events are not exactly based on a true story"

EXT. FIELD MORNING.

A black SUV pulls up to a field filled with police. People running back and forward. Constant chattering.

Out steps the main character JOHN DOE (mid-30s). Everyone treats Doe with the utmost respect. As he walks, everyone stares at him. Almost god-like.

Doe walks towards the crime scenes to see a horrific, brutal murder.

A man's body is crucified to a tree. There are words scribbled onto a tree.

"Diabolum regnare abovr"

This catches Doe's attention. Someone tugs Doe to turn him around. Revealing Edward from earlier.

EDWARD
Detective John Doe! Greatest faceless detective.

DOE
Edward...

EDWARD
Edward Sullivan, at your service... Well, (looks up at the scene) ain't this a pretty sight.

Doe turns around and stares at the scene.

EDWARD
Religious intent?

DOE
Precisely. Can we ID the victim?

EDWARD
Might be a minute.

DOE
Minute?

EDWARD
It's a new saying. Takes a while. Killer is very meticulous. Cut off all fingers, teeth and disfigured the face to get a few minutes- I mean to buy time.

DOE
So, any missing people around here?

EDWARD
Yeah, a few.

DOE
A few?

EDWARD
Around five or seven. They didn't brief when you came back?

DOE
A few missing persons was never in the document.

Doe stares at Edward for a while, who walks away.

Just then, police chief JOHN BURKS (mid-50s) walks toward Doe.

BURKS
Doe, thought you'd be busy sleeping with another woman to be hear.

DOE
Not exactly a warm greeting, is it.

Doe bends over to read the Latin text. He takes a picture of it.

BURKS
Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to offend ya. Just, you arrived at a very convenient time. You know, as soon as you come back home from your little trip to New York, a body is found and you just come straight here.

DOE
It's alright. Not like I got anything better to do-hey, do you know what that means? (Points to Latin words)

A sense of place is very important to help create atmosphere and link to the viewer. The visual action and description needs to serve the tone, narrative and/or characters. It is good that you have begun with some details in the murder setting.

However, clarity is needed in all of the details. I would suggest that you are more specific about what you mean by a 'ruptured' building, or else the reader will have doubts. Instead of using camera terms - readers hate this - describe what is happening in other words. 'We then glide into a room' has more than one interpretation ie are the characters gliding in like ghosts, on wheels, or is this a point of view tracking shot? Either way, describe what is happening, rather than use camera terms.

Incorporate 'Edward being wheezing' into a full sentence. Use full sentences all the time, not phrases.

Tell us something about Edward. What sort of character is he; not just in appearance? If you do this, the reader will connect to the character better. Do a full character bio., and know what you want from that character before beginning to write. Know your character, dialogue and narrative inside out before you write.

Hope that helps a bit and good luck with the rest.
Screenwriting & Film

hillwalker3000

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Re: Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 07:50:04 PM »
If you're writing a screenplay then you've already wandered way off-track with the first two sentences.

A ruptured building comes into view. The camera pans up to reveal demonic scramblings throughout the building.

What's a ruptured building? How is the director meant to portray this on film? Should you even be telling him how to do his job?

And 'demonic scramblings' - that's meaningless. And again, how will this be portrayed on film?

A screenplay is 99% dialogue. You put words in the characters' mouths. They decide how to deliver those words. The rest is down to the director. Unfortunately you're trying to do the director's job with all the scene setting and stage management. The fact that you waste almost 200 words before someone speaks - and then they say their name (!) - is not a good sign. Maybe you need to look at some sample screenplays before attempting to write one.

H3K

Offline Shawn Francis

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Re: Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 11:52:40 PM »
I think you have to be more specific in describing your scenes so that the readers would understand better what you want them to imagine and give your characters "character" to make them appear more "real."

I just hope this helped.

Offline Maimi

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Re: Can you share your opinions on this? (Criticisms accepted)
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 03:58:50 PM »
Study industry standards and formatting. You'll learn a few options to help you convey what you want on screen.

INT. WAREHOUSE-DAY

A ruptured building comes into view. The camera pans up to reveal demonic scramblings throughout the building.
Don't waste valuable space by repeating information given in the heading. A warehouse is a building. Pointing that out in the narrative description is unnecessary.

Also, "A ruptured building comes into view" sounds like an EXT description and had me rereading the heading. Be careful and clear, because a lot can go wrong in the steps it takes to go from your mind to what a reader visualizes.

"Comes into view" doesn't tell me anything about the building. What you write is what'll come into view and what we'll see. On the other hand, ruptured does double duty by giving me an image and a mood.  ;)

We then glide into a room, revealing a corpse and a man lying down, revealed to be shot in the leg. His name is EDWARD (mid-20s). He lies panting and sobbing at his condition.
"We then glide into a room"
-A new heading is required with each change in location, even if you are moving within one structure/building.
-Noting an event or action took place next (then) is unnecessary, because they should be written in the order they occur. Otherwise, you're either pointing out the obvious or have them in the wrong order--which would make for a bumpy read of going back and forth to sort things out.
-Glide into a room? Unnecessary direction I couldn't see, especially since it's We doing it.

"...revealing a corpse and a man lying down, revealed to be shot in the leg."
-Revealing and revealed reads like 'We see' and 'We hear.' What is revealed is what you write. It's one thing if a character is revealing something to another, but when the screenwriter is revealing something to the one reading their script, it's unnecessary to write it's a reveal. Describe what's revealed, not that you're revealing something.

Someone walks into the room and stares at him; not revealing the face. Edward being wheezing.

He backs into a wall as the killer walks toward him.
Someone tugs Doe to turn him around. Revealing Edward from earlier.
In the first quote, Someone is used for the killer. In the second, Someone is used for Edward. You can't be so lax with how you refer to characters. Be consistent with character names.

There are ways to keep the killer's identity from the reader without confusing them later in the script. Read scripts and read up on industry standards to learn those ways.

A man's body is crucified to a tree.
No matter how small the part, and whether you want to keep their true identity a secret, ALL CAPS a character's name--or whatever designation you're using (such as SOMEONE)--the first time.

Out steps the main character JOHN DOE (mid-30s).
You shouldn't have to point out that a character is the MC. Providing insight into their personality when introducing them let's us know that character isn't a random jogger we'll never see again. We should also be able to tell who the MC is by their actions (just like movie goers).

Revealing Edward from earlier.
Edward is in a building with a gunshot wound to his leg when we meet him, then he's with Doe at a crime scene. Is the opening scene a flashback? If it is, look into how those are written. If it isn't, clarity is needed. If all but the first few scenes are a flashback, you can use superimpose and a reference of time (1 week ago) for one long flashback. Read Saving Private Ryan for an example. I believe SUPER is used in a similar fashion in that script.


If you don't want the reader or audience to know it's Edward until Doe turns, rewrite the scene to show this, instead of telling us it's revealed.

Doe walks towards the crime scenes to see a horrific, brutal murder.

A man's body is crucified to a tree. There are words scribbled onto a tree.
Walks- This term is used so much it stands out. There are a lot of options to give us insight into a character or the mood.

Are you left with the same impression when a character marches, sashays, slogs, strolls, or roams? I'm not either. That's why I thought "Doe stares at Edward for a while, who walks away." was an opportunity lost.


Horrific, brutal murder could mean anything from an ice pick in a pincushion of a corpse to a bloody swath of land leading to a bloodier wood chipper. I can only see what I imagine is horrific and brutal. When I get to what you want me to see, I have to replace my image with yours. Don't be vague. Be clear from the start.

Doe stares at Edward for a while, who walks away.
Order of events clarity- Does Doe stare and eventually Edward walks away? Or does Doe stare as Edward walks away? As written, the first image is Doe staring, so Doe staring at Edward is how it unfolded in my mind. Eventually, I guess Edward tires of Doe's staring, because Edward walks away.

My gut tells me Doe stared as Edward walked. If that's so, your reader has to rearrange the events they originally imagined. That makes for a clumsy and frustrating read.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 03:24:06 PM by Maimi »