Get Your Script Reviewed On Scriptshadow!: To submit your script for an Amateur Review, send in a PDF of your script, along with the title, genre, logline, and finally, something interesting about yourself and/or your script that you’d like us to post along with the script if reviewed. Use my submission address please: Carsonreeves3@gmail.com. Remember that your script will be posted. If you’re nervous about the effects of a bad review, feel free to use an alias name and/or title. It’s a good idea to resubmit every couple of weeks so your submission stays near the top.

Genre: Contained Thriller
Premise (from writer): After two friends leave the bar after a night of drinking, they discover their car missing 
from the parking lot, an RV in its place, and a woman trapped inside.
Why You Should Read (from writer): Coming from a fiction background has been challenging. But, I have worked with Victor Miller to find my voice in terms of saying what I want, and saying what the audience wants to hear. I think there is so much more that a story can tell that goes beyond the page and beyond the stage.
Writer: Justin DiSandro
Details: 85 pages

4087915954_16b6eb5bbf

It’s the end of the week and Christmas is fast approaching. Which means DEALS folks. It means everything must go! Go grab the Scriptshadow Secrets book on Amazon. It’s only $4.99 and makes a great digital stocking stuffer. It also means notes and proofreading deals which you’ll see later tonight in the Scriptshadow Newsletter. Remember that the newsletter sometimes goes to SPAM (and in Gmail, it sometimes slides into the “Promotions” tab) so always check to make sure you’re getting your weekly dose of Newsletter fun.

Speaking of Christmas, let’s talk about blood. Red is a big color in the holiday season so naturally there’s some crossover there, right? Actually, “A Lot of Blood” may be a misleading title. There’s not THAT much blood here, and I actually think the title does the script a disservice. “A Lot of Blood” sounds like a bunch of cheap thrills. There are some cheap thrills here, but it’s a little more clever than your average Non-Contained Contained Thriller.

Wait WHAT did you just say, Carson? “Non-Contained Contained??” What does that mean?? Well folks, I think today’s script is the first of its contained kind. It’s a contained thriller where our main characters aren’t the ones contained. They’re actually on the outside of the containedness, trying to help the person inside. Are you following me? It might be tough cause I’m writing this review at 3 a.m. But contain yourselves. Because somewhere at the end of this screenplay rainbow is me, contained in my apartment writing up this post.

Kevin and Jared, both in their late 20s, are out experiencing life, man. They’re driving around the U.S. of A., doing the whole “Into the Wild” thing, albeit with a car. And on this evening, they’ve stumbled into some bumbleshit bar on a long winding forest road in the middle of nowhere. After the bar is closed up and the owner heads out, Kevin and Jared walk into the parking lot only to find that their car is gone.

Finally, they can do “Into the Wild” for real now! Unfortunately, Kevin and Jarod don’t share this same optimistic appraisal of their situaiton. Not only does it look like their car is stolen. But without a cell signal, there’s nothing they can do about it.

Curiously, there’s a huge RV parked in the middle of the parking lot, and when Kevin and Jared get close, they hear someone inside. A girl, Becky. Becky screams for help, explaining that she doesn’t know where she is or how she got here. She just remembers walking to her car after work. The boys commit to getting her out, but this isn’t any normal RV. The doors seem to be reinforced with steel!

Kevin decides to break into the bar and call for help while Jared stands guard at the RV. But back inside the bar, the power is out. Confused, Kevin walks back out to find Jared gone and a trail of blood in his place. He then hears Jared’s cell phone making noises… OUT IN THE FOREST. Yikes! So Kevin heads out there, looks around, only to turn back and see a man walking out of the RV with a giant bag. Ugh, this just got a whole lot worse.

So Kevin heads back to the RV, checks to see if Becky’s still there, which she is… WITH JARED! Yes, JARED is now stuck in the RV with Becky. Oh boy. After some finagling, Kevin’s eventually able to get Becky out. It’s a little trickier with Jared though, who we find out has been… modified in an unfavorable way. It becomes clear that someone (or someones) is out there fucking with them, and if they don’t find a way out of here before the night is up, they’re probably RV meat.

The key with contained thrillers is that they can’t feel like the writer is trying to fill up the time. They have to feel like the writer can’t possibly pack ENOUGH story into them because they don’t HAVE enough time. Typically, every contained thriller script feels well-packed (that’s a weird phrase) through the first 20 pages, and then we begin seeing signs of filler.

A Lot of Blood had a great first 20 pages, indeed. And it actually stayed packed for another 20 pages. But then the signs of not having enough story started to show. There was a lot more standing around, wondering what to do, repeating situations we’d already seen (here we go back into the bar!). Some urgency was lost. It just didn’t end with the same bang it started with.

Part of the problem was the mystery. What’s so cool about these scripts is the power of that initial mystery. That’s what excites us. How did this girl get in here? Who is this guy living in the RV and why didn’t he respond to our guys banging on the outside trying to help this girl? What’s in the bags this man is carrying? Where is he taking them? Who’s involved? Are they being set up?

The thing is, once those questions started to get answered, there were no new intriguing questions to take their place. So what started as a completely bizarre scenario became all too familiar. When you have such limited options (as is the case with most contained thrillers), mystery and suspense are your two best friends. So you want to draw on them as much as possible.

I also felt there needed to be more going on with Jared and Kevin. They were REALLY thin. HOW much more you want to add to them is up for debate. I’ve learned that you can actually BURDEN a script with over-developed characters, as their development starts to feel more like the result of a screenwriting class than reality. Since keeping your story real is a primary objective, you need to watch out for that.

You do this by weighing the situation (the setup, the setting, the genre) and determining if character exploration feels right. This is a light fun horror thriller, so you don’t want to develop the characters TOO much. Still, these two were so similar they were almost the same person. Adding a little conflict between them would’ve helped develop their characters, as conflict brings out your characters’ differences. Something as simple as one character being brave and the other being a coward could’ve led to some more interesting conversations and made the characters pop more. If you desired to give them even more weight, you could bring in an unresolved conflict from their past. Then use this problem as a catalyst for them to face and resolve it. But again, you then run the risk of the script feeling too “screenwriterly.” So it has to be done delicately.

I was also frustrated with a lot of the details in the script. Writers, don’t let the little moments sink you. Make sure you give them just as much attention as the big ones. For example, Kevin is out in the woods early on, looking for Jared’s cell phone, when he hears a man coming out of the RV. He turns around and starts screaming at the guy (who ignores him and keeps walking). Let’s take a closer look at this. It’s night. You’re in the middle of nowhere with no one else around. A man psycho enough to create a mobile killing machine has a girl locked up in his RV. And when you see him, you start yelling at him??? Alerting him to you? What???

OR: Early on we’re told that the gas station is forever away, which is why they can’t go for help. Yet later, Kevin runs to it, and we’re told that as he’s running down the road, he can see both the bar parking lot AND the gas station from where he’s standing. That’s how close it was this whole time??? Without question they should’ve gone there immediately then. That’s not far at all. There were 5 or 6 other moments JUST like this that didn’t make sense that need to be cleared up before this script is ready.

It may sound like I didn’t enjoy “Blood,” but I did. These notes come more from a place of frustration. As a reader, whenever those first 20 pages are great, you get excited and you start saying to yourself: “This is the one!” and you can’t help but dream about the writer getting an agent and the script being picked up and a movie getting made. So when it doesn’t keep that awesomeness going, it’s harder on you than if the script simply sucked to begin with.

But I do think something could come of this script. At the very least, it’s a million dollar film you shoot in 15 days that gets distribution on Itunes. Not the huge success story we all dream of. But a great start. Hope Justin cleans these problems up because I’d like to see that happen!

Script link: A Lot of Blood

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Describe in detail your important locations! If you have a major location where a lot of stuff takes place, you have to give us a lot of details about that space, so we can accurately envision what’s going on. Here, in A Lot of Blood, 90% of the script takes place in the parking lot, yet we were never told how big the parking lot actually was. Sometimes, then, I imagined it as a tiny bar parking lot. But other times, it’s implied that the lot is vast. Why would a tiny bar have a huge parking lot? — Why is this important? Because the script relied so much on distance. Being a safe distance away from the killers. Being within yelling distance. Because I was never quite sure how big of an area it was, I was robbed of having the correct experience. You don’t want to over-describe small locations that don’t have any important action going on in them. But major locations? Yes.

  • ElectricDreamer

    Congrats to the author. I haven’t read the script yet.
    But Carson mentioned the script’s mystery losing steam in the second act.

    J.J. Abrams has a rule of thumb he mentioned in his TED talk…
    **Every mystery answered should pose at least TWO new questions.**

    It worked for Lost. And it sounds like this theory could benefit the script.

    • JW

      I agree with Abrams here just as long as you continue to answer your initial questions. This was the problem with LOST and why ratings dropped so dramatically. He kept asking more questions while continuing not to answer the most important ones and viewers just didn’t like that. I think the audience will allow you to get to a certain point before they’re going to be like, “Okay, douche, stop asking more questions and just give me the answers I’m looking for, because you’re starting to piss me off.”

      • CRAYONSEED

        I agree. Nothing angers me more in a script than a setup and then air. Give me the payoff I deserve for caring about the story in the first place.

  • Poe_Serling

    This was my top AOW pick from a couple of weeks ago, so I’m happy to see the writer snag a [x] worth the read.

    Plus, I think Carson’s review/analysis really zeroes in on the parts of the story/script that need to be improved to take this project to the next level.

    • John Bradley

      I took notes for all the Amateur Offerings in the newsletter but have no place to post them? What gives? I hope Carson posts soon!

  • hickeyyy

    This is exactly how I felt reading this. I was really intrigued, but the mystery is answered, and I felt let down. I did enjoy the twist that the woman in the bar was responsible and I was so intrigued that I had forgotten her awkward phone call in the beginning.

    The main problem is that the main characters felt bland. You don’t get to know ANYTHING about them. They are just two guys on a road trip, which is cool. Just needed to know them more to care about them. In this, they were just death fodder.

    I have to agree with Carson on this. Definitely worth a read, and close to being something more.

  • Randy Williams

    Congrats to the writer on receiving a “Worth The Read”! I recall last week feedback contained many views that this title was weak, however. Maybe contain it in a defunct department store parking lot. (provides a franchise possibility with RV’s parked in these abandoned lots nationwide) Incorporate the name of the store in the title, like “Zayre’s Lot” or how about just “Pic “N” Save”?

  • drifting in space

    After reading this review, there’s gotta be a better title for this one.

    • Linkthis83

      1 – Dude, Where’s OUR car?
      2 – Recreation Hell
      3 – Mobile Homicide
      4 – Cousin Eddie’s Vacation
      5 – Squeals on Wheels
      6 – Kevin’s Lot
      7 – Jared’s Ladder
      8 – Life Sort of Goes On: Becca’s Nightmare
      9 – What if We Left Earlier?
      10 – Park and Recreational Vehicle: The Ron Swanson Story
      11 – The Camper: Cries of Convenience
      12 – It’s Her Problem
      13 – RV: You Haven’t Lived Til You’ve Been Killed in One

      • drifting in space

        10 – Park and Recreational Vehicle: The Ron Swanson Story

        I’d pay to see this.

      • hickeyyy

        My vote: Squeals on Wheels.

        • drifting in space

          I wanted to vote for that one just for the XXX value.

      • Poe_Serling

        lol. There’s a whole slate of possible SyFy channel movies on that particular list.

        **A week or so ago, the writer of A Lot Of Blood was asking for help in finding a new title for the project.

        My suggestion back then was come up with a name for the bar and tie it into the title of your project:

        “End of the Road” Tavern
        The “Crimson” Pub
        .
        and so on.

        • Linkthis83

          You are definitely right. There needs to be something specifically named. The bar, the street, the region or something. Then you can create the title out of that. Or even name the RV. Have a mural or something on the back with a theme or name.

          • Hadley’s Hope

            There could be a whole franchise here with a sinister RV and the killer who drives it.

            “Winnebago Man”

            He appears all nice until he has his prey cornered in a remote area.

            Signature line: “will you do me a kindness?”

          • Linkthis83

            I like all of that. Hopefully the writer is listening :)

          • Hadley’s Hope

            I was actually joking a little bit, as I was hinting at the Winnebago Man (who you can find on Youtube).

            Although, the thought of a creepy RV driven around by a clever killer does seem to have potential for a horror franchise. Each film could feature a new set of victims, with the killer and the RV being the element that ties each entry together.

        • hickeyyy

          This is a good idea. Name the bar. Name the movie after the bar.

        • John Bradley

          End of the Road would be a great double entendre of a name! I like that better than A Lot of Blood.

      • Citizen M

        Park ‘n Die
        The Parking Lot Plot
        Death on the Lot
        Harvest of Blood
        Trapped Inside
        Trailer trap
        Driven to Death
        Rogue Vehicle

        • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

          Are those jokes? lol sounds like direct to YouTube movies hehe

      • John Bradley

        18 – Not so Recreational Vehicle!

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      Why not read the script and help the guy out? lol

      Of course, you are still behind on mine and Paul’s script ;) you might be spending too much time on SS =PP

  • Eddie Panta

    I enjoyed the first 30pgs, then by 66 I started realizing I was going around in circles.
    I wanted to know more sooner. I was let down with the super slow reveal of the “bad guys”,, who past pg 60, were still described only as Ratty Man # 1 and Ratty Man #2.

    The idea of a contained thriller, where road weary travelers find a captive girl, and attempt to rescue her is not exactly a new one. Two films, both well done, have already explored this scenario, in an art-house, indie-horror way. They are: Backwoods, with Gary Oldman and A Lonely Place to Die, by Julian Gilbey.

    Although the script veers off from this already well-used set-up, a contained thriller, needs a fresh, new set-up, in order to get your attention.

    Despite the filler, and the prose that borders on narration, I though the writer’s style is perfect for a contained thriller. The writer has a great sense of timing and takes the time to build tension through clean accurate descriptions of tactile events.

    Yes, moments due linger, but still, I was fine with being in a Parking Lot for this length of time/pages, which means the writer knows what he’s doing.Especially since it appears to be taking place in real time.

    Like Carson mentioned, I wished there was more contrast between the two guys on the road. I wanted them to have a plan, a purpose to the road trip or even to disagree about the route, perhaps one wanted to turn around, go back home. I didn’t want them to say” “Dude where’s my car.”

    CELL PHONES

    …The main culprit in this type of contained thriller scenario. Battery down, or lost, left in the car, is just not digging deep enough. Cruise netflix, watch how many times it happens, then stop doing it in your stories. Clearly, if the “bad-guy” has this much control, this much planning involved in the trap – the RV, then he could of easily of taken out the cell towers.

    Still,, I would of went along for the ride, kept on reading, if I knew whose story we were following. I wanted one of the two guys to drive the story. I wanted to see the “world” of the parking lot and the events, through his eyes. When the story is intercut between the two, and we lose sight of one of them at the moment of the first main event,, it feels like a cheat. In order to maintain suspense and mystery and cut away, utilize the bad guys POV to do so. Don’t cut away to an empty scene.

  • ArabyChic

    “The key with contained thrillers is that they can’t feel like the writer is trying to fill up the time. They have to feel like the writer can’t possibly pack ENOUGH story into them because they don’t HAVE enough time. Typically, every contained thriller script feels well-packed (that’s a weird phrase) through the first 20 pages, and then we begin seeing signs of filler.”

    Spot on. This is my problem with almost every single contained thriller I’ve ever read. They don’t have the characters or plot mechanics to make it past the 1st act. By the time the midpoint comes around they are dead in the water.

    I think my all-favorite “contained thriller” is Reservoir Dogs, which I’ve always thought of as a Crime/Horror hybrid, both in tone and graphic nature. It asks a shit load of questions from the beginning, with the main spine being “Who is the rat?” Again, not pure horror, but works pretty damn well. On the more artsy side, Death and the Maiden kicks some ass too.

    • ArabyChic

      …make that “all-time favorite”…

    • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

      One of my favorite modern examples of a great contained thriller is The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Great acting, twists, and the plot never loses steam.

      Reservoir Dogs is a bit too uncontained for me to count it, but of course it is excellent.

      Buried may well be the most ambitious contained film, and that was a damn fun read. I found the read better than watching the film, but of course I read it before I saw it, so that could have some effect.

      I also read a pretty good contained thriller/horror from a fellow SS reader (not going to name names in case they wouldn’t want me to), but it was pretty damn good. And almost as contained as Buried.

      • ArabyChic

        I still haven’t seen Alice Creed. I’ll give it a look.

        And I feel the same way about Buried. But I also read it first. The fact that that script worked at all is amazing to me.

      • drifting in space

        Buried was a great read. I couldn’t believe you could stretch that idea into a full movie.

      • wlubake

        I enjoyed the spoof contained thriller “This is the End”. I thought it did a good job of changing the problem throughout while giving us enough of each character’s motivation to keep you invested in both the story and the characters. It doesn’t hurt to keep everyone laughing, too.

      • gazrow

        Good call! The Disappearance of Alice Creed is as you rightly say, a great contained thriller with equally great performances!

        The scene where one of the kidnapper’s tries to dispose of the spent bullet casing is packed with tension – yet I imagine it reads quite flat on the page?!

      • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

        I can’t think of why a writer wouldn’t wan public Kudos ;)

        Then people ask for it, people love it, they start emailing and making Carson crazy until he reads it (if they have the same reaction as you), then he reads it, and hopefully loves it, and wants to send it out to everyone he knows lol

        Sounds like a fairy tale, but that’s the world we choose to live in as a screenwriter/actor, and/or filmmaker.

      • Citizen M

        I’m writing something even more contained than buried — CRUSHED ;o)

      • Citizen M

        Interesting article from the writer/director of Alice Creed on writing for no-budget films. The writer of A Lot Of Blood has ticked most of the boxes.

        http://letsmakebetterfilms.hopeforfilm.com/2010/08/writing-for-a-low-budget-the-disappearance-of-alice-creed.html

  • Citizen M

    I’m at the first line of page 10 and I’m going to have a bit of a rant. The lack of attention to detail and the poor word choice is freaking me out and spoiling the read.

    p. 1 – “Deserted highway bar” This is ambiguous, but okay, I assume the highway is deserted, not the bar. My main problem is to picture the location. Is it out in the country or near an urban area? The reference to trees all around and forest suggest that there’s a road through a forest, and an area of trees has been cleared away to make room for a parking area and a bar. No problem with that. But then there’s a reference to “street lights”, which suggest a lighted highway, i.e. urban area. Later they talk about calling a cab, which also suggests an urban area. But the “street lights” are the lights in the parking lot, which Mr Google informs me are actually called “parking lot lights”. If the road is going through a forest there should be trees on the others side of the road visible from the parking lot. Maybe mention them for completeness, if indeed we are in a forest clearing.

    I blame the uncertainty on advice to use only two- and three-line paragraphs. If you need to set the scene, use as many lines as you need. If you don’t explain fully, we have to assemble a picture of the scene from the few clues presented, which takes mental energy better used in reading the script, and causes irritation if they are not congruent. Clarity beats brevity in my book.

    p. 5 – “stands prostrate” How do you do that? Prostrate means to lie flat on your face.

    “keels over” means to collapse in a faint; to black out; to die. What he actually did was stop, bend over and clutch his stomach, and vomit. He didn’t keel over.

    p. 9 – The most important prop in the screenplay is the RV, so it is essential we understand EXACTLY what it looks like. Mr Google tells me an RV is a truck or bus chassis with a camper body built on. So it has a big, curved windscreen in front.

    “Kevin stands on his tiptoes and attempts to sneak a peek through the front window. A thick piece of metal obscures his view… Kevin knocks sharply against the metal obstruction.”

    Okay, so there’s a big curved piece of metal fastened over the front windscreen. Uh, so how did they see to drive it there?

    Or is the “RV” actually what I believe is called a “trailer home” which is towed around and has flat windows (think Airstream). That makes the metal plate seem far more realistic.

    Perhaps the writer could paste a picture of the kind of vehicle he envisages, and a Google Maps reference to a similar location. I’m not being funny. I’m trying to understand.

    I know this will seem picky to many people, but I find these points sufficiently irritating to spend time writing this. A script should delight the reader, not irritate the reader. Pro scripts never seem to have these problems. I’ve read a few Oscar scripts recently and they are very smooth reads. No need to stop and figure out what’s going on, and while the language usage is not always perfect, it’s always pretty good.

    • Gojuice

      As always, M, your post aligns with my issues with the script. I don’t think you’re being picky at all. I couldn’t make it past the first few pages of flat dialogue (… a night we’ll never forget) or the bartender’s dialogue written phonetically (dem instead of them) and referencing the alcohol as fire water. How do my points align with yours? Nail on the head with the line about advice leading to the borderline unreadability of the script (my opinion only). The condensing of descriptions is right on, and I’d further suggest that the writer took too many ‘voice’ articles and tips too literally. I didn’t respond to Carson’s article yesterday, but ‘voice,’ in my opinion, can’t be taught. It’s what happens organically while you’re trying to learn rules, structure and beats. It’s why a bad screenplay can come from a good writer- because of voice. It’s someone saying, in dialogue, “hat to heels” instead of “beginning to end” but calling a drink a drink. Calling a drink ‘fire water’ in description is a writer imitating voice.

      A Lot of Blood read to me like someone trying to hard to incorporate rules, as you pointed out, and voice. And it ended up being distracting instead of readable. Great setup, though. But your notes and Carson’s notes about the gas station, for instance, drive me crazy.

    • JakeBarnes12

      “I blame the uncertainty on advice to use only two- and three-line paragraphs. If you need to set the scene, use as many lines as you need.”

      It’s an old fallacy that clarity requires more space.

      Clarity requires more thought and skill.

  • ThomasBrownen

    Sounds like a clever set up. Congrats on the [x] worth the read!

  • wlubake

    Disclosure: I didn’t read this. However, I would offer up some ideas to fix some of the items Carson notes.
    1. As for character development, consider having one guy clinging to this “zero responsibility” lifestyle, while the other wants to trade in his flannel for an oxford and move on with life. Maybe have the more grounded of the two the one in trouble, while the free spirit has to take on the responsibility of getting them out of this mess.
    2. This may happen, but introducing a car that stops seems like a great way to spice things up during the lull. Have the driver either be in on it or become the next victim (with the guys learning that stopping drivers will only put them at risk).
    3. As for a new title, I’d suggest RV2 – Vacation from Hell. Then introduce Robin Williams and Cheryl Hines as the killers in a surprise twist. Honestly though, people name their RVs like they do their boats. Focusing on a clever name for the RV (Happy Trails comes to mind) would be cool. Then the poster could be the name on the side of the RV with blood dripping down the side.
    Anyway, hope to read it soon. Good luck, and congrats on the great start to a winning script.

    • garrett_h

      Regarding #1, I just watched Scenic Route on Netflix (reviewed on SS a couple years ago and mentioned in yesterday’s article). Basically two best friends get stuck in the middle of nowhere and try to get rescued.

      The difference is, these guys had some major issues. Both internal (they argue about their life paths, their friendship, etc.) and external (they argue about how to get saved). It’s what drives the story. They’re constantly disagreeing. Sounds like this script could use a similar dynamic between the leads.

      • Eddie Panta

        Yeah… First right it as a drama. Then add the horror.

  • Eddie Panta

    AOW Contained Thrillers,- You’re Next Scenarios and Rabies…

    This is the second week in a row that the chosen AOW script to review was a contained thriller. Someone needs to start making an INFOGRAPHIC…

    I was intrigued by last week’s Echovault and this week’s A Lot of Blood.

    But, in both scripts the “piece of cheese” I’m after in the story keeps getting tugged away, and away. Why is that? It appears to me, and you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, that a lot of amateur scripts spend a lot of time hiding the premise, leading the reader along, without adding additional mystery to the story. Only to have the reader, in the end, feel like it they’ve been had… Cheated.

    Why is the story of EchoVault any less exciting if we know the stakes, up front? If we knew the character’s intent and motivation. Shouldn’t there be yet another mystery right around the corner anyway.

    It appears to me that amateur scripts here and on other sites are following the “You’re Next” approach to contained thrillers. A plotline, in which, the big reveal, the who done it, and why they did it ? … is left to the last 10mins of the film. Too often, the big reveal in the end makes little sense, and at that point, we are left not really caring who lives or dies. It’s all just spectacle, cheap thrills, with a nostalgic nod to horror films of the past.

    I think the lesson here, in terms of contained thrillers, is that there should always be a theme in the story that exists beyond the life and death scenario. There needs to be social relevance that raises it above the fray.

    Like in Straw Dogs and Backwoods. In those films, it’s not just about what happens in the end. ( who live, dies, or wins) it’s about the change that occurred or did not occur in the character.

    I’d advise all who are working on contained thriller spec script to read Carson’s review of the Amazon.com Studios first prize winner. Origin of Species. The script is about a pack of drug hounds that run amok after they’ve been infected with RABIES, The dogs, kill people, old people, women, children are attacked, most mauled to death. But this is actually not at all what the story is really about. Your premise, your main event, is only one part of the story, not the entire part, even if it’s a contained thriller. Needs more.

  • John Bradley

    Congrats on a (x) Worth the Read! Really big step! I’m hoping to get one of my scripts (I have 6 but want one in particular) on the newsletter one of these days but am waiting to submit till it is the absolute best it can be. Sounds like you guys did a great job! If I have time today I will take a read and give some notes.

  • John Bradley

    I just wanted to ask anyone who might be interested or have the time. I have a script that I really really want to get on Amateur Friday soon and was wondering if any of the kind folk on here would be willing to take a look? I would be very happy to return the favor on any script you would want notes on. My email is johnrushbradley@hotmail.com

  • jlugozjr

    Not a single comment has brought up my biggest issue with this script.

    These two characters are drunk the entire time.

    They finish their last shot, stumble out of the bar and the story begins. The description by the writer clearly states they are drunk. So here’s my question… have you ever been drunk?

    When you’re drunk your speech pattern changes, you can barely walk and your cognitive skills are worthless. So what happened with the two main characters? Did they sober up in 5 mins.? With no hangover?

    Every line of action and dialogue throughout the rest of the story should reflect how drunk these guys are. It doesn’t. The issue was completely ignored.

    I kept reading until the cell phone lost signal and then the battery died.

    At this point I lost all confidence in the writers.

    Be honest… a cell phone that has no signal, then the battery dies. Is this lazy writing?

    • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

      I haven’t read it, but drunkenness in films is rarely handled accurately, unless there is a big point to be made of it. You’ll see characters in movies all the time drink quite a damn lot and somehow they still speak perfectly clearly and can even complete difficult tasks. And they sober up super fast. I’m not saying this is an excuse, just saying it’s not uncommon at all, and in this situation, the audience may forget entirely that these people are supposed to be wasted. Once again, haven’t read it.

      As for the cellphone issue – yep, lazy writing. It’s a staple of horror movie cliches, or really any film where people are in trouble and they need to make a call. The best solution is (obviously) finding a unique way to take away their ability to use their cellphone. One of my favorite examples is FUNNY GAMES. In the beginning, Naomi Watts is visited by these two guys, and they want some eggs. The scene begins benignly, the guys are let into her house, and it grows increasingly sinister. And in the process of this situation going from innocent to sinister, these guys “accidentally” drop her cellphone in water. This works perfectly because it’s an ACTION that the antagonists take and it makes SENSE because obviously they don’t want her to be able to call anyone. It’s not just some fluke where by chance there’s no signal – someone intentionally destroys her ability to use the phone.

      • drifting in space

        *cough* The World’s End *cough*

        Agree on the cell phone in water thought. Clever, simple way to change something that is overused.

        • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

          Yeah, World’s End is certainly one, and it’s funny because the entire idea revolves around them getting drunk. I actually found that film really underwhelming, and I loved Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

          Hell, look at how much James Bond drinks. Ain’t no one drink that much and still have lightning fast reflexes.

          The biggest thing I see in films is no matter how much someone drinks, they never slur their speech. They even say pretty intelligible things most of the time. If I drink a fifth of whiskey, I’m not gonna be spewing any coherent monologues….

          • TruckDweller

            Well, duh, it’s just prop alcohol…

          • garrett_h

            Funny that you mention James Bond. This study about his alcohol consumption came out yesterday. According to the study, he’d be dead from liver problems at age 56…

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/12/james-bond-drinking-bmj/4002179/

            I think Flight with Denzel Washington handled the drunkenness thing pretty accurately. He actually slurs and does irrational things while drunk.

          • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

            Flight did a fantastic job with it. He’s coherent quite a bit while legally drunk, but it makes sense because his tolerance would be extremely high at that point in his life. But then there are a few times he gets totally wasted, slurred speech, falls down. That one scene where he falls over in his living room was extremely accurate. The way he mumbles nonsense in that scene is all too familiar to me…

          • Hadley’s Hope

            I think my favorite onscreen drunk is Jim Lahey in “Trailer Park Boys”.

            While obviously exaggerated at times for comedic effect, Lahey as a character really captures and displays a certain “soul” of the drunk.

    • Eddie Panta

      It is explained in the script that the cold night air and the shock of the finding the girl has instantly sobered them up. Which not really realistic. However, all that is easily remedied.

      My thought that only one should be drunk, the other sober. But neither have to be.

      Yes, cell ph. losing signal rather ordinary.

  • David

    Why not simply title the script “RV”? Or did someone already suggest that?

    There was a film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Robin williams with the same title back in 2006, but that was a comedy and nobody saw it or remembers it. I saw it and I don’t remember it.

    • NajlaAnn

      RV works for this story just fine.

  • Citizen M

    The author succeeded in writing a fairly gruesome horror story set in a single location which would be cheap to make.

    But there’s not enough here for a full-length movie. It’s 84 pages now. Boil down the over-written passages, and you’ll end with a solid script maybe 50 to 60 pages long. I’m not sure what needs doing. My only suggestion is have more setups in the beginning to provide more possibilities for action. At the moment there’s a choice between try to enter the RV; try to enter the bar; run for the trees. Give the characters more problems and more scope to use their ingenuity.

    Kevin and Jared need to be more different. Everyone agrees on this. I would make Jared the bold one, the leader, and Kevin the cautious one who follows Jared’s lead. That gives Kevin an arc. When Jared disappears, he must man up and take charge.

    If their car was Kevin’s dad’s, that would give Kevin a good excuse not to get involved with the RV but focus on getting the car back. That would introduce conflict with Jared wanting to solve the mystery of the girl in the RV. In addition, maybe you could tie it into their road trip. maybe they are throwing darts in a map and driving at random, looking for adventure. When they come across the RV Jared says here’s a real live adventure, let’s do it.

    When they end up in trouble there’s lots of scope for guilt and recriminations.

    Regarding the mechanics of the villain’s plot, I am confused. Was Becky captured in Omaha, bundled into the RV, and driven to Fremont, or is the RV permanently parked in the lot and Becky brought to the RV? There is no mention of grass growing under the RV or the tires being flat, so I presume it is newly arrived. Maybe if Pam made the phone call and a little while later we see through the pub window the RV rolling silently into the yard it would add to the tension. It takes away the mystery element, but I’d take tension over mystery any day.

    Given the RV is so central to the story, we need a better picture of what it looks like inside once we gain entry. I’d expect something better organized, more medical, more hinting as to the purpose. Driving around with buckets of blood standing around isn’t a good idea. It’ll spill everywhere.

    Generally, there was too much telling us tension is present instead of telling us what was happening and letting us feel the tension. Characters seemed to behave the way needed for the plot instead of the plot being behavior-driven. You can only get away with this if the script has good pace. Carry us along quickly and we don’t have time to fuss about details. But there’s no pace in this script.

    “Kevin stops. He looks Becky in the eye. Both feel the strain of the situation tearing into their souls… Becky sarcastically nods her head. Her typical reluctant demeanor melts from her face… Kevin opens his mouth, but doesn’t speak. His jaw hangs ajar. The moon glistens off the saliva of his teeth.” This is novelistic writing. Try to use plainer English. Stick to describing actions, reactions, and emotions. Leave the glistening moon to the sparkly vampire stories.

    Some detailed comments:

    p. 13 – When they hear Becky in the RV they don’t discuss nearly enough alternatives. I know I’d assume it’s a domestic dispute and leave it to the police. Why can’t they just wait till morning and Pam opens the bar? Or go to the road and wait for a passing car. How remote is this place anyway? How do they know Becky’s not a baddie who’s legitimately locked up? When she says she thinks there’s someone else in there with her they should try and contact him or her.

    p. 19 – The situation has turned dire. It was already dire on p. 14. Stage your adjectives. Worrying, then serious, then dire.

    p. 21 – Someone runs from the bar to the RV. There’s a CRASH outside. Kevin runs out sees no one. So how far is it from the bar to the RV? And how far to the trees? The geography matters in this situation. I always imagined the RV being 100 meters of so from the bar. Even Usain Bolt couldn’t cover that distance without being seen. And what caused the crash? Presumably it was a Ratty man bumping into something. We should see an overturned barrel or whatever. Don’t leave loose ends.

    p. 32 – Kevin has seen a mystery figure with a bag come out of the RV. How come he doesn’t ask Jared trapped in the RV about the figure? Kevin should be actively trying to piece the mystery together as well as trying to escape.

    p. 36 – Does the returning man not notice the wire torn out of the paint work and LED flashy thingy? What was it for, anyway?

    p. 38 – The situation with Becky free and Kevin hiding was difficult to picture, not knowing where and how far things were in relation to each other. Also, she said her hands were tied on p. 13. Are they now loose? Becky is hobbling now, correctly, but later she seems to move freely and even sprint through the woods. Not bad for someone who’s lost a lot of blood. Also, she didn’t seem to have a consistent personality. Weak and confused now, sarcastic and jeering later, then weak and submissive again.

    p. 39 – “A car door SLAMS shut.” There is no car there. If it’s the truck door, the man must still close the RV door, then get into his truck, then slam the door.

    p. 44 – The clown mask, the tape recording, the stabbing. For me, the script jumped the shark at this point and I tuned out. It was just too unbelievable and out of left field.

    p. 52 – If Kevin can see the cell phone through the window, why doesn’t he break the window to get at it?

    p. 66 – The Ratty Men seem to appear and disappear into thin air. Presumably they are stationed in the bar, but I couldn’t figure out the mechanics of their movements.

    • TruckDweller

      I’m looking forward to hiatus so I can go back to reading Amateur Fridays but I doubt I can compete with all of your insightful and thorough critiques. Nice job , M.

    • Eddie Panta

      Some of the descriptions do sound like the work of a novelist. I believe he pointed out in his bio, that his writing experience is from novels.

      Your point about pg21 – The Geography, the lay of the land. How far? or How near? Where is the tree line? All that, I thought was a big issue. It really needs to be handled expertly since this is such a contained thriller.

      Not sure why this doesn’t take place in a car impound. They’re usually fenced in. Impounds are always in the worst parts of town, near the edges, the industrial zone.

      I know going to the one here, in NYC, on the Brooklyn waterfront is a really scary place to be, especially at night.

  • jlugozjr

    So what does it take to get chosen for Carson’s AF?

    And don’t say an amazing logline, I’ve read the logline for The Disciple Program.

    I mean damn, how long does my script have to sit in my iBooks app?

    • Citizen M

      Staple an In-N-Out burger to it and send it in.

  • Nate

    I skimmed through this but stopped when Kevin killed Jared because it confused the living crap out of me. Why did Jared run away from Kevin? I understand that his eyes have been sewn shut and he’s been gagged, but there’s nothing that suggests he can’t hear Kevin when he calls out his name.
    And does Kevin have a split personality? One minute he’s yelling at Jared to stop running and the next he stabs him to death.
    Also why in the world would the bad guys give Jared a gun? Surely that’s a terrible idea.
    Honestly, I cannot understand why this was chosen and how it got a worth the read. I’m not trying to be harsh, I like the premise, it’s quite unique but the execution isn’t up to scratch. It needs a major rewrite or two.

  • Wes Mantooth

    Off topic, but did anyone get the newsletter. It wasn’t in my spam folder, either.

    • Poe_Serling

      Not yet… per Carson, it’s coming ‘later tonight.’

      • klmn

        However, LaurJeff has released the newsletter drawing.

        https://twitter.com/laurjeff

        It’s noteworthy that Carson is portrayed as an ornament. What do you make of the symbolism?

        • Poe_Serling

          Perhaps she’s planning on packing him away after the holidays. ;-)

      • Citizen M

        My newsletter has just arrived. #excited

  • John Bradley

    First Ten Pages Review: A Lot of Blood……..

    Logline: “After two friends leave the bar after a night of drinking, they discover their car missing

    from the parking lot, an RV in its place, and a woman trapped inside.”…….Like others have mentioned, I’m not a fan of the title and like the suggestion of naming the script in a double-entendre way after the bar. With that said, this sounds like a really cool concept! There’s a mystery wrapped in a thriller. So I’m totally on-board with the concept and excited to read.

    85 pages, solid number for this type of script!

    1. Page 1, Your prose in the opening reads really well. The action lines are taught and the writing is visual rather than mechanical. Good job with that.

    2. Page 1, I think your character descriptions of Kevin and Jared could be improved. I think you could have introduced them with actions and describe them a bit more than the clothes they were wearing.

    3. Page 1, Now I am noticing some passive writing in descriptions, here is an example, “She is dressed younger than she should be, her cleavage bouncing seductively with each step..” I would take out “is”, “are” and “ing” verbs whenever possible. Here is how I would write this sentence, “Dressed younger than she should, her cleavage bounces seductively with each step.”

    4. Page 1, Pam, “So, where’s the next stop on your cross country road trip?” I feel like this isn’t totally natural and has a bit too much exposition. I think it would be more natural for her to say, “So where’s your next stop?” Then have their answer reveal they are on a cross country road trip. I just don’t think if they have been talking about a cross country road trip, she would naturally say “cross country road trip”.

    5. “Pam shakes her head and snickers (at their immaturity).” I would cut “at their immaturity” I don’t think it adds to what we see.

    6. Page 2, I think you can get away with only one “PHONE RINGS” then we as the audience get that the phone will keep ringing till she answers it.

    7. Page 2, “Her voice trails off as the boys carry on. Neither pays a lick of attention to the obviously suspicious Pam.” I would cut “to the obviously suspicious Pam.” It is obvious that she is being suspicious so there is no need to point it out in direction. Give the audience 2+2 but don’t give them 4, let them get to 4 on their own. It will make the read more enjoyable.

    8. Page 3, I like Jared quoting a Brittney Spears song, that made me chuckle.

    9. Page 3, There are some little bits of dialogue like “tickle talk” that I really like.

    10. Page 4, Your prose is once again good at the top of this page, but I don’t think you really described the lot well enough. How big is it? Is there an area around back?

    11. Page 4, “A beat” should be used sparingly. Honestly I’m not a fan of using it at all. I prefer to describe what a character is doing during the pause. What is an actor supposed to do with “A beat”

    12. Page 5, I like that they are planning on driving drunk. It’s a little reverse Save the Cat moment, (I saw someone complained about it, but I liked it).

    13. Page 5, I do think there are a few things in your direction that could be cut down. Look at every line and say, Can I live without this? If the answer is yes, then cut it.

    14. Page 7, The car missing and the bar being empty is great. The story is progressing very nicely.

    15. Page 7, “The screen shows both a low battery and no signal.” I would just say the battery is dead.

    16. Page 9, The Inciting Incident is right where it should be and is handled very well. At this point the story has a lot of positives going for it.

    17. Page 10, The POV shot is formatted incorrectly.

    18. Page 10, I think there is too much mention of “breaths against the night air” I’d do it once or twice, but we have had at least 3 or 4 by this point.

    19. Page 10, I’d eliminate the “Cut To”‘s.

    Overall, this is an interesting story, well written, and has a solid mystery with a lot of potential. I think some of the direction is too passive and over described. I imagine the rest of the script has many of the same things. A (x) Worth the Read is gonna get you a lot of attention and maybe even open some doors! Congrats to the writers=)

  • klmn
    • Midnight Luck

      sorry, but no one can do deadpan humor like Nielsen.
      Especially Helms.

      Another pre-vetted property that Hollywood feels needs to be remade.
      No one in the town has the guts to try something new.

    • Citizen M

      The Naked Gun 6″: Put a Condom on it Already.

    • Malibo Jackk

      The lemmings must be fed.

  • pmlove

    I feel like today’s AOW offering ‘Tall Dark and Handsome’ is ringing a few familiar bells….

    • Jaco

      It should. The script was passed around several years ago – reviews were lukewarm at best if I recall – much to the chagrin of the writer. Has it been updated in the past two/three years?

    • hickeyyy

      I didn’t see a AOW today. Am I missing something?

  • Citizen M

    OT: WRT today’s SS letter script THE CURRENT WAR, here’s one of Edison’s videos showing the danger of alternating current (not for the squeamish):

    Edison Electrocuting a 28 year old Elephant named Topsy

    • GeneralChaos

      Edison was a creep.

  • Midnight Luck

    Ok, read to page 21. I am just going to lay out what I can here. And for the record I am just being as constructive as I can. So, Here are a few things,

    It could read fairly quick, however quite a few simple things slow it down:

    Word choices being the most problematic.

    I will give examples as we go.

    Pg. 1:

    First sentence, “A desolate, wasteland of a bar. Last call has HIT, and the
    tables are empty.” – Hit does not work in this situation. It confuses the reader and doesn’t exactly mean what you are wanting it too. Plus HAS Hit is incorrect. Hit is an active verb, whereas HAS is past tense.

    Second sentence: “Music cascades gently off the aging wooden walls. All that
    remain are two men sitting at the bar.”

    – Would read better if swapped around, plus you have already told us it is empty. Either put it in the first sentence : “the tables are empty, save two lone men sitting (together?) at the bar.” or possibly keep in the original sentence but shorten it: “Two men sit at the bar.” or mix it “Two men sit alone at the bar.” “All that remain” is a wordy way to say what has already been said, though I think this is the weakest choice, with the first example being strongest.

    Third sentence: you are just NOW getting to info that should be in at least the second sentence we spoke about, it is coming after the fact, after the intro: “The men are KEVIN and JARED.”

    – Put above could work better: “the tables are empty, save KEVIN and JARED, the two lone men at the bar.” or something along those lines. Even “KEVIN and JARED, the two men at the bar.”

    The point is, a lot of the choices come at the wrong time, which is a tiny bit confusing to the reader, but slows down the read, just enough that they need to pause and either let their brain make sense of it, or the brain has to play catch up as things that should be placed first are placed last and have to mentally be mixed back into proper order.

    Even right after that, I would introduce Pam this way:

    “The middle aged bartender PAM (40’s), approaches them.”

    reads in an active first things first approach, compared to how it is written:
    “A middle aged woman approaches the boys. This is PAM (40s),
    the bartender.” Just read thicker and slower. Each point needs to be registered and digested and put front to back in the brain.

    In dialogue a minor thing, depending on what is meant:
    when Kevin is answering the question he says:

    KEVIN
    And I say hell, why not go for both.

    Does he mean they are going to HELL? is it meant to be a foreshadowing of coming events? or is it meant to read:

    KEVIN

    And I say, hell, why not go for both?

    Which, explains what he means. It properly highlights the active part of what he is saying.

    Then when the boys say:

    “My country ’tis of thee”

    and laugh, I have absolutely no idea what they are saying, or what is supposed to be funny. Maybe I am just an idiot (totally possible) and it is obvious to everyone, or maybe it is meant to be an inside joke and play the way it is written. But for me, it again slows everything down to a crawl as I try to mentally figure it out. And again, we are only on the FIRST Page. That is a lot of mental gymnastics to get through what should be a quick, easy, laying out of where we are, who they are, what is happening, and some dialogue.

    Second Page:

    RING.
    She rushes to answer it.

    PAM
    Hold up, hold up.

    RING.

    as she was just speaking to the guys I thought she was talking to them, but what she said didn’t make sense in what was going on, so I had to slow down and try to make sense of the scene.

    if it said:

    PAM (re: Phone)

    Hold up, hold up.

    I would get it in a second, but as it is, it took time to go back and forth mentally. Just a small thing, but you especially want the first few pages to be so Easy, clean, and fly.

    then she answers with : “Stubs, Grubs, and Suds. Pam here.” if the name of the place is STUBS, etc, that should be called out in the very first: INT. DESERTED HIGHWAY BAR-NIGHT

    Because again, I was unsure what she was saying. Why on earth would she answer the phone “Stubs, Grubs, and Suds. Pam here.”, was she being funny? did Stubs mean something? Was she selling tickets, but how did she know who was calling. All these mental gymnastics slow the entire read down.

    Ok, I know I am beating the pace and everything, but again:

    Page 3:

    “Jared swigs from another glass. He swoons with faux lust.”

    What does that mean? He swoons with faux lust, after drinking from a glass? I have no idea what is going on. Kind of an unfilm-able, kind of a description, it basically stops me in my reading tracks and confuses everything. I have to go back and reread to see if I missed something.

    and again:

    “Name of Pam”

    way to confusing. What? am I missing something?

    She should just say:

    “Name’s Pam”

    short, to the point and I can make very quick sense of it.

    Then (again):

    “Jared flirtatiously stands.”

    I don’t know what that means or how you film it. How do you “Flirtatiously stand”?

    I am pointing out all of this, because it smacks of Purple Prose, while slowing ALL reading down to a crawl, while making my brain trying too hard to understand what I am reading, if I missed something, and in the end what is going on. When the writer is trying to be this clever with words, all I see is that the writer is trying to be clever, I don’t see what is being written. The rest of the 20 pages are littered with this also.

    Another example of showing us – then telling us in a backwards manner is immediately after this:

    EXT. BAR PARKING LOT-NIGHT

    The witching hour has come and gone. But, while the moon
    hangs high, —-the night still revels in mystery—-(what does that mean? and can it be filmed?).

    then——-“At the end of the parking lot is a decrepit, rundown bar. A
    neon sign slowly fades from life and the interior lights are
    killed.”——we just came from being inside with the guys, now we are outside looking back at the bar, from the end of the parking lot? It doesn’t make sense. Where we are Omnisciently placed doesn’t quite work. Almost everything in this needs to be put when we are FIRST introduced to the bar and parking lot to give us a good idea and lay of the land.

    There is an enormous amount of Cutting and rewording that needs to be done. Make it easy to understand, and clean to read. NO purple prose. No saying something in a back to front way so we have to circle around to get what is meant, or to see what is happening inside our head.

    If you add all this to other descriptive issues, such as:

    The guys talk about wanting to be so drunk they can’t remember the night, take one swig, then she closes the bar, then they come outside, and one of them pukes. So how much have they really had to drink? then if they are hammered, we don’t see or hear that they are drunk from then on. They are just instantly ok.

    Also, the description of the two guys:

    Kevin (late 20s), the taller of the two, is dressed nicely in
    a well-pressed suit.

    Jared (late 20s), on the other hand, wears comfortable
    clothing; jeans and a hoodie.

    —so I get it, one is a fancy dresser, the other not so much, very casual. But this is all we get about them? Also, they are on a big road trip, why is one dressed in a suit? It feels like way too simplistic of a way to give us the difference between the two of them. Why does one dress in a suit and the other doesn’t. Did they literally just drive out into nowhere from work and he didn’t change? Even though they might be going to the desert or the beach or mountains. It is a simple way to show physically they are different, but it doesn’t tell us anything, except that we don’t know anything about these two.

    Also, there is no time problem.

    Say, maybe, this is their very last time to do something as two single guys, maybe Jared in his comfortable clothes is getting married at the end of the weekend, and Kevin wanted to take him to some cool spot out in these desert to do? something important, but didn’t have time to change yet, but the stuff is in the back of the car, which is now gone. If both of them work in cubicles at the same office, and Jared is finally getting his shit together and looking forward to living in a Suburbia home and having 2.5 kids and 2 cars, but Kevin, the one dressed up, wants nothing to do with it, all he wants is to play flag football on Saturdays with Jared, and is pissed off that Jared doesn’t care about it anymore. Or something. I mean give us a time frame, give us the difference between the two, play off of them dressed opposite from who they are, and who they want to be. Give us some strife between them. Maybe Jared is getting married to Kevin’s best friend (who is a girl), and all three of them have known each other since 4th grade and Kevin is still smarting because he always thought she liked him just a bit more than friends. Something.

    There is some good stuff to build off what you have written, but we need a lot more. More, but in a way that isn’t blatantly obvious. In a way that has sneakily been dropped in. In between the lines.

    • John Bradley

      Really good notes Midnight!

      • Midnight Luck

        hey, thanks.

    • Citizen M

      Excellent notes re the writing. You can find similar examples on almost every page. It’s the wrong style for a screenplay. Writers coming from novel-writing need to understand that eventually the story will be told in pictures and dialogue and acting, and their words will fall away.

      All a screenplay needs is for the writer to tell us briefly what we see on screen, and what the actors are doing and saying and feeling. Not too much detail. Leave something for the actors and director to contribute.

      BTW I think “stubs” refers to cigarette stubs, and “faux lust” means he’s pretending to be in love with Pam.

      • Midnight Luck

        I do understand what Stubs meant, but it was more about where the info was placed. Answering the phone that way when we have no idea the name of the place just stopped me as a reader. I was trying to express how the confusion while reading slowed the read, but also made it difficult to know what was going on. Add up enough of those, and there is a much higher likelihood a reader will bail.

        Also, the whole sentence: “Jared swigs from another glass. He swoons with faux lust.” along with: “flirtatiously stands” just isn’t helpful information. He drinks from a glass and then swoons with Faux lust? why, at what? it doesn’t describe enough of what we actually see. If he just did something, it would tell us more. It is a false way of telling us what is going on instead of showing us.

  • Midnight Luck

    The title could possibly be stronger if changed.

    People are talking about having the name of the Bar be the title, but I think that would be a bit obvious. Also having it have a double entendre meaning, also might be a bit obvious.

    The title, as it is, does have a double meaning.
    It took people talking about new titles for me to suddenly realize that A LOT of Blood, can mean, the Parking LOT of blood, and that is great.
    Not just being a straight title (as I read it), which meant, a whole bunch of blood.

    I still like titles, though, that have a feeling of Horror, if it is a horror story. Or even a Thriller. Needs to be shorter, or have more Punch to it.

    a couple suggestions:

    The Blood Lot

    others (possibly too simplistic, but I can visually SEE the Poster so easily)
    The Parking Lot
    Asphalt
    Blood Trip

    or a Poster:

    image of asphalt with a puddle in the middle looking like a Rorschach Blot, reflecting an image of the RV and the Bar, and a bloody shirt or gauze pad

    call it: The Parking Blot
    though that might be a stretch

    • GeneralChaos

      Immobile.

      • Midnight Luck

        Like that too.

  • Hadley’s Hope

    His mystery boxes are filled with magical air.

    JJ’s favorite movie line is from Total Recall, “come on Cohaagen, you got what you want, give these people air.”

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Congrats on the writer for getting that ever-elusive “[x] worth the read.”