We Edited Demon Priestess and ProLOGue

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

Demon Priestess:

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 a spare? 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 really can 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 punch

OVERALL:

GOOD: --like that we see the character in public / private (w friends) / alone --I like the red eyes mystery - curious to learn more here

IMPROVE: --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

THE proLOGue:

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

OVERALL

GOOD: --scene dynamics were really strong - great pacing etc. --characters were vivid and individual - a lot was communicated about them in a very short time

IMPROVE: --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

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