View Full Version : How is it for a beginning? (critique)
July 27th, 2007, 07:09 AM
Quenby finds and saves Prince Mac Cuillaume, her true love. Cuillaume assisted by dwarves, the wind, and the birds saves her from the enchanted forest, the underworld, and from the fiery dragon of chaos in fierce battles, and can with her open a new dimension of eternal youth at the gate of Aasa, the henge of the ancient temple.
What do you think of it? This is the beginning of a screenplay:
(took it off the forum, because of possible piracy)
some background on the screenplay
Theme: True love breaks the bonds of death and (True love goes beyond death.)
Sub theme: The winning of the dragons of our lives through true love is the essence of the hero.
NB! I am not a native English speaker
July 27th, 2007, 10:37 AM
Cut everything before ODE speech to about three lines.
Get rid of anything that sounds like a novel...as a bird soars, etc.
Get rid of all direction and camera moves like "pulling back".
Your fade back from the amulet is actually direction and would be criticized or ignored, but you could do it.
"A dragon breathes fire, destroying a medeival-looking city. The scene diminshes, revealing it to be a image on a locket around the neck of MAC ULLWANE, touseled ten year old.
Very important, don't use complex or progressive verbs. "Is" is not a good word for action descriptions. Not "is demolishing" but "demolishes" etc. Simple, unvarnished present tense always. Seriously.
I could go on, but would just suggest that you get hold of scripts and read how they are written. I would also suggest that if you are writing scripts you workshop them on a site devoted to screenplay writing because it's a different, peculiar form. The two best places are zoetrope.com and triggerstreet.com You ahve to review other scripts in order to get reviews...an educational process in itself. You can post to forums there to get the bugs worked out (and you have a LOT of format bugs here) before posting for review.
Read internet tutorials on screenwriting, there are jillions of them.
July 27th, 2007, 10:39 AM
BTW, forget themes and subthemes, just tell a story.
Don't even THINK about showing all that analysis to serious screenwriters.
There are a lot of African and Indian writers on Zoetrope. You could obtain and organize support there by setting up your private "office" as a Bollywood forum or something (if that's where you're from)
You might not WANT to script this. You might be a fiction writer at heart, reveling in descriptions and nuances that have no place in scripts.
August 2nd, 2007, 07:55 AM
Certainly no screenplay should be without detail, detail is what brings it alive with texture and tones of color and sound and just telling a story without doing the homework for character arks, etc. it would be most hard to write even a script that works this way. A lot of good advice otherwise, thanks.
Well let me give you a synopsis, see what you think: http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=406571#post406571
August 2nd, 2007, 11:40 AM
No, actually detail is useless in screenplays. Seriously.
You don't get to pick what car they drive or what house they go into, or even who they look like.
Who brings out color and texture and all that is the cinematographer. The director. The location scout. The art director and costume/set designers.
This is a common mistake among naive new screenwriters. Don't feel bad. But don't try to write something like this and expect to get anybody connected with films to read it.
"As a bird gliding in air" isn't a detail, it's an embroidery that has absolutely no place in a script.
You asked for advice, that's the most important advice you can get at this stage. Get some spec scripts. Read them, see how they work. You are trying to write fiction here, not a script and it won't work for you.
August 7th, 2007, 01:48 PM
I think you know a lot, I don't like to bash, I am sure you are a pro.
How about this short segment, how does it feel?
EXT. THE FARM MEADOW – DAY
Cuillaume awakens and when opening his eyes Gwendamort stands in front of him stomping with his feet on a hollow wood trunk in the rhythm of the drum, that shatters under his strength.
(with an evil scowl)
Are you so clever yourself, or
is it that you have clever
HANDS (MAC CUILLAUME)
I have got no other to advise me
but my poor head and God Almighty
Again Gwendamort turns away. MUTTERING something to himself. Goes to a little distance and then comes back.
Tomorrow you will have nothing to
do. You can sleep all day.
HANDS (MAC CUILLAUME)
Glad to hear the good news.
(gloating delight and fast)
But tonight you’ll have to work hard.
Sow the barley at once. The crop
will sprout, grow and ripen fast;
then you must cut, thresh and winnow
the barley, make it into malt and
grind it. After that you have to brew
beer and in the morning when I wake up
I want you to bring me a tankard of
fresh beer to my bed. See to it that
all my orders are fulfilled, or you
will lose your life.
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