Free Script Feedback: Keeping the action text active

Today’s free script feedback is for the submitted script, Jimmy Comes Home by J. Thurmon

Read the pages here

JIMMY GRAYSON – SOLDIER could flag you as an amateur.  Change to JIMMY or GRAYSON

Yikes!  KAREN WILLIAMS – WAITRESS same deal.

Rewrite this…

Karen turns to the window and puts in the order.  She gets a cup and pours a cup of coffee.  Jimmy gets up and puts a song on the juke box.  They meet back at the same spot.  Jimmy  takes a drink of the coffee.

…to this, or similar:

Karen puts in the order, pours coffee.

Jimmy puts a song on the jukebox. He sips his coffee.

Jimmy should know something’s wrong with his parents before the movie begins.  Getting the information that they haven’t been around, and that the house is torn down comes way too late.  The film can start off more tense if we see him anxious about getting home as fast as possible, but don’t quite know why until he reveals it to the old lady perhaps.

Jimmy is running

is sitting

Jimmy runs

Jimmy sits

Finding out that his family has been executed is a good hook by page 10.  I also buy his relationship with Karen, or at least the seeds being planted.

All and all, it seems like a straightforward, workable story so far, but the notes above re: is sitting, is running, etc., really need to be addressed for the script to be taken seriously, and not thrown against the wall by page 3 by an experienced reader.

We’ll need to see more of Jimmy’s character as well.  Burned out young  vet isn’t enough to hang a movie on, so make him interesting.  And small town waitress has been done six ways from Sunday, so make Karen interesting too.  Flip flop, shake ’em up, bust ’em out of their cliches.

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