Author Topic: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story  (Read 1135 times)

Offline Abreju

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The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« on: December 10, 2018, 10:44:04 AM »
Hello there, I wrote a screenplay on a scene from Thomas's novel The Hate U Give, which is currently in cinema, too.

I added it as a pdf-file, as the scene contains rougly 4500 words. My play shows the scene in which Uncle Carlos confronts Officer Brian Cruise in the police station.

Thank you.

hillwalker3000

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2018, 11:07:23 AM »
Abreju, if you browse this site you will note that posters are asked not to provide a link to their work because most members won't risk opening a link from a complete stranger.
If you wish us to read your work and offer any comments, please cut and post an excerpt here.

H3K

Offline Abreju

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 01:18:40 PM »
Alright, so here's the intro part of the scene. The two characters are not in the book, but their function in this is to give a background of what's going on during the time of this scene in the neighborhood. The formatting is a little messed up, but I hope it's easy to read.

In order to really understand what's going on, you should have read the novel by Angie Thomas or watched the movie. This intro is around 1100 words.

The Hate U Give
A scene of Angie Thomasís novel

Characters

Uncle Carlos - Officer in his thirties, Starrís uncle, black
Brian Cruise - Officer in his forties,white
Tyler - Probationary Deputy, 19 years old, white
Harry - Overweight desk-officer in his late fifties, black
Mal - Officer, close friend of Harry and Carlos, black
George - Chief Officer of the station, white

Setting
The scene takes place in a police station close to Garden Heights. It is a break room with two
tables and chairs, a sofa, a vending and a coffee machine and a board with nonsense and jokes
written on it, on the left wall. The room is clean and well taken care of, the coffee machine is
constantly making brewing noises and the air ventilation making a steady whirring noise.


The lights come up on the break room of the police station. Harry sits at the left table
and unpacks a lunchbox. Mal enters with his holster in the right hand and a backpack in
the other one. He tosses both on an empty chair and sits down next to Harry.


Mal. Hey Harry. How you doing?
Harry. She forgot those boiled eggs again. I told her I couldnít manage to go through another
whole day without them boiled eggs. As soon as I sit down at that desk and have to deal
with all them cases of all them thugs killing each other over a gram of crack I just start
thinking Ďbout them eggs. They the only thing keeping me straight through the morning.
Mal. Just eat your damn cheese sandwich.
Harry. Sure I will. Still boiled eggs would be better. Giving me energy for all this jumble
going on.
Mal. Oh donít get me started. Just got out of Garden Heights. The place is chaos. People
going crazy.
Harry. I told her: ďDonít you forget them boiled eggsĒ. Next thing you know I sit here and
ainít got no boiled eggs.
Mal. Figured them people would pay respect to motherfucking tanks rolling through their
neighborhood. Ought to keep Ďem down. But these people canít be tamed. Come one tank
in their street they run off to the next one. Need to drop some bombs until they keep it
down.
Harry. I tell you if these people just took their time to get some good lunch and dinner each
day they would keep their cool. Instead of going out and crashing windows.
Mal. NawÖ naw. Lots of them canít even afford planning two meals ahead.
Harry. How would you know? How long has it been that you lived down there?
Mal. Trust me, I see some of that kind every day on routine patrol. They got nothing but a
shopping cart full of old clothes. Thatís all they got. You donít be thinking about having
two nice meals a day when all your stuff is right in front of you in a cart in the streets.
Harry. Thatís why I stay in this office. I need my meals and my boiled eggs.
Mal. Doesnít come often you see someone born in Garden Heights become a police man.
Carlos and I are the only ones so far. Thatís what we are proud of.
Harry. Thatís what you proud of? I say itís a reason to be ashamed. Says everything about
your origins. How can you be proud of that?
Mal. I ainít proud of Garden Heights. Iím proud Ďcuz I made it out of there.
Harry. You donít make any sense. Man you canít be proud of losing your origins. Thatís a
shame.
Mal. I tell you I am goddamn proud of it. Donít ever wanna live there again.
Harry. See, thatís where you are wrong. Gotta stick to your roots. What about Carlos, is he
proud of letting the whole district down, too?
Mal. We donít let anyone down. In fact we are trying to make their lives better. Not for them
thugs though. Got one locked up for eighteen years yesterday. But everyone else should
be thankful we patrolling there. Even for the tanks. Itís been much quieter since they
started using the tanks. These monstrosities rumble through the street and ainít no one
trying to crash a window. Tanks donít have windows. You canít turn them over. You
canít burn them. All you can do is retreat. I say itís better to move back than to get tear
gas in your face. Hell, if I could I would drive one of them tanks. You have all the power
when you drive one of them tanks. I would be the most powerful man in the street. No one
can stop a rolling tank.
Harry. What you need a tank for? You a police man.
Mal. See, in a tank you canít get shot. Every time I see another guy shot dead I think myself,
ĎWhat if this was me? Or what if this was someone I know?í You ever lost someone you
knew?
Harry. Yeah, old Barton. That was thirteen years ago. Was just pulling over some guy in a
car and asked for his papers. Instead of them papers that guy pulls out a gun and shoots
him on the spot. Down in Garden Heights. That district never changes. Left a wife and
two sons. Last time I checked they still lived down there.
Mal. I heard Carlosís niece was with this young boy. You know, that boy who was shot by
Cruise. Sheís the witness.
Harry. Yeah I heard so, too.
Mal. I hope Carlos can keep his cool around this guy. He gets heated up real quick when it
comes to his family. You know he raised this girl for years when her Daddy was in
prison? Suppose he feels like a father to her. Imagine your girl getting in a shooting with
some guy you work with. Havenít seen Cruise since the incident. Have you?
Harry. Yeah, he started working two days ago. Pretty sure Carlos didnít get a chance to meet
him yet.
Mal. Canít tell what Carlos gonna say. Last time he seemed pretty upset. Just like the people
in the streets. Canít tell what side Iím on. If I see a suspicious guy reaching for something
in his car no one can tell what I do. Thatís what I need a tank for. Couldnít care less if
someone pulls a gun on me when Iím in my tank. Cruise didnít have no tank though.
Harry. Yeah and never will. No one of us. We will have to deal with all that danger in person
for ever. Thatís why Iím in this office. Speaking of that, I got to get going. See you Mal.

He starts for the door. Tyler and Cruise enter. They seem preoccupied in a conversation
and donít really take notice of Harry passing them on his way out.


...

Offline Tak

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2018, 02:19:00 PM »
I have not read that novel.

So I will just comment on something to do with the writing.

When you are relating something in conversation, I notice you put it in the past, even when the past has already been established, so you make it perfected past in a way. But what it does more is puts this bit of information - too far into the background of the story.

I don't know your knowledge of writing. Or what this is for.

An example - but you do this throughout - it's not a big thing, it just sort of filters the effect of his statements.

Quote
Harry. She forgot those boiled eggs again. I told her I couldnít manage to go through another whole day without them boiled eggs. As soon as I sit down at that desk and have to deal with all them cases of all them thugs killing each other over a gram of crack I just start thinking Ďbout them eggs. They the only thing keeping me straight through the morning.

If this conversation was set in present tense, it would have more impact with him. ie

Harry.  She forgets those boiled eggs. I tell her I can't manage..... (I think you go on a bit too long in this paragraph).

** and here **

Quote
Harry. I told her: ďDonít you forget them boiled eggsĒ. Next thing you know I sit here and ainít got no boiled eggs.

Harry. I tell her: "Don't......   and ain't got no boiled eggs.

*

So the change doesn't effect much in way of sentence structure, but it intensifies how much it is bothering him 'now'. Which makes it more active to the scene.

just my thoughts

Tak

hillwalker3000

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 04:55:44 PM »
 
Quote
In order to really understand what's going on, you should have read the novel by Angie Thomas or watched the movie. This intro is around 1100 words.
Doesn't this ^ limit the appeal to those of us who have done neither? I wonder why you decided to write a screenplay for something that requires so much prior knowledge on behalf of the reader.

Out of curiosity, I checked on Amazon and the reviews describe her book as a stunning YA novel so you've given yourself a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, having read this excerpt, I'm unsure of what you're trying to do here unless it's maybe a school assignment. Are you retelling Angie Thomas's story in your own words? If so, you're using a method called exposition through dialogue where one character tells the other character something they already both know. The conversation is only there to bring the reader up to speed with events that have already happened and it's considered a lazy way of introducing background information.

We listen in on a conversation between two policemen that covers the importance of eating regular meals, the need for tanks on the street to fight crime (police cars?) and a backstory about another cop who got shot while on duty. You write well enough, but the conversation is rather boring and repetitive. You also admit these two characters don't feature in the book - they're there to provide some context. From what I can gather, it finally becomes apparent that the daughter of one cop called Carlos witnessed the shooting of a young boy by another cop called Cruise. I assume this is a major part of the original novel's plot so I'm not sure why anyone would want to read your version, whatever direction it takes next. Is it fan fiction maybe?

I'm guessing you were inspired to write something after reading the novel and/or watching the movie, but I think you would do better to write your own original tale, using the same geographical setting but creating a brand new plot.

H3K

Offline Abreju

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 11:23:56 PM »
Thanks for your review! It is indeed an assignment for a writing class at my college, for which I wanted to get some feedback.

However this is just a part (the intro) of the whole scene I wrote, which is maybe why it seems so boring. To give some more background - the whole scene shows how Uncle Carlos eventually punches his coworker, Officer Brian Cruise, who shot the boy. This scene however is not in the book by Angie Thomas, it gets only mentioned that he punches him, which is why I wanted to make my own interpretation of how it might have occured. Reading the whole scene would probably bring more clearity, but for this I would need to pdf file.

Offline Abreju

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 11:27:01 PM »
I have not read that novel.

So I will just comment on something to do with the writing.

When you are relating something in conversation, I notice you put it in the past, even when the past has already been established, so you make it perfected past in a way. But what it does more is puts this bit of information - too far into the background of the story.

I don't know your knowledge of writing. Or what this is for.

An example - but you do this throughout - it's not a big thing, it just sort of filters the effect of his statements.

If this conversation was set in present tense, it would have more impact with him. ie

Harry.  She forgets those boiled eggs. I tell her I can't manage..... (I think you go on a bit too long in this paragraph).

** and here **

Harry. I tell her: "Don't......   and ain't got no boiled eggs.

*

So the change doesn't effect much in way of sentence structure, but it intensifies how much it is bothering him 'now'. Which makes it more active to the scene.

just my thoughts

Tak

Thank you for your review! I was not aware you would acutally say it like this - I mean he's eating his lunch and complains that his wife forgot to put in some boiled eggs, so I thought you would use past tense here. However English is not my native language and I don't know too much about slang and accents, so I will definitely consider your point.

hillwalker3000

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 06:25:03 AM »
Thanks for clarifying the issue. My only concern would be the fact that the intro goes on too long. If you want to hook a prospective reader or even a film producer you need to have something intriguing happen on the first page. A conversation about boiled eggs won't cut it. I'd suggest you begin with the punch being landed then take it from there.

good luck.

H3K

Offline Tak

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 08:33:49 AM »
Yes, past tense would be used if say related in narration, and I'm not saying your use of past tense is incorrect. It is correct, but when writing in prose.. etc, you have the ability to bend and manipulate any grammar rule.

In this case, the dialogue's topic is about the time before(past) but he is relating it to his partner in the present time of that story - so in the moment.  With present tense you get to show his state of mind directly, you get to have your mc tell the other how they are feeling about this moment.

So you are not wrong in using past tense. I just wanted to show you how you can activate the scene, bring the reading in closer, bring the mc's feelings to the forefront, and tie up everything into a flowing imagery of the whole.


Grammar is a great thing to have as a base when writing, but in prose/poetry/scripts etc, you can't let those rules overrule your story and what is better for it.

You'll get it. To me, your writing is strong enough to figure it out. Don't be afraid to expand on it though.

Best writing to you

Tak

Offline Lucian Hodoboc

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 08:01:08 AM »
Abreju, if you browse this site you will note that posters are asked not to provide a link to their work because most members won't risk opening a link from a complete stranger.
If the link is for a website that is known to be secure, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Online Word, then I don't really see what the problem is. Also, a good antivirus software should be able to block most websites that contain viruses.

Offline heartsongjt

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Re: The Hate U Give - A play scene from Angie Thomas's Story
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2019, 12:38:54 PM »
If the link is for a website that is known to be secure, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Online Word, then I don't really see what the problem is. Also, a good antivirus software should be able to block most websites that contain viruses.

I agree, Lucian.

Jan
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