An excerpt from my script review for Peppermint which will be available 09/24/18:

4.) Dialogue and Description

Paint your reader a mental picture.

Page 2:

WE MOVE over LA. At CHRISTMAS. Tinsel on the HOOKERS.
Santa hats on the HOMELESS. The stench of loneliness and
crushed dreams
in the air.

Is that car at the end rocking?

Somebody is getting lucky. WINDOWS FOGGED UP. The springs
CREAK a prom night rhythm

The underlining was my doing so I could highlight the mental images being created.

The setting is LA at Christmas, and it’s cheap and depressing. This is where our hero is going to make her mark!

The second part? It’s a hell of a lot more fun than saying the car rocks back and forth. Not to mention we’re about to get a surprise on what’s really going on inside.

Page 8:

Tells the tears to fuck off

Mommy’s coming, Baby…

The time for crying has passed, and now Riley’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.

Vengeance is the only emotion she has time for.

Page 14:

You’re living here, ‘cause you can’t do any better.

Used to describe Riley’s apartment with her family. Again, it’s keeping with the setting’s theme from page 2.

Page 61:

She’s fast. Precise.

A ballet of death.

Felt like this last one may have been used before, but it still works. Riley killing these men is going to be somehow beautiful.

There were other examples throughout as well, but it’s important to take note of this type of style.

Some may argue the author’s trying to be “too cute” but not yours truly.

This reads much better and faster than blocks and blocks of description especially in for an action script.

“Ballet of death” implies a lot of things, and allows the professional reading it to fill in their own gaps, and contribute to the narrative on how Riley’s killing, which is important if you want a particular actor or director to buy into your project.

Bogging readers down with overdescription not only leads to a slow read, it eliminates most of the creative space for them to work in, especially if you’re spelling everything out shot by shot.

Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.

And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here