New Year's Luck
Overall I enjoyed reading this story. It has potential to be a very good and funny ensemble film. You have the characters and storylines in place and you dialogue is very good. Some of the phraseology had me chuckling to myself. I wonder if you could focus the story a little more and try to make sure that there is a common theme that runs through it. At times I wondered where you were going with it. As a collection of sub-plots it’s fine, but try and ensure that each of them move the story as a whole forward.
I’m glad I took the time to read this, and I hope you keep working at it through further drafts as you have the basis of a very good screenplay.
Character – The premise of the story is that you have an ensemble of characters who are all out on New Years Eve. You have written some fine characters for the story, each of whom has some terrific dialogue (see note below). To be honest I struggled to keep up with who was who as the story moved forward. When you first introduce them try to give us something to remember each of them by, even if it’s something as simple as hair colour or general appearance. For an ensemble story such as this, you need to give the reader a helping hand and to prevent them having to flick back through the pages. Try to make them all memorable. If you can’t I would consider if they serve the story at all, and if they don’t, send them for the chop.
Dialogue – Your dialogue is very good. It was clear to me that this is an area you enjoy writing and it pays off as there is a natural flow to the passages of dialogue. Having said that, I feel you could still improve in this area by reducing the amount of dialogue slightly. You have passages of dialogue that continue for a couple of pages. Try going over these again and see if you can reduce it slightly, or at least break it up with the odd line of action. I laughed out loud at some of the dialogue, it was clear you had fun writing it.
Concept – The concept of the story is fine. I would go back over each of the story threads individually and check that they work on there own. At times throughout the story I was asking myself where it was all going. Try to make sure you keep it fresh and that each scene moves the story forward. I have been writing a screenplay recently that had a similar amount of characters as yours does. I eventually got rid of six of them as they didn’t really serve the story. It was a shame to lose them, but as a result the screenplay became a lot more focussed. I wonder if you could do this with one or two of your sub-plots? Pick the characters you really like and focus and develop their stories a little more.
Writing Style – You have a nice writing style that really comes into its own when you write dialogue. There is a natural flow to this part of your writing. When you write action sequences always remember to show and not tell. There are a few instances when you use suggestions that can’t be filmed. Only write what can be seen on the screen. Some of your scenes go on a little too long. You could improve this by reviewing what you have written and check whether some of the dialogue and action is redundant. If it doesn’t move the story forward then lose it. I always try to remember to “Come in late and get out early” when writing a scene. This can make a scene much more concise.
I would have a look through your screenplay and pay particular attention to your ‘ing’ words. Try to change as many as possible to active verbs (walking becomes walks etc). This will improve the pace of the scene and story.
Looking forward to see any further drafts of this.
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