Review of: Kindness 

reviewed by miriamp on 09/18/2010
Great Editing
Wow. Dominic. Great story. He saved himself. That is all.

I really like it, but who is the protag? Is it Zoe, or Sarah, who acts through her? In a way Sarah is performing a double act of kindness. She is helping Zoe get over her shyness, and she is also reaching out to touch her sister, who is fighting a war. But it’s almost as if she has an ulterior motive in helping Zoe: as if she’s using Zoe to make her sister feel better. I recognize that you are trying to portray a pure act of kindness, and Zoe was truly helped, but at the same time she seems like a conduit.

I really liked it up to the end, especially the part where Lisa shoots the tank guy and saves the Afghan woman while Zoe’s voice-over said, “I told them to stop.”

There are notes of subtlety to this story that you haven’t touched yet, but I think you can get there. Keep trying.

My only comment is that I would like to see the bank of the main computer flashing to process the “Please.” You could do the shot of the Captain’s blank expression, then the bank of flashing lights, to show that “he” is “thinking,” and then the shot of the imperceptible twitch.

I really think you should make that binary decision more visual.

Great story. Great tension. As always, Carl, it’s a winner.

From the first sentence, I knew what this would be about. They need us to be kind to them, but for ourselves we need to remember them: the lost ones, the homeless ones, and the sick ones. This is a wonderful tribute to somebody who was a dear friend to you, and had very few dear friends herself (besides you). I can’t even properly evaluate it, except to say that it had exactly the effect I hope you wanted.

LOL. Oops. Good story. Good conflict. He finally cracks the shell and she performs an act of kindness, and really it backfires. This could be the opening scene for several different kinds of stories.

Good visuals. This is a great example of how to bring a character to life who can’t talk.

Should be “sweet” surface of the lolli, not “sweat.”

I think you should have ended this with Buzz on Norma’s hat, strong and healthy from the chocolate. At that point, they’d each done each other a kindness. Bringing Charlie and Shirley into the picture just complicated it. I went back in the thread and saw you were having trouble getting it to six pages. A story is as long as it is long, and no more.

Very cute story. I could see this as an animated short.

P.S. I just read your review. That’s the beauty of Free Wills. Dude, you were shrooming when you wrote this? NICE!!!!!

This is mine. I look forward to reviews…and re-writes.

Stefy is Estefania when the Homeless Man smiles at her.

This reminds me of the Stephen King short story, “Word Processor of the Gods,” except it is a happier, brighter story. The problem is that there’s not a lot of conflict. Normally with a gift like this, Stefy would discover that it has a very big downside. Of course this is a short story, so there’s not a lot of time for that. But I would like to see some kind of conflict anywhere in the story.

Brian, I’m going to speak more to the mechanics of screenwriting than or story-telling. The story is sound, but the delivery needs to be very polished.

Most of the dialogue is expository. Writing good dialogue is very tricky. It would be hard to fully explain here, because I would have to use too much space.

In the opening scene, there is nothing to visually link the dead woman in the paper to the grieving man in bed. The way you describe him, he could just be very sick. Also, Mr. Finnley is sitting at the table and then suddenly he’s rummaging under the counter. Each visual description should establish something physical about both the character and the scene, and also fit logically with the other action lines.

Of course in scripts, story is king, but presentation can be important too. It’s like putting on a suit for an interview. If you have impeccable references and stellar qualifications, you may be able to impress a prospective employer without it, but you’re more likely to get the job if you wear one.

If you want a longer explanation, please e-mail me. I would be happy to elaborate.

I was just a habit should have a “t” in the first word. She didn’t take car of us is missing an “e.”

I think this needs another pass. I’m not real clear on the act of kindness, unless it was Amanda being kind to Billy. I would expect that from an older sister, though. I was hoping to see an unusual act of kindness.

Apart from that, it’s a great little story. It’s wicked funny and satirical and takes just the right tone. I just don’t know if that tone is right for the theme of Kindness.

You could call it New Home for Angel. Good story.

Sorry for not writing out the whole title. Geez, it’s a short script, Matt. The title’s probably longer than the story.

Slowly reaching out doesn’t match with grabbing it, which implies fast action. Unless you mean that she reaches out slowly and then all of a sudden grabs it at the end. It just reads weird.

Your welcome should be you’re welcome.

This reminds me of an old story that has probably been handed down through the ages, except it’s new and unique. There are layers of meaning behind and beyond what is happening in front of us. I could see this being shot in a slightly off-kilter, surreal kind of way, but subtle, because the story is subtle. And yes, the title is just exactly right.

I think it could be much better, and I think the key is in the dialogue. It’s coming off too flat. In Revelation the next part says that the rider of the pale horse is Death, which implies that there is a huge price for this gift of one thousand dollars. The conversation between Kate and The Man seems to go round and round, rather than progressing forward. Reading it should be like traveling down a road and seeing certain sights. Right now it’s only going around the block.

The ending where she decides to pass it on is unclear in relation to the title. The title implies that something almost mythical is about to happen.

This story has a lot of potential. I want to see it get there. I want to see your true vision come shining through.

A little funky, a little weird, a little homage to the Keystone Cops. Cute.

This is kind of like Pay It Forward. Maybe rich Julie in her McMansion didn’t appreciate Captain Jack, but Reverend Twitchy did. Love is where you find it, and Kindness is where you make it.

Maria, I love your stories. They are so visual and everything stands out so clearly. I love the story. It’s both metaphysical and very human. I reminds me of some of the best Clive Barker I have read.

Burchett lies down on his bed, not lays down. Lay is an active/passive verb. You lay a sheet of paper on a table, or lay an apple on the teacher’s desk. If you do it to yourself, it’s lie down.

I would not recommend chopping off somebody’s head to harvest their organs. People with head injuries are kept on life support so that their organs can be harvested while still alive. The second the blood stops, they become ten times more prone to rejection.

The guillotine is a GREAT image, but it’s not medically viable.

I really like this story, though. This is a great example of how to use Flashbacks and Voice Over effectively.
NOTE: This review does not factor into the site rankings.

Other Reviews by miriamp 483

  • A review of Anne Bonny
    by miriamp on 09/20/2010
    There is obviously a lot of research that went into this. I did a lot of research for An Unnatural Soldier, so I recognize the quality of work here. You’ve done a great job of capturing the tone of the times, especially the King’s pardon and the friction between the “papists” and those members of society who belong to the more accepted religion. The fight scenes are well-done,... read
  • by miriamp on 01/03/2010
    I didn’t read the earlier draft, but the comments must have helped a lot. It’s nearly perfect. The story moves along smoothly, hitting all the right beats in just the right places. The fishing sequences are minimally described which I like. None of the technical terms are explained, which I also like. It means the director can bring in a fishing expert and use him (or... read
  • A review of Of Wolf and Man
    by miriamp on 05/09/2009
    This began with a lot of promise, but I was disappointed in how it played out. In the first act, you set up the theme of man as predator and natural killer. You carry out this theme with the image of the wolf and the human footprints with claws. There is a hint of supernatural events with the skeleton of the Indian, the runes on the knife, and the mysterious way the human... read
+ more reviews