Script Note: Letting the script reader trust you

B. O'Malley

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logo for Free Script Notes on your first 10 pagesNo Going Back by S. Talus

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I’m in good hands I can tell, because the writer uses the term “micro beer.” A minor thing for me to say, perhaps, but when I know the writer cares enough to use details like that, it tells me a lot about the character in one phrase:

“He takes a pull of his micro beer.”

But it also tells me a lot about the writer, who knows how to balance word economy with character revelation.

The scenes are deft, but perhaps too deft.  I’m left not knowing exactly what’s going on by page 10, after a quick read. You can either hang me for my quick read, or you can assume, rightly, that all readers are going to do the same.

And in that case, you’re gonna want to go back and make sure each character is lodged as a thoroughly unique person in the mind of even the quickest reader.  Give us a visual element for each. If you have such elements in there, then make them stronger. They don’t have to be entire flashback scenes or asides or descriptions. Just try to re-render your characters to make them stand apart more.  Three main ladies and two(?) main guys may not seem like a lot to keep track of as a reader, but it is when you’re reading fast.

I suspect that the stakes of the piece are marriage, but I’m not sure how bad it’ll get if that marriage fails.  My two cents:  make me understand those stakes by page 10.


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