First, this was a surprisingly good story. I almost removed the assignment because “romcom” and “horseshoes” didn’t exactly blow my skirt up. But I figured what the hell, I need to broaden my horizons, and, it turns out, I liked it. It had all the usual beats, so I knew how it would end (except for one thing), but I think that’s typical of the genre, so I don’t know if this is a problem to be fixed.
The only big problem I see is the dialog. A lot of times you leave out the subject of the sentence in the dialog. This would be okay if one, maybe two characters did it, but when they all do it, it gets very unnatural and sounds horrible to my mind’s ear. Sometimes it makes sense, but plenty of times it is confusing. If I was watching an actor deliver the line, there’d be no confusion, but since this is a spec, I think you need to clear things up. Because of this problem, all the characters started sounding the same to me… well, now that I think about it, really just Shamus, Shelly, and Ever.
One thing that was very unpredictable was Carl and Ron (maybe) being gay in the end. If you set this up at all in the beginning, I just plain missed it. It seemed so out of place, I thought you had some dialog mixed up between the characters (see notes below). It’s fine that they end up like this, but I was sure Shelly would end up with Carl after their first interaction. This isn’t the case, so I was wondering, what’s the point of Shelly’s character other than her OC behaviors for comic relief. Shelly just kinda feels tacked on there to me.
You made a big deal about a DVD near the beginning. Are they watching it on pg83? If so, you should point it out. If not, what happened to it?
Anyway, thanks for the well formatted, almost typo-free read. My running notes are below.
Pg17-18. Didn’t really understand what was going on in the break up scene. Seemed like half the time they were talking past one another, the other half on the nose.
Pg21. Firing is kinda abrupt.
Pg30. I’ve noticed a couple of times you leave out words from the dialog like “Just wish you had more kids.” Does Shamus wish Dick had more kids or does Shamus think Dick wishes he had more kids? I think you do this to make the dialog flow better, but I think it’s better to be clear and let the actors decide what words to leave out. It’s happening again and again and again.
Pg48. You are in need of a few the-s.
Pg54. You should definitely have Ever hear about Angie in the scene with Lance outside the bar.
Pg64. All you characters sound the same when all of them leave out words in their dialog.
Pg80. Instead of having them go camping, have Shamus go to Ever to try to work things out. Just when he’s about to decide to be with her, he gets a call about Kranski’s heart attack. I’m very anti-camping since the last Harry Potter.
Pg83. “Ignores pedestrian laughs in his face”
Pg88. “I’d did this whole Lance thing”
Pg91. Shelly and Carl’s dialog switched? I guess not. I must’ve missed any clues you left about Carl being gay.
Review of: The Leaner
reviewed by Mike Souder on 02/09/2011
Other Reviews by Mike Souder 23
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