Review of: The Humane Facade 

reviewed by Gammon on 08/24/2011
Credited Review
Gammon
The Humane Facade Credited Review
After 137 reviews, I doubt much can be added that hasn't been said. But since it was assigned, here goes.

As for formatting or misspellings or bad grammar, I couldn't care less as long as they don't make the script unreadable. As a writer, you'll either correct them or you won't.

CONCEPT: Two "damaged" people meet and repair each other's damage. Not a new concept. That the damaged people are a monk who speaks almost no English and a schizophrenic ups the stakes.

STORY: The story, without taking into consideration the telling, is a good one and a moving one. It has more a Movie of the Week feel than it does a movie, though perhaps an Indie would work. In the script, a lot happens. In the story, however, very little happens. One can see the end almost from the beginning. It's so telegraphed that Shen and Samantha are going to have some dramatic effect on one another. The only question is what exactly and to what extent. What I find irritating is that a reader is so far ahead of the writer in knowing what's going on that the story feels overblown, and at times even tedious because we've seen Samantha have the same behavior over and over and over again. We've seen Mildred's angst over her daughter again and again and again. We get it. It feels like the script is about 20 pages too long. Some of the passages are so long winded and the dialog so bloated that it's as interesting as watching grass grow.

Since this is an early draft, I have no way of knowing whether your writing has improved or not, but I do fault the writing for making this at times a rather unsatisfying read. Rather than drawing us in, the writing pushes us away. The use of "is" plus "ing" verbs puts a distance between the reader and the action. Active verbs to describe action pulls the reader in and makes the reader imagine the action. The is-ing construct describes something that the writer sees in his/her imagination. It makes it more like reading a short story or novel that a spec script that's supposed to make us see a movie in our imagination. It's also lazy writing. It's hard to construct every action line with only active verbs giving the visuals, but in the end it's worth the effort for the reader, but more that that, it's more important for telling the story.

This is already a very affecting story. I think with some judicious rethinking, this could be one heck of an emotional ride as the world of the monks collides with the reality/unreality of Samantha's world.

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