critique WORK IN PROGRESS scripts

Hello everyone,

I’m posting some links to some of my scripts. If you want to jump in here’s the links:

1

life as a screenplay miniseries

Logline: An actress turned vigilante hunts down a rapist, afterwards, her sister falls for a club owner caught in the wake.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14lBbnQAvG88A9AwJSjUlHWInl5QMD5za/view?usp=sharing

2

life as screenplay 1st episode coming of age

Logline: Ronnie fills her daughter in about the rape of Miranda.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T_borDcLZKQGgzZt1loeYLlGaRu5AJ8J/view?usp=sharing

3

Bob’s Burgers

Logline: When Bob considers expanding, it is without his family.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y_fnPGa794rZrMqvEmr7uszUFfQMOWRR/view?usp=sharing

4

Fantastic Four script

Log Line: The Fantastic Four gain their powers and their first nemesis is one of their own: Malice.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1StdZCvVOZlXwd6mZJHjF0PtyFhTBXRNI/view?usp=sharing

If you want to know more read below.

Why I’m here. I hope get 1 to be read and get feedback.

2 find a writing partner.

My stuff is ruff. I need help with understanding structure, acts etc. As you’ll see if you take the time to read.
With ADD etc it’s like putting together a puzzle without a picture to go by.

Life as a screenplay: is an early version of my writing. It was to be a movie. I will rework it as a mini-series as it is a springboard to launch four series off from it.

The min-series is I know to descriptive. Closer to that of a novel. These are my babies and I went overboard. Hopefully you can stay with it and just give me feedback on the characters, scenes etc. I plan to make the concept clearer in rewrite. I plan to lose some characters etc. But, the basic idea will be the same.

Life as a screenplay: coming of age E1.

Is the first spin off. It is a coming of age show that will focus on the three girls. I am also reworking this to cover events from the mini-series.

Bob’s Burgers was for a contest I entered. Just read for example of my work.

Fantastic Four the heroes within.

Was meant to be a movie. Then, I had so much it had to be a series. Of course this idea was when FOX had them and wished they were open to ideas. Just read for example of my work.

I think a started to get a style from ‘age’ on.

Anyway, read share your thoughts, here or e-mail me.

clarkratliff@ymail.com

More on Fantastic Four:

A little bit about the script I’m working on and me:

I had planned on making this a movie with about 5 altogether, but I got so into it it would've had to be a series.

So this script is what
would be a season, only a season would be more stretched out and more developed. Such as, the hate monger and Sue/Malice. The Monger would be able to spend a good part of the season messing with her head like it was on the Hannibal TV series.

I of course would have liked to submitted the idea to the studios/comic company but they don't take submissions, ideas etc. I think the idea is there with the right help it could've been interesting. Hopefully something people would've liked. But, we'll never know.

I'm still learning about writing, so, understanding the three act structure etc and time is a challenge for me.

This version is based on the John Byrne era in the 80's. Plus, I tried to honor the original Stan Lee/Kirby version of Sue's dad is in prison for murder and he didn't want Johnny to know, to say he was dead. I took that and tried to build and twist on that. Such as I try to explain why each one has different powers even though same cosmic rays, etc. I twisted things around by having the hate monger play a part in their development making Malice the first villain as he will be a professor-x to Sue. Also, I didn’t like in the comic the Monger was an android I think it was. Mine, he’s just a twisted individual.

I didn't set out to make this version dark just because it's the in thing now, but the first one sets up the others and to come from a place of the FF to be being so dysfunctional. It gave me something to build on.

I added at least three characters that are not I the comic. One, to lighten the mood such as Johnny's agent Amy. It was getting depressing enough to where the script should come with a razor. So she added humor without making it silly (I hope). So my dynamic would be Reed and Sue are the parents and Ben and Johnny are more the kids. Eventually the FF would be more like the comics more fun etc, but they have to get there after all the dysfunction. There's a reason to get there.

So I would like feedback not just from writers, but people who enjoy reading, fans of film and television and of course, fans of the Fantastic Four comic. Do they like my vision of the FF?

I know I could use notes on my writing its self. I have an alphabet of learning disabilities, so stating the obvious may not be that simple for me. I've tried reading script books and checked on a few sites and everyone says something different etc.

So my hopes by putting this out there is one, to get read and hopefully maybe find the Hall to my Oats and find a collaborator who can work with me that has the same twisted visions I have.

Also, just in general, fans of the FF comic, I would like to hear from them as well. Keeping in mind this is a version of them, not trying to say it is the only version, just how I see things. I can go more into here or e-mail me. I could talk for hours about what I would've liked to have done. Things such as, in the comic the ship was on a military base and they stole it and I don't think it was mentioned anymore. I have it where to keep from jail they work with the military for some time. Also, Reed has money, so when he learned of Sue's dad he bought the prison to make sure her dad was taken care of and respected his wishes to remain there.

I have a DVD-Rom of the first 40 years of the FF. I wanted to go through and work it in and honor all that came before, but I wanted to get this out and only if it were go get a lot of request would I continue it. But if no one is interested, then it's just for me. That’s at least one good thing about the internet, you don’t have to suffer alone in never getting anyone to read what you have.

My hope of course is maybe someone will like this version and maybe see fit to let me collaborate on something.

Also, my writing style, though I know it needs work, the overall content, do I capture dialogue well, execute this and that. Basically, is it anything you'd like to see? One of my script heroes is Shane Black. I enjoy just reading his scripts and for someone with ADD etc. That’s saying a lot. I hope to have a style one day like his to have it easy to read/hard to put down and some of the best movies out there.
 
Wow dude! You certainly are prolific!
I'm trying to read 'Life as a screenplay' but I'm struggling. it's probably me, I'm not the quickest reader, so if the grammar is incomplete or colloquial, I get easily confused.
My first thoughts are (now this is not a critique, just an personal feeling) your writing appears to be a torrential flow, almost 'stream of conscious' (even the post that I'm replying to) is too much (for me) to take in.
I, again, personally feel you could slow down, do some internal editing, and express yourself in a more elegant way.
I'll see how I get on with 'Life as a Screenplay' and let you know my thought (for what they are worth) on the actual script.
 
Hello,
I'm sorry but I've had to give up on 'Life as a screenplay'. I'm roughly half an hour in and nothing has happened to capture my interest. This along with the daunting magnitude of it, makes it quite a bit of a chore.
I'm not a producer, though I have sat in many, many producers offices and attended meeting (with shoulder height piles of scripts awaiting hopeful reads!) and In it's current form I can't see 'Life as a screenplay' getting the time it needs devoted to it.

I am no one to judge, but if you take me as the lowest common denominator, you need to do some trimming and economising.
If there is one thing I will say, start by culling some of the descriptions. In the 30+ pages i've read there was quite a lot of detail included which should be the realm of the director/cinematographer. I know this because at the moment, in the draft of my script, I am adding these in a different format, so they stand out, to be removed later.

I hope that is a tiny bit of help. You certainly have a massive passion, which is inspirational.
 
Last edited:
what was the point of this site again?
My understanding: a place for people with an active interest in film-making to meet up, share ideas and offer a helping hand if and when possible.

DrK helped us all out by being the first to review what you posted and made several comments that, in four weeks, you didn't reply to. Apart from your own lack of engagement, from what he said, these were enough for me to decide that I wouldn't even click the link:

DrKHawonaha said:
  • I'm trying to read 'Life as a screenplay' but I'm struggling ... the grammar is incomplete or colloquial
  • your writing appears to be a torrential flow, almost 'stream of conscious'
  • I've had to give up on 'Life as a screenplay'. I'm roughly half an hour in and nothing has happened to capture my interest. This along with the daunting magnitude of it, makes it quite a bit of a chore.
  • In the 30+ pages i've read there was quite a lot of detail included which should be the realm of the director/cinematographer.
From the info you gave in the first post, you've asked for feedback on a script for a mini-series that was meant to be a movie, a spin-off from either the movie or the miniseries, another mini-series derived from a movie and something else that was submitted to a competition. :hmm: Too much - waaaaaaay too much!

Based on DrK's comments, if you're really interested in getting feedback on your work, start small and do some heavy trimming before uploading. Let's have the script for a 5-10 minute short instead of a whole mini-series or three ... (See @Geezer 's thread here or @onebaldman 's request there for examples )
 
I agree there is far too much description going on, you are writing a screenplay not a novel.

"Cassie has an open-mouthed expression as if to say ‘oh’.
With her left hand, she holds up her palm towards him and
lowers her fingers to her palm and back up as a wave to
him.
She walks alongside the deck to the ramp and then to the
dock. She walks over to Shovels. You can tell by her
expression the music is too loud, but she is polite."

This could just be;

Cassie smiles and waves as she makes her way to Shovels.
A wry look on her face as she looks to CD player but says nothing.

DrKHawonaha managed much moire than me so well done to him/her. I think you would be better to write a short screenplay that will get people reading and get them interested. This has also put me off checking out any of your other screenplays.
 
I agree there is far too much description going on, you are writing a screenplay not a novel.

"Cassie has an open-mouthed expression as if to say ‘oh’.
With her left hand, she holds up her palm towards him and
lowers her fingers to her palm and back up as a wave to
him.
She walks alongside the deck to the ramp and then to the
dock. She walks over to Shovels. You can tell by her
expression the music is too loud, but she is polite."

This could just be;

Cassie smiles and waves as she makes her way to Shovels.
A wry look on her face as she looks to CD player but says nothing.

DrKHawonaha managed much moire than me so well done to him/her. I think you would be better to write a short screenplay that will get people reading and get them interested. This has also put me off checking out any of your other screenplays.
what he said
 
I believe sites such as this( and have tried many) I see no interaction. People post works and no comments. What comments there are (well you see). As for DrK comments the jist I got was didn't like, not interested. I get my stuff is to wordy (learning, as if maybe others could, maybe glance over check out dialogue, or move onto one of the other scripts??!

I did mention in my introduction it was like a novel, so if you go to read it and point it out, it's like letting someone know there if cussing in it if offended please don't read and then you read it and complain there was to much cussing??! Reading is just that. Screenplays are longer than twitter posts. Again as for DrK comments, I've been on a few sites and most situations turn into flame wars I think they call it? I've learned if someone hates it explaining myself is pointless. IF someone were to engage in questions such as; why kill off that character, why this etc then you're questioning what is in the story you're challenging the writer. if I read others works, I read it, and make note,s point out what I like and question what I don't understand. Most sites like this I believe have fewer interactions by how what little interaction there is, is not an open positive experience, but attacks almost to points of bullying?

Again, all was stated in my introduction (overwriten and incoherent by ADD). So choosing to point out what was pointed out before seems only to be a basis to attack and as you can see from the comments people circle and gang up. If you can't look beyond others comments and judge for yourself, it is what it is.

Most sites I have been to seem more to be private clubs. Always the same people comment, usually never in a positive lite. I'm assuming most on these sites are not professional writers, as that is why we are here or there to learn. Perhaps like school bullies the frustration of not succeeding themselves , attacking others, gives them that strength. Instead of working with others to better ourselves. I am no expert (obviously) but as I said before if I choose to read others works I interact not judge. For if I could judge I would be making a living at this.

Also I believe I mentioned I have learning disabilities ADD etc. Others may express themselves in one word I may take a few more.

So in closing 1, again sorry response longer than a twitter post and 2, to anyone, again, think for yourselves. Read my scripts or don't, just don't go by peoples opinions who only know how to criticize. I wouldn't think telling others how to read, like food at a buffet, if you don't like one thing, try something else??! I did mention (in my own opinion) my writing evolves from the novel to be less descriptive. And should someone think for themselves to read on their own, I will again mention, while I believe I have cut down my novel writing, I still need to work on story/structure etc AGAIN, NOT A PROFESSIONAL writer.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I (of course) am only speaking for myself:

You posted these scripts and then did not return for 2 months. In my years
here at indietalk I have found that most writers want readers and don't return
for a month do not return at all. Or they return and criticize our little group. So
I always wait before I read and comment on a script. I really hate taking an hour
or so to read and another hour or so to write up my thoughts and either get
accused of bullying or the writer never returns to see it. Talk about frustrating.

Again, just my personal opinion: I will not read fan scripts. I'm not interested your
take on Fantastic Four. I'm a fan. I own every issue from FF#1 to FF#414. Not
DVD-Rom, actual original books. I respect that you want to write a good FF script
but I'm not interested in reading it. Is that a bias attack on you as a person or writer?
Does that make me like a school bully who is frustrated at not succeeding myself?

I'm sorry you chose to compare indietalk to “most sites” rather than take this site
as it is. DrK offered his opinion. His real opinion. He even made it clear that he is
“no one to judge”.

Yet when you returned after 2 months you got sarcastic and put down the entire site.

How about taking what Drk said and use that to improve? Since you want to get better,
listening with an open mind will help you get there.

If you're going to stick around I'll read and comment on your script.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I did mention in my introduction it was like a novel, so if you go to read it and point it out, it's like letting someone know there if cussing in it if offended please don't read and then you read it and complain there was to much cussing??!
Um no it's different. Because screenplays should not read like novels, and here, some members even gave examples on how you could fix that.
 
If you can't take criticism then maybe you should not post your scripts to get feedback. If you do ask for feedback don't attack those who ave gone to the trouble of reading and then trying to offer advice.

You said: "but attacks almost to points of bullying " well unless I missed something I did NOT see any bullying or any attacks.

If you find it impossible to write less then I would say, continue writing for fun and for your own enjoyment but don't offer anything to others to read because you might not like what you hear.

Just because you know you write too much with too much description does not make it OK. You asked for people to judge your characters etc. With so much text people just switch off because it's not what they want to see when reading a screenplay. It needs to flow and keep them reading. I pointed out how you can cut down the amount of text from seven lines to just two, with the same affect. If you think that was an attack and not helpful then, well I don't really know what to say.
 
Last edited:
think for yourselves. Read my scripts or don't, just don't go by peoples opinions who only know how to criticize. I wouldn't think telling others how to read, like food at a buffet, if you don't like one thing, try something else??!
Well, it sounds like everyone other than DrK chose not to read them, but you weren't very happy with our choice ... :hmm: And I can only speak for myself, but I wasn't swayed by DrK's criticism - it was his factual report (length, grammatical errors, time spent vs. plot development) that made me decide that it wasn't worth my time.

That said, having re-read your first post, I wondered if "Bob's Burgers" was in fact a completely separate story, destined to be a short, so I had a look at it this afternoon. It's 37 pages long. 😲 Five pages in, I had absolutely no idea what it was about other than "something about an empty property". The dialogue made no sense to me, there was no indication of where the story was going, so I skipped to the last five pages. Nope, I still can't figure out who's talking about what. All the characters seem to stop mid-sentence or veer off into a different subject or refer to things that don't exist in the story. The colloquial language (remarked upon by DrK) doesn't help.

So I would repeat what I said earlier: start small; study @Geezer 's script (also adapted from a novel) and the comments in that thread; then take one of your own scripts and cut it down in line with @DrKHawonaha 's comments.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I don't want to pile on but...

Everyone here on indietalk wants to help you clark. And we clearly are not going
to let you get away with anything other than the very best you can do. You have
some challenges to overcome. I do too; I'm quite dyslexic. Obviously on a
professional level that fact doesn't get me a pass on what I present. Even here
with your fellow amateur writers, we are going to encourage you to write at a
professional level.

You can choose to see that as bullying. Or you can choose to see that as fellow
writers who care and want to help you get better.
 
I don't want to pile on but...

Everyone here on indietalk wants to help you clark. And we clearly are not going
to let you get away with anything other than the very best you can do. You have
some challenges to overcome. I do too; I'm quite dyslexic. Obviously on a
professional level that fact doesn't get me a pass on what I present. Even here
with your fellow amateur writers, we are going to encourage you to write at a
professional level.

You can choose to see that as bullying. Or you can choose to see that as fellow
writers who care and want to help you get better.
Thanks diretorik, (great to know others out there with disabilities I would say?) I still don't think this is my site. But I do appreciate you taking the time to be cordial.
Well, it sounds like everyone other than DrK chose not to read them, but you weren't very happy with our choice ... :hmm: And I can only speak for myself, but I wasn't swayed by DrK's criticism - it was his factual report (length, grammatical errors, time spent vs. plot development) that made me decide that it wasn't worth my time.

That said, having re-read your first post, I wondered if "Bob's Burgers" was in fact a completely separate story, destined to be a short, so I had a look at it this afternoon. It's 37 pages long. 😲 Five pages in, I had absolutely no idea what it was about other than "something about an empty property". The dialogue made no sense to me, there was no indication of where the story was going, so I skipped to the last five pages. Nope, I still can't figure out who's talking about what. All the characters seem to stop mid-sentence or veer off into a different subject or refer to things that don't exist in the story. The colloquial language (remarked upon by DrK) doesn't help.

So I would repeat what I said earlier: start small; study @Geezer 's script (also adapted from a novel) and the comments in that thread; then take one of your own scripts and cut it down in line with @DrKHawonaha 's comments.
I know most script for 30 minute shows are 25-30 pages. I tried to mimic the way they talk on the show. I love the fact they do a lot of "umm" etc. They talk like real people in my opinion. Again, story, I may be off (still need help with it). The point was every episode from the credits they always have the space next door empty and I thought it would be interesting to see Bob want to do a nicer place next door. I aparently was wrong? Anyway, like I say, this isn't my site. And that's cool. I'll keep looking.
 
I tried to mimic the way they talk on the show. I love the fact they do a lot of "umm" etc. They talk like real people in my opinion. Again, story, I may be off (still need help with it). The point was every episode from the credits they always have the space next door empty and I thought it would be interesting to see Bob want to do a nicer place next door.
Well then I interpreted correctly: you're writing with reference to a scenario I know nothing about, and writing voices/accents for characters based on your perception of someone else's (i.e. the actor's) interpretation of yet another person's work (i.e. the original screenwriter's). That explains why none of it makes sense to me. If you're not going to write original material - your own characters with their own story - then yes, you probably are in the wrong place. :coffee:
 
Anyway, like I say, this isn't my site. And that's cool. I'll keep looking.
What are looking for, a site that tells you what you want to hear?

I decided to try Bobs Burgers, not the actual burgers just the script. WOW! that is just crazy. We weren't introduced to many of the characters, they just appeared. I got to the end of page 6 and had absolutely no clue what was going on. It sounded like in your head you knew what it was all about but tottally failed to convey that to us... the audience
 

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
I'd say rather than searching for more feedback for the same scripts, best bet would be take a break from these puppies.

Maybe a month, and then re-read them, knowing what other people have said.

After that, ask yourself what you still like about it, and consider what others don't like.

I've done that over 5 times with my own short film scripts, until I got what I really liked combined with tips and feedback.

The two make a great combo. Try it out!

(And I have ADD too, but refuse to use that as a hindrence, rather I look at what it does for me, which actually makes my stories unique.)
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Thanks diretorik, (great to know others out there with disabilities I would say?) I still don't think this is my site. But I do appreciate you taking the time to be cordial.
Yep, I have some writing disabilities. I know many writers who do. My
dyslexia is so severe that I have to do 5 or 6 checks before I post even
this message. A script can take me a dozen checks before I will show
it to anyone. It's essential to overcome those disabilities. You cannot
expect people to give you a pass because of your disability.

You are right; indietalk isn't for you. The regulars here a willing to help
a writer produce a better, more readable, more sellable script. You want
only positive reassurance that you are doing the right thing. You seem
to want to feel good about yourself and need others to reinforce that.
I agree with you; you won't find that here.

With honest sincerity, I wish you the very best as a writer.
 
Well, i' ve just read ten pages of "life as a screenplay". And all ten pages is one scene. There is a dialogue for the first three pages with nothing going on and there is no obvious purpose of that dialogue. Then it's another seven pages of a dialogue. It's ten minutes of just talking. Usually, maximum scene length is around two-three minutes. And there is a reason for that - no one is going to watch ten minutes of people talking. It's just not interesting. Sorry, mate. You should aim for two minutes scenes and try to give us as much information as possible through dialogues.
 
Last edited:
Top