An excerpt from my script review for Thin Blue Veins which will be available 01/25/21:
4.) Dialogue and Description
Having a unique and entertaining tone is something to shoot for.
I’ve discussed countless times the benefits of a reader being entertained by your action and description when paired with the right amount of whitespace.
As stated earlier, this script does a lot of things well, but my argument here is to avoid being “too clever” when conveying mental images.
Rural suburbia. The place where dreams go to die. The place
where the houses are too old and too affordable to be copypasted
clones. The place where the poor pretend to be middle
class and the middle class move out as soon as they can
The place where…the place where…the place where…
There’s decent visuals in there that were undone by the need to overdo it.
The place where the houses are too old and too affordable to be considered suburbia.
It’s here the poor pretend to be middle class and the middle class moved
out because they could afford to.
Something along those lines keeps what’s unique in the original version, but avoids repetition.
Thunder claps in the form of a nearby gunshot, stunning both
This line was probably the most crucial of them all because it’s the catalyst that spurs the girls into running away.
Completely missed that there was a gunshot in there, and assumed it was thunder because rain was coming.
The description, although broken up well, was pretty heavy in this script.
Will everyone misread it the same way? Perhaps not, but know that professional readers skim, so you need to highlight important lines like these.
The nearby gunshot thunders through the house, stunning both
The all caps sound effect given its own line lets the reader know something important is happening and to read carefully.
The sisters sprint through a gleaming forest, trunks lit by
the neon glow of the sun’s daily death.
Okay, the sun’s setting. Remember…this is a script, not a novel.
Then as the script goes on it was hard to tell exactly what was happening due to the flowery nature of some lines.
For instance Anne, before she gets into the house, is she in a car trunk?
Was the car trunk somehow inside a bar?
The primary goal of writing description should always be keeping it mentally digestible for your reader.
If they get lost while reading, or miss certain details, you could earn yourself a “pass”.
Readers will only see the “brilliance” of your story if you do your job properly.
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Really didn’t ask for this, pretty easy to rip someone else’s work apart while hiding behind a paywall. Punching down helps you how exactly? You do you I guess. Not a great look “Hank”.
Apologies you didn’t agree with the review. One of the goals here, and what our members discuss on the forums, is some of the pitfalls to avoid, especially for unproduced writers.