An excerpt from Reals’ script review for Phantom Limb which will be available 03/08/18:
What Needs Work
1. Starting with a VOICE OVER always makes me nervous. It can work, but all-too-often it is the sign of an amateur writer.
2. Pg. 1 – Describing your lead character as “Strikingly handsome” may have worked back in the 80’s, but now it feels like it was done on purpose for a laugh, which I’m afraid it wasn’t. This is not a great description.
3. Is “Jake, I guess.” a term for “I felt weird about it” or “It felt off”? Because I have never heard this before and it feels like a mistake on the writer’s part, like this scene or line was meant to come somewhere else.
4. Pg. 5 – I’m already having trouble connecting with the character and the situation: this guy feels the need to chop off his arm after he has crazy sex? What?
5. Pg. 7 – I am also unsure of the tone – is this a satire of the hardboiled detective story? Or is this taking itself seriously? That’s not good. If your reader can’t quickly recognize the tone and genre of your story, you will probably get a PASS (even worse if it is a satire, because your reader should know what they are getting into and be in on the joke.)
6. Pg. 11 – This dialogue is not great – I know it is supposed to be tough-guy-talk, but it doesn’t work and comes off sounding silly.
7. Pg. 17 – I still don’t know if this is a satire or if it is supposed to be serious. However, it has already lost me and I stuck with it for longer than your average reader would have.
8. Additionally, there have been multiple typos and errors already (by page 18). Even though this is the first draft, give your script a read-through before sending it out. It’s lazy.
9. Pg. 20 – 23 – I don’t know why we are spending so much time with Shoulders. He’s not that interesting and we are distracting from our main story (which I am not even completely sure what that is at this point – our detective and his arm problem or the missing lady or the doctor?).
10. Pg. 25 – I’ve about given up on this story: unlikable characters, unmotivated actions, a plot that is muddled at best, poor dialogue, cliche after cliche, this is going to get a PASS from me.
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