Tonight we took a look at a few stories that play in the fantastical realm. I have our video review and line-by-line notes posted below, but I wanted to share a few overall takeaways I learned from the edit here:
When introducing a character, show their public life (how they behave at work etc.), their private life (how they behave with their spouse or close friends), and their personal life (what they do when they're alone).
Make every scene (even the setup ones) drive toward a character's goal. Make sure the goal is clear and that there's opposition, and your early scenes will be much more engaging.
When you're writing a prologue it's always risky. This is extra space that doesn't factor into your main plot. First off, make sure it's 100% necessary for your story, and if you decide it is, be sure that every inch of your prologue influences the outcome of the main story line or your character's decisions in it.
Here's the video of our edit:
And here are the line-by-line notes:
Demon Priestess and ProLOGue
P1 - show me sneaky and foxy - what does it look like and
ensure a clear image with the knees
P1 - Good use of parenthetical
P1 - the fact that she's praying SHOWS me that she believes
in god - no need to rehash in character description
P1 - LYDIA only needs caps the first time, and highlight
the ninja move a bit more to clarify that she's not just
a peaceful churchgoer
P2 - seems a bit funny that Brother Pitt wouldn't notice
this girl having a demonic seizure as he leaves the church
P3 - I thought her blindfold burned up... did she have
P3 - feels a bit exposition heavy right now -- is there
a way to infuse conflict -- maybe she's still struggling
with the demon when she give the speech?
P4 - dialogue seems a bit on the nose - where's pitt...
he is here... Good, let's go... -- if we just end up
in the room after exchange, might be worth cutting it.
P5 - This scene makes Kurt a little creepy even if shes'
blindfolded -- is this intended
P5 - I like the characters and the cool element of the
blindfold, but I want these earlier scenes to built up
to a first big narrative moment a little earlier
P5 - I'd highlight that she can see even though blindfolded
rather than saying like normal -- a bit more telling --
give her an action -- she preps her face like she can see.
P6 - red eyes are cool and she has it under control, so
there's not much tension with this -- show me how this
will hurt a character relationship / or her goals
P7 - for your flashback use proper formatting ie in the
slugline have -- FLASHBACK and END FLASHBACK
P7 - seems like odd behavior from a priest and it's not
explained - is he just cruel, is he afraid of her eyes
and trying to get the demon out??
P7 - Makes sure your flashback influences the outcome
of the present scene
P8 - she's a bit brazen about how she can't see but
P9 - so a clue is good, but if I don't know what the
clue is for or why I should care, it doesn't pack much
--like that we see the character in public / private (w friends)
--I like the red eyes mystery - curious to learn more here
--Establish a goal early and ensure it's 100% clear to everyone
--Make every scene count for that goal or character -
the sermon scene seems a bit unnecessary as well as the
martial arts scene (ie . shes' not chasing after Alexej)
--Show how she feels about her eyes and why it will STOP
her from achieving her goal or how its hurting her relationships
P1 - Wub wub and onomotopoeia ? are tricky cause they
can sound different to different people - I'd just say "
A chainsaw ROARS to life."
P2 - Character driven moment of "we sunk our life savings into it"
P2 - good intro on Joey etc.
P3 - 50 kids signed up = good problem established
P5 - to me this feels sudden - I'd try to foreshadow
this or give it a setup -- is there a reason the kids
are cursed?? maybe the kids do something here / tamper
with the device or threaten Wyatt and he self-defences
P7 - passionate necking seems a bit ill timed
P9 - clarify the scene dynamics here - I don't get how
the log could corner her this easily and force her in bed
--scene dynamics were really strong - great pacing etc.
--characters were vivid and individual - a lot was
communicated about them in a very short time
--hint at the why the log is doing it by showing me some
mystery - maybe after every kill it rolls around in the
blood to imbue the power. something like this can hint at
the log's purpose
--consider not showing what the log can do in the prologue
it feels like you're showing your hand a little early
--its a long prologue - ensure every inch of page here
factors in later to some degree