An excerpt from my script review for Don’t Worry Darling which will be available 10/10/22:
3.) Quality of Characters
This is what I liked.
Creating characters that are…off.
As the cast is slowly introduced everyone seems to have something “not right” about them.
For instance, Alice finishes her chores in an opening scene and just sits in the living room doing…nothing.
Wackier, she unexplainably goes into “combat medic” mode when she nearly lops off her thumb.
Frank catches Jack and Alice doing it in his bedroom, and just watches them.
Fucking Eyes Wide Shut style!
Margaret, the town loony, screaming at a party that they are not alone.
If you’re going to do the “same, but different” angle with your story, make sure you’re sprinkling in traits like these with your thriller to encourage your reader to get to the twist.
My favorite part, and one that I wish had been explored more, was the interactions between Alice and Frank.
At one point, after being full paranoid and trying to convince Bunny of the “pretend” setting they all live in, Alice hosts a party as an apology to Jack.
But of course she uses it as an opportunity to call out how generic their backstories all are, as a way to try and convince the women that they’re being held as some sort of prisoners.
Frank enjoys her challenging him, however.
Where all the other men seem to try to convince her otherwise, Frank asks Alice to elaborate.
Not knowing the full story behind Oasis, she obviously can’t, and things fall apart for her leading us to the inevitable twist ending.
What I wished for more of though, was this weird sort of relationship where Frank encourages Alice to test the simulation.
This could have made the story so much better, in that his “creepiness” like watching them have sex isn’t because he’s into it, but more that he’s trying to see just how deep into the illusion she is.
Along the lines of “the more character connections the better” look for situations like this in your own writing. Not only does it add layers and depth to your cast, it also makes for unexpected and entertaining twists!
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