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"Deal Numba Two" by Ashley Croft

Logline: His name is Death; care to know what he does?

Genre: SciFi

Cast Size: 2

Production Status: Available (Please contact the author to negotiate the rights)

Contest: It's Better to Give than to Receive (Dec. 2008)

Contest Scores
PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent
13%54%28%5%0%

Comments Made During the Contest

Brad Huffman Parent (Level 4)

The first page almost scared me away. Too much detail and unnecessary descriptions. Trim it down, only say what you need to say. Pretend that words are money, don't spend them unless you absolutely have to.

And then you have almost no description on pages 2-5. It's just two talking heads, no action. The dialogue is entertaining, but it's not enough. Turn some of those Parenthetical's into action lines.

The story didn't go much of anywhere. I felt like most of the middle was repeating itself.

Interesting concept and with a good rewrite you could have a solid story.

Brian Wind (Level 5)

First problem I noticed is that there is WAY too much text on the first page. Try to keep your descriptive paragraphs to 3 or 4 lines max. Anything longer than that needs to be broken up or trimmed down. If you first page looks more like a novel than a script, that's a sure way to land your screenplay in the trashcan of any Hollywood reader. As for the story, it seemed to be going strong, but then ended abruptly with a punchline that didn't make any sense to me. I liked the concept of a modernized Death character willing to make deals with people, but whatever deal he offered Neil at the end of the script was unclear. I got the impression we were supposed to get it, but I certainly have no idea what he was hinting at. Apparently, Neil needs to find a body to sacrifice for Death but it must be someone he knows, which doesn't make any sense because Death goes on to tell him that's why it can't be his secretary. Isn't it safe to assume he knows his secretary? Why wouldn't she be someone he knows? I didn't get it.

Calvin Peat (Level 4)

This has a good opening sequence, which catches the reader's attention. The script could have gone either an action or a comedy route, and both could have worked well. For example, later on, Death's line "Deals, you say?" could have been approached in a comedic way, but the script takes a more serious approach (which is fine).

The script has an interesting and original storyline, although the quality of the writing doesn't quite live up to this. There are quite a few mistakes which distract the reader.

For instance, many of the sentences are far too long. For instance, the paragraph following "INSERT: 'NEIL O'MARA, CEO'" is one long sentence when it should be several. Using shorter sentences would both quicken the pace and make the script easier to read.

In the title, "Deal Numba Two" should be "Deal Number Two", unless it's a deliberate mis-spelling, but I'm not sure why it would be.

"standing in a crowd" should be "standing in a crowd".

The third sentence uses the word "and" quite a lot. The writer could try using commas, or splitting it up into two sentences or something, so that it doesn't seem repetitive.

"people dressed in business suites" should be "people dressed in business suits".

"His life...the value--well in his case as is of yours the value is pathetically low in fact you're not even dying." should be something like "His life...the value...well, in his case, as in yours, the value is pathetically low. In fact, you're not even dying."

"Then why are you here." should be "Then why are you here?"

"I'm here to save man kind" should be "I'm here to save mankind".

"(A matter of factly)" should be "(matter-of-factly)".

"Ripping off low income families to bulk up partnerships in your firm is just oh so...chartable. You're time's up Neil." should be "Ripping off low-income families to bulk up partnerships in your firm is just oh so...charitable. Your time's up, Neil."

"That's it right I'm gone?!" should be "That's it, right, I'm gone?!"

"The first is self explanatory--you die end of story." should be "The first is self-explanatory--you die, end of story."

The writer might find it helpful to get someone to proof-read their scripts in future.

Despite the flaws, this is a good script.

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)

I opened up the pdf, quite excited by the title, and my heart plummetted at the sight of all that text. Really, not many readers will be bothered to plough their way through it. Please cut it down, or at the very least divide it into short chunks.

I haven't read it yet to form an opinion on the content, but if it is good, it would be a shame if a reader trashed it before even looking just because of the density.

Onwards.

"in a crowd of roughly a dozen" - THIS is the sort of unnecessary detail that makes your text way WAY too long.

Your descriptions should be pertinent to the plot and I feel they do very little to further the storyline. Is it REALLY significant that Death has 'facial features which are youthful and gorgeous and somewhat classic and from another time and very
androgynous. His nails are painted jet black and his hair is medium length, curly and dark brown.' I don't think so for a minute.

Or...walks directly into the third door on the left side of the hall...if it was the SECOND door on the left side would it make a difference? Aaaaaaaaaaargh!

You don't need the CONTINUEDS

It would be good to get your work proof-read to get rid of spelling errors before submission.

The dialogue, once it started, was fun, but by then I had almost lost the will to live.

I'm afraid the ending was inexpicable.

You have a splendid imagination, but you need to read a great many short scripts to see how to use your talent.

CarrieAnn Lee (Level 3)

You are a compelling storyteller,but you need to improve your formatting. Your descriptions of your characters and their actions is too lengthy. You don't need to end each page or begin another with "Continued." This is a fun peice - give it another go with some improved formatting. Keep on writing!

Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)

This was interesting and a really good idea, but think it could use a little improvement in execution.

The opening descriptions went on forever. Does Death's hair length really matter? Other sentences in your descriptions went on for three or more lines making this a bit clunky to read. Needs more white space, cut down on the descriptions.

Not sure about the ending. He gets to choose who's body he gives to Death? Why not the secretary? Why give him ten years? Just doesn't seem to make much sense in the end.

You have good, strong characters in an interesting situation, but I think you need to think it through a little more and come up with a better ending.

Good luck.

Chris Keaton (Level 5)

The first thing that comes to mind is holy crap you have some thick action blocks. 3-4 for lines max, five if absolutely necessary. An action block should be a snapshot of what the camera is seeing. If we're following one character and then jump to another it should be represented by 2 action blocks.
Watch your tense and always write in the active voice. That means lose the word 'IS', 'BEGINS', 'STARTS', and most words ending in 'ING'.
Trim and compress your descriptions. This creates more 'white space' and makes your piece a faster read. Act as if every word is going to cost you a dollar and you're cheap.
Lose the (CONTINUED) at the bottom and top of the pages, they're no longer needed.
Ok, that end caught be by surprise. Kind of abruptly cuts off. I'm wondering if you crammed this all together just to get it to five pages. Interesting idea, just not fully realized.

Chris Messineo (Founder)

Death wears black, he has a deal, he's made this deal before - why does this all sound very familiar? The story is intriguing, because it's sort of a classic, but I wish it felt more original.

Also, your craft is a little rough around the edges. The large blocky paragraphs read like prose and once you get past those, it reads like a play. Try to find a happy medium, mixing your imagery and dialogue.

Dan Lennox (Level 5)

This was decent, but there was a ton of description that really slowed down the pace of the story right off the bat. There's a lot of description that probably be chopped to streamline your paragraphs and yet still effectively tell the story. I also found some to the dialogue to be a bit on-the-nose at times as well. Overall, it was an interesting story with promise, just a bit cumbersome to read from time to time.

David Birch (Level 5)

okay, you actually delivered a provocative twist at the end...the problem is that you were so over bearing in you dialog that the reader has to slog through all your "wrylies" to get there...trust your reader to "get it" (i know it's tough to leave 'em out but they do slow down the read)...i expect that you're going to get the "finger wag" for big blocks of description on pg. 1...tighten that up so it moves a little smoother...there are some redundancies (i.e. "death stands" is the beginning of paragraph on and two)...you don't need to give us every single detail about "death" leave some of it to the reader's imagination...otherwise you run the risk of him being a bit "clown-ish"...you have a decent theme going...now get back to work and clean it up...thanks for the read...

Elias Farnum (Level 5)

That was a pretty interesting dialogue with Death. I enjoyed it just fine. Huge paragraphs describing Death's character and actions needs to be shortened up. Otherwise you did a Good Job.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)

Paragraphs are too lengthy.

"He stands in a sea of people dressed in business suites...." Should be business SUITS.

Try to write in a more active voice. For example: "Neil’s head is spinning and he sinks in his chair." Consider instead: "Neil’s head spins, he sinks in his chair."

" ... he ended up getting another 10 years ..." Write out all numbers unless it is a year. TEN YEARS.

You forgot the period on this sentence: "Death smiles widely and mockingly flutters his eyes"

Jeff Ferry (Level 5)

A few grammar details first. There were a lot of adverbs in a short story. They make the writing seem lazy even if it isn't. Also suite = suit. Anyway, i really enjoyed the story. I loved how it ended. the only thing keeping this from being a great story is the Neil character. I think he needed some more fleshing out so when the hammer gets dropped at the end, it hurts even more.

Jim Brown (Level 3)

I like everything about this script except the writing.
I love the premise, the character of Death is fun, and the ending is great.
But the action is long and rambling, and some of the dialogue is awkwardly phrased.
If the writing was better, this would be an outstanding script.

Joel Davis (Level 5)

Way, way to much description. Nice setup, but death explains too much. Even so, the twist at the end was really nice, but I didn't understand exactly what was going on. Was Neil supposed to kill someone so that death could inhabit their body?

There were some formatting problems. You need a new slugline when you move to another location. The elevator, the outer office with the secretary, Neil's office, etc, all need their own slugs. That will help break up the description, too.

I found it odd that you used an INSERT rather than a SUPER for Neil's title. INSERT is usually for a close up of a photograph or a business card or something. Even better, just introduce Neal and his position through the dialogue.

Some typos, too. For example on pg.1 :
"suites" should be "suits"
"chair's" should be "chairs"

Next time, proofread a bit more carefully and read some produced screenplays to get a better sense of proper format, but at the core this was an interesting story and I look forward to reading your next one.

John Brooke (Level 5)

What a wonderful intriguing story you have created here. Smooth and the flip at the end was priceless. Slick dialogue and the idea of Death acting like a phony Texan is super cool device. Format is lean and clear. The title is perfect.

The only thing I would fault and it may seem minor but I think it really important. The whole of the first page is almost completely solid with descriptive action text. The opening paragraph alone is nine lines long and its followed by the second one at seven lines. Your script would be more inviting and pleasurable to read if all that initial verbiage were edited and chopped into smaller chunks. Just write four lines of action at a time and no longer. Your wonderful writing craft is suitable for a literature but not for a spec film script. Proof of your script writing ability begins to appear at the end of page one. Using parenthesis to indicate action when it would be better to use action formatting as you have shown. One last minor formatting point, I believe that it is only necessary to use ‘CONTINUED’ if the dialogue or action lines are incomplete at the bottom of the page.

These are just a few things that I thought could stall a script reader.

I really enjoyed reading this wonderful deathly send-up script.

John Ward (Level 3)

Ultimately the story here was not too bad. I think there is WAY too much description on the first page though. You need to break this down into much smaller slug-lines. This is film not prose after all. I think you could basically get rid of the first page entirely. Just have 'death' enter the office without being seen. That still makes the point, and doesn't require a fancy (and technically difficult to film) opening shot with the elevator. I was also not sure about some of the dialogue as we go through the scene. It was often a little 'too on the nose' for my tastes. Would death really call a CEO a crook? (not that I'm disagreeing, but I think it's a little too judgmental for a being that cannot die). The final back and forth was my favorite part though, this flowed better and requires the reader to think back to the discussion about the Texan. Perhaps it would have been even nicer for 'death' to be 'the Texan' when he comes to see Neil. Overall I think this was good, I think you need to work a bit on the dialogue at the start, shorten the first page and be careful about the spelling and grammar in some places. Good job

Jose Batista (Level 5)

Death was certainly a cool figure in this script. I liked how you changed around his appearance and character, a refreshing take on an old and well used character.

His description right at the beginning of the script was, however, what actually killed death. You could have waited for the conversation between death and Neil to make that reveal, and it would have added an element of mysterious surprise.

The descriptions in general are too much and too wordy. You repeat death’s name so many times in the descriptive that it becomes burdensome to read the script. Descriptions need to be kept at a 4 line max. You can condense a lot of those large paragraphs into 3-4 lines.

The dialogue between at the end was the culmination of the script, and although it started off well, it simply did not deliver at the end. Death really cannot make deals, as he is the deliverer as you stated. Yet he makes some sort of deal which is hardly understood at all. Exactly what does death get during the ten year period?

Kathy Thomas (Level 3)

I think that your story had an interesting concept. Unfortunately, for me there wasn't much of a story. There was way too much dialogue and no action. Also, at the beginning the description almost filled the entire page with no break. The paragraphs felt too long. You can chop a few words of description and make it tighter and crisper.
Though Death was an interesting character (fleshed out and developed), Neil on the other hand was weak. I saw no desperation in Neil, the man has death in his office he doesn't want to die, make a move of some kind (maybe the gun).

Kirkland Morris (Level 2)

The setup definitely drew me in. I also like the way Death was presented with this slightly cross gender angle. I've never seen it done that way before. The momentum of the story stays strong until Death actually gets into Neil's office.

Once in the office the dialogue was a bit loose and could be tightened just a bit. I do like where the story was headed with Death wanting a human body that Neil has to pick. The story just falls off at this point and feels incomplete.

Perhaps in this one short Neil could use most of the time to make the decision right there in the office. Perhaps it's a family business and his family are all at work as he tries to make a decision?

Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)

Page 1 is all black, WAAAAAY too much in the action paragraphs. Then all the other pages are all dialogue. It makes for a VERY schizophrenic movie, a film that doesn't know what it wants to be. I'd urge balance: spread out your dialogue, spread out your action.

You explained why the secretary can't be used in the trade. But I still don't understand why. "It can only be someone you know." Do you mean, someone that ONLY Neil knows? How's that gonna work? Everyone knows at least two people in this world, so is it an impossible task? And how would that even be a sacrifice on Neil's part? If the deal's simply that Neil knows the person, then the secretary would be a viable choice. I just don't get the twist.

Details:
-Why the dialect spelling in your title? This dialect isn't used at all in your script. Just leave it at "Deal Number Two".
-The word "and" is way overused in the opening paragraphs. Save space, use commas instead.
-"Suits", not "suites". "Charitable", not "chartable".
-You need to specify that the Insert shot is of a door (could be a desk, letter, business card, anything).
-The viewer doesn't know that Neil finds Death "oddly beautiful", they just see him staring.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5)

Right off the bat - way too long on your action segments. I think standard is 3 or 4 lines max, and you can sneak in some 5 liners if they aren't too frequent. I know long segments save room, but they're harder to read. Your descriptives are very wordy. Some of your sentences run on way too long. It's almost like you wrote this out as a train of thought piece. That's not what you want in a script.

Your story is okay, and I really like the title. Your formatting needs work. Your characters are a bit bland. Your dialogue is okay.

Fairly good work.

Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)

I didn't really get this. I didn't understand the 10 year thing. And if his exchange had to be someone he knew, why wouldn't his secratary do? And had he given the Texas guy 10 years? I don't know, I just didn't get it.

Your writing needs to be trimmed down. You have a lot of unnecessary words in your narrative. That made it a little hard to read. If your narratives are leaner this will help the flow of your story. I'd also elaborate on the ten year thing. You don't have to get into great detail, but the way it is now there just isn't enough of an explanation.

Martin Jensen (Level 5)

Nooo! I just glanced at the first few paragraphs. Large chunks of description look really cluttered on the page, whereas white space (showing where action has been broken up with dialogue) looks a bit easier to manage.

OK, now I've read the first mega-paragraph. There are a lot of convoluted sentences and repetition, which aren't needed. Cut out the adjectives and adverbs and they'll feel more to the point.

Some of the dialogue also felt clunky. If Death is going to speak in a fluent, classical way then he should do so consistently, and Neil's dialogue should be in contrast to it.

I really liked the story - it had a sort of mysterious, mythical quality to it - but it could be a bit more digestible.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5)

woah - that's a big chunk of black for the opening paragraph - try and cut the action lines down to 4 lines tops.

typo: Death heads drectly to that/the back.

"walks directly into the 3rd door" - d;you mean he walks through the door or into the room because this reads like he walks into it as in ouch!

"Death enters the huge office of Neil....while filing her nails." This passage uses walks in twice and it's not clear who is using the revolver. Your descriptions are far too detailed.

GRAMMMAR: you're/your

"It can only be someone you know"? D'you maybe mean don't know? As he obviously knows his secretary, or d'you mean know really well??

The idea here is great, Death asking people to sacrifice their nearest and dearest, which people are obviously not doing - but surely a mean old crook would sacrifice someone???

Anyway, I liked it, I like the idea of Death wanting to be human, and the modern look you give him - although I did keep thinking of Meet Joe Black.

However, the fist page is just way too detailed. Your action/description passages need to be trimmed right back. Only what is essential to moving the story forward, revealing character, brief descriptions to set scene or setting up a pay off should be included.

Why numba?

Neal Barringer (Level 0)

This screenplay reads more like a novel than the foundation for a film. A slug line needs to be inserted every instance where there is a change of time or location. When Death enters the elevator, a new slug line is needed. When Death exits the elevator and walks down the hall to Neil's office, a new slug line is needed. When Death enters Neil's office, a new slug line is needed. (I think that is enough examples of where slug lines need to be inserted.)
"in his hands is..." I was a little bit confused about who this pronoun was referring to. Does Death carry the revolver? or, Neil?
then, you wrote redundantly - "in his hand is a black revolver he's brandishing it as he walks in..." plus, the entire sentence is one run-on sentence that needs to be broken up.
best to write concisely:
Death brandishes a black revolver. He walks past a SECRETARY. She sits with her back to the door.
after the long descriptive paragraphs of page 1, the rest of the piece was rather dialogue heavy and didn't offer any visual, thematic, or tense appeal.

Paul Williams (Level 5)

Unfortunately, there are a lot of screenwriting, formatting, and typo issues that severely distract from your story.

Read, read, read spec scripts that have placed in contests here throughout the months, determine what the common denominators are with them all, and incorporate that into your future screenwriting.

And never stop writing! Good luck!

Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)

There is an interesting idea in here and I like the way you have stepped away from some of the conventions of this kind of story. The telling of the story could use some work because I'm not sure I understood the deal sequence although I think I got it.

Being honest my first thought on opening this was "Oh crap!". That much text on any screenplay page is a huge negative.

"(gulping)" - Is one of several examples of a parentheticals that you probably don't need.

Rob Gross (Level 4)

I really enjoyed this tale. I liked your take on death, and your effort to create a unique character. There were moments in particular, like when he entered the office and tapped his fingers on the desk and hummed. I could really see this and it made the character come alive (no pun intended). I would suggest describing the ho-hum attitude from the beginning. Maybe he checks his manicured finger nails, or hums along to the elevator music.

The dialog, for the most part was pretty fresh. I think it does need some work at some points.

Neil seems to give in pretty quickly that this is "death". At first, he says "what the f**K? He's pissed off...then he gulps? It's too fast and not too believable.

This would be a cool short to make and would give two actors a chance to really ham it up.

I like the premise, that death wants to be human. Work on suspending the disbelief a little better - example- Why wouldn't death do what he wants? Why would he need to ask Neil's permission for the sacrifice?

I love the ending. Well done, and good luck with the voting!

Ron Hooker (Level 4)

Hmm. I have mixed feeling about this script. The imagery was great. I loved Death's character and his whole persona. He's cool, calm, and collected as he goes about his business. I also like how nobody could see him except his target...Neil.

The story as a whole was somewhat weak, though. I'm not exactly sure why Death appears as he does, when he does, at this particular place to talk to this guy. I understand the "10-year" irony that reflects back to another time and place (victim) but Death wanting to trade places with Neil, so to speak, and die as a human made little sense to me.

Sally Meyer (Moderator)

First whenever I open a script and see a whole page of text, I just want to skim over it, and get to the story. I didn't do this with your script, I wanted to see what Death looked like (LOL)

The description of Death, took up half a page and could have been achieved in probably one line. It's off putting to see so much black on the page. Lean and mean is the rule when it comes to screenwriting.

I thought you had a great idea, however. Death comes for someone, and it was spooky. He was a menacing character and a strong one. But the story just ended so abruptly, like you'd ran out of pages, and yes you did run out. But I think this would have benefitted from some serious cutting on the first page. Then you could have finished the story.

As it is, it goes nowhere and we're left wondering what is going to happen. The audience and reader wants to know what DID happen.


Good try at a quite fun concept. I think with some trimming, and a good solid ending, this could be really a good script.

Scott Merrow (Level 5)

A lot of grammar and punctuation errors. Proofread! The narrative up front is all run-on, which is tough to read and gets the screenplay off to a slow start. The first two blocks of narrative are 9 and 7 lines, respectively. You could probably trim that in half (or less). For example, "in the middle of a bustling city" is information we don't need, and you tell us he's in "a crowd of roughly a dozen," then you say, "He stands in a sea of people." We know what it's like to wait in a crowd for an elevator, you don't have to paint the picture for us -- twice. After that, it's pretty much all dialogue, and (to me) the dialogue seems forced. Death is too sarcastic and smart alecky. And the dialogue tends to just drag along and bog the story down. The whole story boils down to Deal #1 vs. Deal #2, and we don't get to that until the last page. Focus on the story!

Stacy Milbourn (Level 3)

I think the whole picture of Death dressed in all black is kind of tired and over-used. When I got to the end, and saw that Death was going to give Neil ten years to find him a body to use, I started thinking, what if Death was dressed as this sharp-shooter who was given ten extra years to live? That might be interesting, and a little fresher than Death coming up all decked out in black clothes. He could be dressed as this cowboy, chewing on a tooth pick, twirling this gun around and smiling. Really, what could be more frightening than that? If this doesn't sound good to you, maybe dress Death in normal, every day clothes, so he looks like a normal person that Neil has been ripping off. I think that would give a little bit more of a surprise when Death introduces himself. About the introduction, I would have Death say, "I am Death," rather than "My name is Death," simply because Death isn't just his name, it's what he is. There were quite a few spelling errors and small things like that. I think with a little work and a few more drafts, this could be really interesting.

Stephen Brown (Level 5)

First impression of this script is there is too much text.

This is an interesting premise. It actually is something I played around with myself. My final script went a different way, it still had death involved but I just went a different way. My original idea was going to be a businessman in an office though.

I liked how you took Death in a different way, but I just feel you didn't go far enough. He still came across, deep down, in the traditional sense. Left it feeling a little old hat.

I think we needed to know a little more about what made Neil a bad person. The 'deal' wasn't all that clear either.

A good effort though. Trimming down your descriptions would help it alot.

T. James DeStein (Level 5)

"Death enters the huge office of Neil O’Mara, in his hand is
a black revolver he’s brandishing it as he walks in and sees
the room’s virtually empty, save for a young secretary who
doesn’t even see Death walk in as her chair’s turned
backward and she chats on the telephone while filing her
nails."

That entire paragraph is just one sentence. Your writing needs some serious work. Lots of typos and grammatical mistakes all over the place. I thought you over described things, too. The repeated parantheticals and whatnot were distracting for me. The story was a little bland, I never really cared for either Death or Neil.

Tim Westland (Moderator)

There is quite a lot about this that needs work. Lots of work.

What you've got reads more like a novel than a screenplay. I suspect you're
new to this, and that's fine.

The first rule of script writing is: Less is more

I took a stab at how I thought your 1st page could be condensed, yet still keep the tone. This is just an example.

+++++++++++

INT. OFFICE BUILDING LOBBY - DAY

Dozens of busy, well dressed professionals dart among each other like a
school of fish as they make their way through the gleaming lobby.

A MAN enters through the revolving doors.

Jet black suit, coal black hair, eyes the color of deep space.

This is DEATH.

Death walks among the throng. They part before him like the Red Sea, though
none seem to notice him.

As he approaches an elevator, the doors open. He walks in. Nobody follows.

INT. 66TH FLOOR - DAY

Death steps out of the elevator and walks, unnoticed, past a well groomed receptionist.

He stops before a door marked: NEIL O'MARA, CEO

INT. OFFICE - DAY

Death quietly closes the door behind himself.

NEIL O'MARA, 61, gruff and weathered, sits facing the city view below. He bellows angrily at whoever is on the other end of the phone.

NEIL
Don't be such a goddamned pussy. Make a
deal with the Devil if you have to, but
you will close this fucking deal today
or it's your ass.

Death casually removes a fat, black revolver from his jacket and takes a seat.

NEIL
Don't bother calling again unless
it's to tell me what I want to hear.

Neil slams the phone in its cradle.

NEIL
Fucking moron.

Death clears his throat. Neil spins, alarmed by the unexpected visitor.

+++++++++++

You'll notice that I don't describe every little thing that the people do. The scene inside the elevator accomplishes nothing, so I cut it out. So much should be removed and left for the actor or the Director to figure out.

Question: Why does Death need a gun?

Other things... your dialogue is VERY on the nose, there are a lot of grammar mistakes, even more punctuation problems and you have HUGE paragraphs.

Notice that my example rewrite of your first page is made up of quick, short sentences that are quick to read, have impact, and describe what needs to be described. The official term for your characterizations and long paragraphs is "micromanaging".

Hopefully you'll read through all of the other scripts and see how little description there is. And when there is a lot (when appropriate, of course), it is broken into managable, bite sized, and very concise chunks.

As for the story... it really doesn't work. That might be due to the very poor grammar. Some bits of dialogue, aside from being on the nose, were so poorly constructed that I couldn't make any sense of it. Overall, though, the story was based on stuff I've seen on TV a dozen times. Nothing unique, no impact, no real story.

Read the other scripts posted here... especially past winners - they are great. You'll learn over time... but you'll need to learn to use spell check, at a minimum, to get over some very basic hurdles with your writing.

Good luck.

Tracy Ryan (Level 3)

I like the idea of death coming to take someone and your description of the character death is very good, I can picture him in my mind. But, I don't get the end. Probably me.

William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)

There is some interesting banter, enjoyed some of Death's lines. I do think you need to trim down the 1st page and only tell us what is necessary. It's a bit bulky. Also, stay away from "is doing this" or "is doing that" in your descriptions. Make them vibrant and alive.

William Dunbar (Level 5)

You've got a pretty good idea for a story here. The dialogue is pretty good, and the twist shows promise. The number one problem you're going to have is getting anyone to read past the first page. Too much description. Most people will just groan and give up. Take out a lot of wordiness, explain better what it is Death wants, and you'll have a good script. Good job.


Comments Made After the Contest

Ashley Croft (Level 3) ~ 2/1/2009 7:57 AM

ooooo, Tim, hon, I know you mean well, but please don't EVER re-write someone's script, I actually found that just a tiny bit rude. Also, I've been writing for around six years now so I don't think I'm still a novice, just really young still and learning. But I know you mean only to help, so I do thank you. I think I'm gonna actually re-write this one, because I do love it and I think I did write too much. I tend to write all my scripts in novel form in notebooks and then making them into scripts when on the computer so that's something I've ALWAYS had a problem with--I know, I write entirely too much. Someone, though actually called my characters bland, which I thought was funny because everyone's supposed to be bland, kinda cliche office figures but then Death comes in who's so not bland, at least imo. Oh, and to address someone else, Death is actually his title, not just what he does, which I guess is also another reason he'd want to be human so he can have some other identity. I would think it's kinda obvious that he wants to be human because of his choice of dress, he doesn't really fit the mold of how you think death would 'look'. LOL! Why do people seem to be under the belief I can't spell 'Number' of course it's a deliberate choice, it's actual a slight homage to my heritage...a damn proud New Yorker,lol, it kinda makes it stand out.

Ashley Croft (Level 3) ~ 2/1/2009 7:58 AM

Oh, and again thank you all for reading it, I know how hard and annoying it is to read a big block of script so I do apologize.

John Brooke (Level 5) ~ 2/1/2009 8:30 PM

I certainly think that you don't have to appolobize. You have wriiten a wonderful script that explores the imaginaged aspects of what death may look like. Your work reached for the stars and I for one think you touched them. I reiterate, wonderful imaginative script.

Gracias,

John


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