An excerpt from my script review for The Bokeriders which will be available 07/01/24:

2.) Plot Stability

At best, this felt like episode one of a documentary miniseries that we’ll never see the rest of.

The last “non-linear” story we reviewed, I believe, was Oppenheimer.

In that we had like two stories within our main story. It was easy enough to follow once you got the initial hang of what was going on.

(Christopher Nolan is allowed to do shit like that in this point of his career, though.)

In this script we bounced all over the place.

One point, we’re in the 1960s, with Kathy telling Danny about how she met Benny in 1955.

That portion meanders along until we suddenly flash forward to Miami in 1970, where Danny is following up with everyone.

But we’re only there briefly, and then we jump back to 1960 or so.

We end the story with the 1970 interview, which is well enough, but why all the jumping around?

It felt like we could have just started in the 1970s version, and just did the Goodfellas style flashbacks and voiceovers from there.

This method of storytelling felt disjointed, and I didn’t care for it.

If you’re trying to write your own non-linear script, try to keep things as manageable as possible for your reader.

(Think of it like “rules for your monster” in a horror, but here it’s a set of rules you’re setting for yourself as a writer to keep shit straight.)

Don’t keep bouncing them around from flashback to flashback that leads to mental motion sickness.

Were there things that happened in this story that progressed?

Sure, we get a club of guys who want to belong to a “family” who get together to drink, ride motorcycles, and shower occasionally but shave never.

As they get older though, and younger members come in, the new guys take this shit to heart and really lean into the outlaw lifestyle.

They’re not just running red lights anymore.

The story isn’t bad, but it’s not great either.

At best, it’s slightly entertaining, following Kathy as she first meets Benny, marries him, and then tries to win him away from Johnny.

Everything leads to a tragic ending, but it took us a while to get there with this episodic plot.

My point?

Write your script better. Even if it’s not going from point A to B directly, you can still be more creative and easier to follow than what this was.

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