This is a very comprehensive attempt to document a period of history in which racial issues were at the forefront of the news, both in America and across the planet, as the concept of the ‘global village’ was emerging about the same time. Your title page says it’s based on historical events, and as I dug around doing a little research while looking at your script, it’s obvious that it does in fact follow the main events of the period quite closely.
I found the story very engaging, as we follow the Campbell family through the events of 1963, providing an eye-witness view of what it must have been like for a typical black family. The characters of Abe, Patty and Debbie are skilfully drawn, with each of them having a distinct voice, and the minor characters such as Billy, Bull Connor and Paul Witt are also fairly memorable. I must say that you illustrate clearly how stifling and restrictive were the petty laws and indignities which non-whites were subjected to, and the atmosphere of tension which permeated the whole population.
Your writing style, both action and descriptive passages, is very effective and uses a good range of vocabulary. The dialogue on the whole is very natural and easy to read, although you’ve got some large blocks of text which could be trimmed a bit in the interests of keeping the flow.
There are some aspects of the script which I think you might want to consider, and these are based on my gut reactions as I read the story.
Firstly, I think you could usefully look at the sequencing of events. I know it’s based on actual history, and I also know from my own experience that most writers, especially those with an interest in history, want to stay ‘true to the facts’. But the facts can often get in the way of telling a good story. Anyway, it strikes me that the kidnapping of Abe and his attempted lynching is a great passage in your script. But I think it happens too early. The protests and demonstrations which happen later in the story are almost an anti-climax to what we’ve already seen. Which means that the viewer feels almost let down when those intense personal moments as Abe stares death in the face are not revisited in some way. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to rearrange the story elements so that you have a more gradual build-up of action.
In a similar vein, the bombing of the church somehow doesn’t sit well at the end. It’s almost an afterthought. By the time the bombing happens, all the major elements of the story have already been tied up. The children’s protest has been flashed round the nation on TV screens, leading to eventual desegregation; and Abe’s family issues have been dealt with. If you brought the bombing into the story earlier you could in fact use it as a catalyst which convinces Patty that it’s impossible to keep Debbie wrapped up in cotton wool. That would then make Debbie’s participation in the children’s protest more meaningful.
Which leads me to the other major doubt I have (I know, you’re beginning to hate my guts, yes?) – which is the dynamic between Abe, Debbie and Patty. It just feels as if Abe spends too much of his time trying to placate Patty’s obsession with keeping her daughter safe. It’s always Abe who has to back down or give way. And that damages him as the main protagonist. I can envision the audience sitting there, willing him to be more forceful, and being let down each time. Until eventually they stop rooting for him. Again, I think the solution may lie in re-aligning the backstory of Papa’s lynching – which is the root cause of Patty’s fear. You could move it to a much later point in the script. Perhaps have one or two flashbacks which set up the situation, then reveal the lynching as the cause behind Patty’s paranoia.
I think what you’ve got here is a good basis for something really powerful. But at the moment it feels like a jigsaw which hasn’t quite been put together properly. All the pieces are there. But you’ve got to get them in the right order and working for each other.
1 No SUPER for 1963?
2 We see George Wallace – for the only time in the story. Seems odd that he doesn’t show up again.
2 Montage nicely sets out the state of segregation in Birmingham.
3 Title card. At first I thought that ‘The Binding of Bombingham’ seems a rather flippant wordplay for the title of such a serious piece. Then I found that ‘Bombingham’ was in fact used by the media as a description. So I understand why you use it, but maybe think of other possible titles.
6 Nice scene dancing: sets the family dynamic.
10 The lynching flashback. Patty’s voice-over is too expositional. It doesn’t sound natural.
28 EXT. THE STEEL DOG BAR Day or Night?
33 The character of James is an interesting one but could be developed more. Why does he come to Abe’s rescue?
You also need to be aware that these scenes could be difficult to pull off. How does he manage to conceal the watch in such a confined space? How does he manage to loosen Abe’s bindings?
37 ‘It's the same tree where Patty's father was hanged.’ Unlikely that the audience would be able to make that connection.
56 Good ‘fake’ scene of aggression.
90 Debbie finds the note. This doesn’t feel true. It’s just not conceivable that Abe would have forgotten to remove it.
Typos, punctuation and stuff:
1 We ain't gonna allow niggers and whites to congregate/mix/mingle together... (segregate means the exact opposite).
5 above the Confederate battle flag... Confederate should have a capital C throughout.
9 ... he frantically sorts through...
9 All signed "Debbie".
10 ... the rope tautly angles away...
14 She sees Debbie climb on to the stool...
15 Evelyn's father...
16 ... our customers’ children.
22 He discreetly unlocks the blade...
23 You know where this leads, don't you?
25 ... America's Gandhi...
35 ... put the pill in, nigger.
35 ... and we'll put it at your house.
54 So let this brave young girl...
66 He helps her up on to the empty stool.
69 He leans close to Debbie's ear.
85 Abe peeks through a window... (various other instances of peek/peak)
88 Her class looks as if it's missing some students.
90 Do you understand?
99 Another group of (forty?) march down the steps.
105 ... German Shepherd...
106 ... a soaked TEENAGE BOY...
107 A family watches, stunned.
108 Has a Debbie Campbell been released from jail?
109 The FBI will be watching y'all.
That’s it from me, Fred. Great story. Good luck with it!
Review of: The Binding of Bombingham
reviewed by Rfordyce on 08/18/2011
Review ID: 3913561
Other Reviews by Rfordyce 106
A review of The Uglyby Rfordyce on 05/08/2013Philip, this script is certainly worthy of attention. It fits much more into an ‘art house’ style rather than being anywhere near a mainstream audience. It seems to have its roots more in stage theatre than on the big screen, and your comment about it coming from ‘a much longer work’ is intriguing – is it derived from a theatrical work, or did you envisage it as a longer... Philip, this script is certainly worthy of attention. It fits much more into an ‘art house’ style rather than being anywhere near a mainstream audience. It seems to have its roots more in stage theatre than on the big screen, and your comment about it coming from ‘a much longer work’ is intriguing – is it derived from a theatrical work, or did you envisage it as a longer film, or possibly a series of films?
I enjoyed it. I find the development of Frank and Agnes to be one of the strongest elements. Your comments show that you’re aware some reviewers will complain about the lack of dramatic action and the meandering of the storyline, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. However I’m sure you’re also aware that this script is never going to figure highly in terms of box office success. It is in a different place, which is what I assume you’re aiming for.
The story is full of symbolism and imagery, and to me Frank and Agnes represent the original Innocents. Roots and vines claim Agnes as their own, a child of Nature. But Frank and Agnes don’t fit into the world of men and women. Even their carved effigies don’t fit into the model carved village. They have to stumble and stutter their way through a world where materialism and power are the watchwords of society. It is very touching and at times very brutal.
The characters in the story are portrayed not so much as individuals but as metaphors for human states of being. Smalls is the ever-‘improving’, ever-colonising mindset of Western society; Cybil an idealisation of motherhood; George the gifted dreamer whose creations are sullied through contact with the marketplace. The storyline takes liberties with authenticity; finding Agnes half-dead in a ditch is a bizarre means of kicking things off; the convergence of hundreds of wagoners in the desert to build a town out of nothing is a tall tale. There again, maybe you were thinking of Las Vegas? But in the metaphorical world you create, you can pull off stunts like that.
The way you handle both Frank and Agnes’s speech is very skilful. You put enough country bumpkin talk into Frank’s mouth to make him realistic, while it never gets in the way of the reader. Agnes’s gradual growth into articulate speech is masterly. George’s self-delusion is totally believable.
I don’t have much to criticise. Some elements could be developed more fully. The incipient sexual attraction between Agnes and the two men could be more pointedly dramatised. Both Frank and Agnes’s backstories could benefit from a little more meat on the bones – but that’s just my opinion, and I did find the scenes with Frank’s dead mother very moving, particularly because of Frank’s matter-of-fact demeanour.
Although the setting is 19th century, you don’t offer much in the way of visual or linguistic clues to point our way. Perhaps a few extra polishing touches would make a big payoff.
There are one or two formatting points. You don’t need to provide scene numbers. That would be for a shooting script and it would be done by a scene director anyway. Your sluglines tend to be over-detailed. There are some typos which I’ve listed at the end.
1 THE LATE 19TH CENTURY TOWN OF NEELY.
To be deliciously pedantic for a moment:
(a) The tag of ‘19th century’ should be inferred from your description, dialogue, or a SUPER. Not from the slugline.
(b) Although it’s a town, you refer to the inhabitants as ‘villagers’. You need to clarify.
6 Why is Frank leading her by the neck with the rope?
11 Agnes is filling out.
Have they been there for some time now? It doesn’t feel like very long.
12 EXT. RIVERSIDE AT NEELY. MORNING.
The previous scene is DAY but we’re now back at MORNING, although the two scenes appear to be more or less sequential. In general you’re better to stick to DAY and NIGHT to avoid confusion.
15 Only the teenage girls remain.
And Agnes! – needs more clarity.
17 The teenage girls intervene on Agnes’ behalf, and then jeer at her? The tone doesn’t seem right.
19 When he speaks again, it’s the voice of a ten year old.
Is this purely metaphor, or do you mean it literally? If so, how long does it last??
27 Autumn has turned the leaves brown. Frank’s hair has grown.
We’ve moved on again. Presumably Frank has been living rough all this time?
28 ...the little chicken from the other day...
This doesn’t fit. Several months must have passed.
36 Heavy pots fall on her. She lies still.
Has she been killed?
42 God, th’ place stinks o’ bein’ lonely....seems like nobody ever come ’ere...
I really like that line.
44 They meet an old couple, who I think are supposed to be Agnes’s parents, but it’s pretty ambiguous.
55 SLOW FADE
These are effective.
70 Some physical description of Robert Smalls would be good.
77 You could use a mini-slugline here, e.g. –
Agnes can just make out a large table covered with a cloth.
She is led to stand alongside.
81 Excuse me, but you called your dog...
‘Excuse me’ is a modern term for astonishment – it just doesn’t fit with 19th century dialogue. In general, I feel Claire’s dialogue is just a little too modern in idiom.
88 ...and all those other people who say one thing and mean another.
Maybe you could make more of this theme. I’m thinking of the dramatic irony in Agnes’s learning to communicate through speech, while simultaneously realising that it’s often used to deceive.
88 But Frank, I can’t tell the foxes from the rabbits!
106 This should be written as dialogue.
Typos, punctuation, etc...
11 ... a mind of its own!
11 ...that sets you off real nice.
16 ...better lay off the sauce...
25 CYBIL MORGAN’S HOUSE.
36 She smiles up at him...
46 Frank is excited that the letters match.
50 Frank sleeps, his mouth open.
55 A woman sits ... at the front of the first wagon; her husband... talks with George.
63 ...to see if George’s eyes are closed.
63 ... opens the drawer...
71 ... believe we’ve found it!”
74 She’s joined by...
79 The light spreads out...
80 By the way,..
85 ... several new buildings to the east...
94 You’re scared, aren’t you?
That’s all from me. I really enjoyed the read, Philip. I hope you can take this to the next level. read
A review of Goblin Marketby Rfordyce on 01/16/2013This is the first screenplay I’ve reviewed which has been inspired by a poem, so full marks for notching up that one! There’s a lot to commend in this script. I enjoyed the constant visual flow of your descriptive passages. You are adept at painting striking images in the mind of the reader, and the story keeps up an increasing pace in suspense and gruesome action as you... This is the first screenplay I’ve reviewed which has been inspired by a poem, so full marks for notching up that one!
There’s a lot to commend in this script. I enjoyed the constant visual flow of your descriptive passages. You are adept at painting striking images in the mind of the reader, and the story keeps up an increasing pace in suspense and gruesome action as you build towards its climax.
The dialogue is pretty sharp and observant, and there’s a good sense of character description and development throughout. I like how you’ve given all the main characters some very recognisable traits. Eliza is the mother hen to Laura’s headstrong wilful child. Although Laura almost becomes a caricature of standard horror fodder as she appears hell-bent on thrusting herself into every conceivable situation of danger and thrill-seeking that she can find. Sam is a cynical opportunist; Claire a slut; Beth a victim; Jimmy an introverted loner, and so on.
The story itself is of course loosely based on Rossetti’s poem, but you’ve brought it into the modern world (well, Cornwall anyway!) and made it your own. And some of the scenes are genuinely creepy and suspenseful – I can easily envisage them in glorious ghoulish colour on the big screen.
I have to say that horror is not my genre of choice, but I hope I can give you some useful feedback. But please bear that in mind if some of the comments seem a bit wayward. As I say, there’s a lot to enjoy here but I definitely think you need to make some improvements.
Firstly, the Goblins. You just introduce them with hardly a word of description or justification. They just appear and we’re expected to buy into the premise. Perhaps you’re seduced by the opening of the poem: “Morning and evening / maids heard the goblins cry...” and think if it’s good enough for Rossetti it’s OK for you. But she’s aiming at a 19th century audience, many of whom probably believed in goblins anyway. And of course she’s writing poetry, not a film script. You can get away with stuff like that in poetry. To my mind you can’t get away with it in a script, not even a horror one. Today’s audience needs to know who these creatures are. How did they come into existence? What’s their relationship with humans? Tell us more about the fruit thing! And last but not least, what do they actually look like? Your description is really good and yet you say hardly anything about these little beasties except to give them names.
While we’re talking about Goblins, I’ll jump to the end of the story just now. They are the main antagonists. But at the end, they’re neither defeated nor victorious. They sort of slink off into the sunset, but they’re muttering threats at Eliza as they go. I think you need a sharper resolution. Oh, and the bit about her suddenly finding she could kill one just by throwing a burning brand at it – that sort of comes out of nowhere. You could set it up better. Maybe she could somehow kill them all off by driving them into the bonfire. Unless of course you’re planning a sequel. Son of Goblin. The Phoenix Goblins Arise. That sort of thing.
Perhaps more importantly, it feels to me like your story is more a collection of disconnected sequences rather than an organic whole. A plane drops dust... a baby gets baked alive... a herd of cattle swarm over a car... a collection of stitched-up corpses. And I couldn’t really figure out what the Weatherfields’ motivation was for their ghoulish taxidermy. What were they trying to achieve? Maybe I’m being over-critical, but I think you need to look closely at your main themes and try to make the story more of a whole. The main battle is between the Goblins and the two girls. You need to make that the backbone of the script, and weave the other themes around it: repressed sexuality, lesbianism, self-control v. laissez-faire, and all that stuff.
The other thing is, you need to give this baby a really good proofread. There are an awful lot of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors, most of which should be picked up by any decent spellcheck program. I’ve listed the ones I found below, but I stopped after 20 pages (it tends to get worse as the script proceeds).
At 122 pages, the script could also do with a fair bit of trimming.
My other reading notes are shown below:
0 Your title page is a little confusing. It looks as if the script has been partly-written by Christina Rossetti. Maybe something like ‘Inspired by Christina Rossetti’ would fit the bill.
1 No need for the CONTINUED at the top and bottom of each page – you only use it if there’s a dialogue chunk running over from one page to the next.
24 Seems rather strange that Eliza accepts Laura’s fruit-fuelled binge without question. Especially as she reveals later that she had a visit from Mister Greenway, who had dragged Laura out of a lake.
36 You’ve heard the story of the girl...
This is mentioned a couple of times but not really developed. I think you need to expand on it a little.
68 The scene with the doctor doesn’t sit well. The notion that any qualified medical practitioner would even debate the wisdom of feeding more of the same poison – which he admits he doesn’t ‘know anything about’ – to someone who’s at death’s door, just doesn’t make sense. I think you need to find a way round that one.
103 A really good horror scene as Eliza kills Margaret, scalds Richard and gets a finger chopped off. What happens to Grace? I don’t think we find out.
122 The girls drive away. But there’s a hint of ambiguity.
Typos / spelling / grammar (first 20 pages)
1 …stretches its red tentacles…
3 Its talons crease the … shirt.
3 Eliza breaks off.
4 …into the sea, miles below. They’re several miles above sea level?!
4 To the girls’ right…
5 The girls move away…
6 Jimmy nods appreciatively.
7 …notices a woman sitting in the corner…
8 Damn you, hideous tyke!
8 Beth pushes her pint over to Sam.
10 It’s seen more than most, that’s for sure.
12 Ah, you know me.
13 ... aren’t you?
13 She said no, alright?
13 Sam glares, indignant.
13 Eliza backs off, mortified.
15 Nobody’s seen them for years...
16 She emerges; sees Laura lying...
16 sees Laura lying amongst brookside rushes, eyes wide. Laura stares out...
16 ... large cedar tree...
16 Lizzie, look!
16 Eliza presses her back fearfully...
16 The Goblins dance maniacally...
16 ...from the glen...
18 The Goblins dance and CHANT...
19 She shakes her head, fearful, and withdraws.
20 His pincers chop.
20 Laura cups the fruit in her hands; her eyes stare...
20 ...her eyes stare, thick with desire.
20 ... down her wrist and neck.
I hope some of this is useful to you, Jack. Thanks for the read. read
A review of Amawei - The Little Elephantby Rfordyce on 01/11/2013This is a charming tale featuring a young elephant as its lead character. Ostensibly about little Amawei’s fight for survival against the threat of human poachers, it’s also about the journey from childhood to adulthood, the relationships which we build for ourselves, and of course the stunning but damaged beauty of Africa – a metaphor for modern society. It’s written with... This is a charming tale featuring a young elephant as its lead character. Ostensibly about little Amawei’s fight for survival against the threat of human poachers, it’s also about the journey from childhood to adulthood, the relationships which we build for ourselves, and of course the stunning but damaged beauty of Africa – a metaphor for modern society.
It’s written with heart and humour, and fits squarely into the family-friendly genre which has wide appeal across every generation. I certainly enjoyed it. You have a talent for putting strong visual images on paper which drew me into the story. It also highlights the ongoing nightmare of illegal killing of majestic animals purely to supply ivory to ignorant consumers, mainly in China and the Far East. As I write, the TV news has headlines about a whole family of a dozen elephants butchered in Kenya for the sake of this nauseous commerce.
Nevertheless there are serious obstacles to overcome before this script could become an attractive proposition for any potential producer. Firstly, is it written as an animation feature, or do you envisage it being filmed with real wildlife in an African location? Certainly it begins as an animation, with the traditional opening of the classic ‘once upon a time’ children’s book as we turn the pages. But it then quickly becomes a ‘real’ story and there’s no indication that the animation would continue. I assume therefore that it would be extremely costly to make, as it would require the sourcing, training and management of a complete herd of elephants, not to mention lionesses and various other forms of wildlife. On the other hand, a full animation feature would also I guess be very expensive to produce. Or maybe you’ve written it as a labour of love and you’re not too bothered about its commercial appeal. Just saying...
Quite apart from that, you need to do some serious polishing and editing of the script before it could go anywhere near a professional reader. Frankly, it’s a bit of a mess at the moment: it’s chock full of formatting issues, grammar, spelling and punctuation problems which are a guaranteed
turn-off for a professional reader. I assume you’re using Celtx software, since there’s an unnecessary header
which appears at the top right of each page. There are numerous page break errors, i.e. – dialogue or action being run over from one page to the next. Also unwanted gaps and spacing in the text, and gaps between a character slugline and the dialogue, e.g. –
The wind left to huff and puff on...
Important SOUNDS should be CAPITALISED. P.O.V. should be CAPITALISED. Avoid “We see”s and “We hear”s. They pull the reader out of the story. Your script is full of them.
The font you are using seems to be smaller than the standard 12-point Courier. This, together with your margin settings, means that the 95-page script is I reckon more like 120-130 pages in ‘normal’ settings.
A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, question or exclamation mark. That’s a rock-solid punctuation rule but you break it on almost every page. That won’t endear you to any reader. There are lots of spelling mistakes which should be picked up by any standard spellcheck program (I assume Celtx has one) e.g. – ‘it nestels close’ on p.4 should be ‘it nestles close’. Misplaced apostrophes, missing commas, etc etc. I’ve listed at the foot of this review the things I picked up in the first 20 pages, and then I stopped.
You probably think I’m nitpicking, but the thing is, most of this stuff is very easy to fix. Get yourself a decent screenwriting handbook and use a decent spellcheck/grammar program. If you don’t fix it, the script is unlikely to be read by anyone who matters. Which would be a great shame.
Your actual writing style, once we get beyond all the punctuation and formatting issues, is very descriptive and you provide some great touches of subtext in the gestures and movements of the characters. But overall it sometimes becomes rather flowery and more suited to a novel than a screenplay. I’m thinking of passages like:
Anne looks up as a beautiful fizz of lightning lights the clouds, making shapes of Spanish galleons sailing a night zephyr...
Great imagery, but just needs to be reined in sometimes!
Now to discuss what really matters: the story. The essential elements are good: Amawei is introduced as a boisterous young child-elephant; he has a close escape from deadly poachers and gets thrown together with Peter, a human orphan child, and through some mystical native magic they can talk to each other. We then follow their adventures as they try to re-unite with the herd. In the meantime, the human characters engage in a cat-and-mouse game of poachers and gamekeepers, with a little nod to romance thrown in for good measure. All this is very skilfully done, but there are some elements I’m not sure about.
I don’t know whether the opening sequence fits with the story. It’s cutesy and sets the tone of family viewing, but it seems a bit disconnected. It’s not as if we re-visit the theme of a children’s storybook later in the script. Moreover I just don’t get the cardboard cut-outs, biscuits, currants and tissue paper. What are you trying to achieve here? To my mind you’d be better using the opening sequence to set the scene for Amawei and Peter’s magical communication skills – which I kinda think is your intention, but personally I think you could just use Amawei’s opening voice-over against a visual backdrop of clouds (clouds acquire magical shapes later in the story), swirling leaves, jungle sounds, etc. Just my opinion.
Michael, Anne and Kojo are nicely-drawn characters but I think you need to give Deiter more depth. He’s your chief antagonist and yet we know nothing about him. He hardly says a word. And it’s a shame that with such a great opportunity to examine the world of big-game poaching, you make him such a stereotype. You could benefit from giving him some backstory. After all, I’m sure you know that there are umpteen shades of grey in between the black and white opposite ends of the poaching trade, and it would give your story more resonance just to allow him a little dark grey here and there.
On the other hand, I think you maybe try to do a little bit too much with the other characters. The backstory about Michael and Kojo being previous comrades in arms is a nice one, and you could maybe develop it a little bit more. But the details about Michael’s ex-wife getting killed and the internet business seem to be just tossed into the mix for no good reason.
At the end, I think you need a sharper resolution for Deiter. He gets hurt; the good guys patch him up. It seems a little lame. Or did Kojo kill him? Or cut off the tusks? That doesn’t make sense. Maybe I missed something.
Other reading notes:
0 No title page?
Debs Ley = Murray Rose?? Are you one person or two?
I’m assuming all the human characters are African, except possibly Michael and Anne. But you don’t really make this explicit. I think you need to give this information.
1 AMAWEI (OS) Should be (V.O.) rather than (O.S.)
6 The (OS) directions are largely unnecessary.
9 and watches as.
Akku, Amawei & Bhoona trot past the hut.
Weird placing of a full stop, followed by a blank line...?
10 EXT. VILLAGE HUT DAY
This slug should appear about five lines previously.
12 The dialogue about the herd migrating and the birth of the baby is a bit on the nose. And the birth happening at that precise moment is just way too convenient! Try to find a more subtle way of getting this across.
15 AKKU'S POV. (Capitalise).
15 VILLAGERS’ POV. (Capitalise).
15 EXT. GAME RESERVE UNKNOWN LOCATION – DAY
This could be better presented. It’s only the mention of ‘windscreen’ that tells us we’re in a vehicle. Perhaps something like:
INT. 4 X 4 – DAY
Two men, seen from behind. They wear ranger uniforms and leather hats. In front of them, through the windscreen, a shimmering savannah.
17 ... a pair of shoes which lead to Michael... ??
17 Anne draws her gaze away...
She was Anna to begin with; now she’s Anne?
17 We hear a phone ring, in the background we see Kojo pick up a receiver on a nearby desk.
The ‘we hear’s and ‘we see’s become really obtrusive. Also far too much unnecessary detail. Just write:
A phone RINGS. Kojo picks up the receiver.
18 She continues…. Unnecessary.
I had no idea.
It seems very unlikely that anyone involved with African wildlife would be unaware of poaching!
26 Michael gets into the driving seat. The 4x4 moves away.
You need a new scene slugline here, e.g. –
EXT. 4 X 4 (MOVING) – DAY
You have been here less than 24 hours.
So where has she come from? I don’t think we've been told.
The pace has slowed right down with this quasi-romantic interlude between Anne and Michael. Nicely done.
63 Good atmospheric description of the abandoned village.
71 I like the quiet tension you build in this scene – well done.
74 But this is where my disbelief kicks in. I’m no expert on African wildlife, but somehow I cannot imagine lionesses attacking a whole group of humans who have guns and vehicles, and an elephant to boot.
76 What, so Kojo suddenly transforms into Native Superman?? I’m not sure I buy this part.
79 Sorry, the fight scenes with lions, guns, vehicles, humans and a junior elephant seem just too far-fetched to me. I could be wrong...
80 Poaching has been bad this year. How do they know the herds are moving? We are watching the usual suspects.
Too much on the nose.
92 Kojo hacks off the tusks with a machete? Or did he just kill Deiter? I really don’t know.
95 Sweet ending, but it’s dragged out rather too long.
Punctuation, grammar, typos (first 20 pages):
1 ... villages dotted around. On closer inspection...
2 ...clumps of large Muru trees...
2 The bright light gleams on...
3 ... on parched ochre earth...
3 ... WATERHOLE BY MURU TREES
4 It nestles close...
4 A hand reaches out. Bembe strokes...
4 ...the elephant’s forehead.
4 ... turns away, pressing its face into its mothers flesh.
4 Jo-Jo bathes her new baby...
4 Jo-Jo does not...
4 ...does not look up. Her ears flap.
4 ... shoots past Bella’s head, narrowly missing her.
9 He practises a few skills...
(slowing down the pace)
um I'm not sure...
9 Who's scared now?
9 ... and wants to follow. He gets up...
9 He looks at the elephants, now distant, but his head...
9 AMAWEI POV (Capitalise)
9 ...with small huts lining the side of the road.
9 Some have verandahs...
10 The elephants dance about.
11 Peter’s eyes widen. He jerks his head back.
11 What’s that?
11 ... flapping his ears, laughing.
13 ... and stands still, turning his head towards...
13 Sure. Maybe see you later?
13 Leather hats pulled down, shading their eyes.
13 Kojo stands before a ... screen; he touches...
14 ...and leans over .., looking at the numbers. He continues...
14 Jo-Jo pushes ... through the throng; Bella hovers...
14 ...close to her mother, avoiding...
15 ... Michael’s voice.
16 Her briefcase and case on casters are deposited by the driver, who turns the car around and drives away, saluting Kojo as he goes.
16 From a birds’ eye view...
17 Mr Staggers, is it? How do you do? I am Anne...
17 If you want to take one of those, Kojo here is the key holder.
17 ... looks in Anne’s direction.
17 ... we are guardians, not scientists.
17 ... over Michael’s head...
18 ... ANNE’S BEDROOM
19 Others are put into...
19 ...behind the driver’s seat.
55 In his peripheral vision...
55 Chain lightning dances...
That’s all from me. There’s some real potential here. Good luck with it. read
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