An excerpt from my script review for The Postcard Killings which will be available 06/15/20:
2.) Plot Stability
For the first fifty pages or so I enjoyed the script.
I was engaged. I was interested. I was turning to see what happened next.
My issue is that second half.
Once you find out that Mac and Sylvia are the killing couple touring around Europe, the tension seems to disappear.
Sure there’s still the “who will they kill next?” as Jacob tries to catch up to them, but even those thrills mellow out since you know it will just be a gruesome representation of another famous art masterpiece.
The good part of the first half is we aren’t sure if the pair is doing the killing or will be killed themselves.
This “not knowing” is what moves a reader through your plot.
Right around that fiftieth page there’s a twist in that we think Pieter and Nienke are the killers (a fact the authorities seem to find all too conveniently by the way), but it turns out they’re killed.
From there it’s presumed that Mac and Sylvia must have done it, and that turns out to be true, but what the story could have used was more doubt about this particular fact.
Once taken into custody and questioned, Jacob realizes their answers are too rehearsed which turns out to be right.
This leaves us nowhere to go, and that’s a problem.
Sure he gets some push back from the Swedish police about “we’re not America” (the continued politically relevant message in the project), but the very next scene proves Jacob’s theory.
For these types of thrillers there needs to be more mystery, and even if we think someone is our bad guy, a good writer will throw us off the trail making us doubt our opinions until the very end.
Make your bad guys smarter. Give your heroes a bit of bad luck or a careless moment.
Anything that keeps us guessing is good.
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