This week Heidi took a look at the 1st 10 pages of Jae Kim's The Songbird
Characterization: Jane is an interesting character, although I don’t feel like her character is consistent. The logline suggests that she suffers from paranoia; however, her behavior in the script isn’t always in agreement with that. She seems rather bold and is too approachable. The secondary characters like the apartment manager and her neighbors seem to know what’s wrong with her, but it isn’t clear. I feel as if I’m watching Jane through a murky fog over loch ness. I have difficulty connecting to her, which is a warning flag for me. If I can’t connect to her, why should I care what becomes of her. I would suggest doing some deeper research into the psychological diagnosis of paranoia to better create your character. I’ve marked a few character issues in the script as well. Setting: The setting is also oddly void. What city hosts this story? Are there any landmarks to mention making it more vivid? It is easiest to look at setting as a separate character as a writer. Describe it as well as you should your main character, in this case Jane. I also felt that you didn’t use all five senses to describe place, people and things. A script’s job is to tell a wonderful story, but a writer must show the story to readers (producers/agents). Your sentences are very telling and it pulls away from the showing aspects. Granted though, you have a wonderful start. It isn’t finished though.
Plot: The plot is slow to start and a bit uneven, but out of all I have mentioned it is in the best shape. Remember the three-part page formula (30-60-90) concept of screenwriting. Most people will give a film thirty pages to ensnarl them, but if you haven’t done it by then you are endanger of losing them. A screenplay is set up to happen in THREE distinct acts. Each of these acts should fall about every THIRTY pages. An example would be, the 1st act should climax at page 30 or so, the 2nd at page 60, the 3rd at page 90, and the final few pages should wrap it all up neatly and give the viewers hope for the characters they have fallen in love for the last hour and a half. I’d double check that my screenplay follows this simple formula. Overall: I send you kudos. This script while certainly not complete is a healthy draft. There is plenty here for you to move forward on, and you should.
My official rating: Take Another Pass. I wish you the best of luck in your writing endeavors.