Script Note: Cut to the romance more quickly

B. O'Malley

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logo for Free Script Notes on your first 10 pagesLament by M. Flores

The conversations feel real. The situations feel real.  The characters are alive.  The story, or at least the first part of it, is clearly about a man about to be unfaithful with his wife. This is a good hook to pull readers in with. See if you can get to it a bit faster while still setting up the marriage and the kid.

Minor notes: When Michael rounds the corner and a bright light flashes, that seems like it might be significant.  If it is, dial that in more. Make sure the reader knows it’s supposed to be significant.  If it’s not significant, and it’s just supposed to be a filmic transition like a fade to white, let us know that instead.  As it stands, it’s a bit of a speedbump.

Michael’s running around with toys takes up a full page.  If you can pare that down, we can get into your script a bit easier.  If, however, it’s leading up to the moment I mentioned above, where the bright light is supposed to be significant, pare down less, but still pare it down.

I got the Joker and Darth Vader references on p.1, for what it’s worth.  A totally minor concern, but those lines could, in a weird way, date the piece.

p.4 you’re, not your

p. 9 off to, not off too

First-10-Lament

Aquarianna by B. Young

By page 2, I’m in.  Because it’s crystal clear from the fun, brief, exciting setup that this is the story of a sea monster, and our story takes place in the 19th century.  Already the script gets points for freshness and commerciality.

The Leif/Isabella romance setup is good, if a little corny, but once they’re back in the sailboat, we’re starting to feel top-heavy with exposition.  See if you can’t cut into this romance setup sequence a little later. That is, you might want to cut the first boat scene and cut straight to them on the beach, making out. In love.  Crazy for each other. Maybe ramp up the emotion with a marriage proposal. Then the second boat scene doesn’t feel so laden with exposition.

Having Isabella sink to the bottom of the sea is good, but I suggest ending the sequence on the final bubbles escaping her lips, not showing us the Mermen.  Or, possibly, just show her face as she sees them right before she “dies.”  Don’t show the mermen.  If you do, we know she’s alive, deflating the tension going forward.  If you don’t show the mermen, and just show her reacting to what she sees, we still have a bit of that tension, if not all of it.

p.4 pendant, not pendent

The boxing fight is good, but can be pared down. The flavor and setting is near perfect.

Aquarianna_BrianYoung_FirstTen

 

One Comment on “Script Note: Cut to the romance more quickly”

  1. Wow, I read this back in 2010, my first ‘review’ at Zoetrope! Brian (Young) has come a long way with his writing from the first time I read this. Awesome. Congrats on the read.

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