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Genre: Dark Thriller
Premise: (from writer) When a child killer is sentenced to death under dubious circumstances, the investigating detective discovers that the very man being executed holds the keys that can solve the crime.
About: (from writer) You mentioned in this week’s review of Escape From Tomorrow, “If you can find a way to break the rules in an interesting way, to create an excited discussion around your film or script, then the doors to Hollywood will open right up.” This script does just that! It’s a genre bending story that catches most readers off guard. — Just a note; it placed in the top 15% at Nicholls this year and finished in the top 10% in the PAGE AWARDS.
Writer: Shawn Davis
Details: 111 pages

flight-denzel-washington

Okay, I want to apologize here. In last week’s newsletter, I said that “Gravity Kills” was going to be the Amateur Friday script, when I meant to put “What Doesn’t Kill You” in there. Apparently I think anything with the word “kill” in it is the same thing. The biggest apology goes to Thomas, who wrote Gravity Kills. I’m incredibly sorry for the mix-up, buddy. Hopefully I’ll get to review your script another time.

Now that we got that screw-up out of the way, we can discuss what REALLY matters. Star Wars 7 in 3-D!! As in NO, Star Wars is NOT supposed to be in 3-D!!! Why would you go through all the hassle to be the last studio project to shoot on film if you were going to make it 3-D? I’m thinking JJ and Iger (Disney prez) struck a deal – “We’ll let you push the date back to the end of 2015, but you gotta give us 3-D.” The only silver-lining in this is that I think JJ did it for the screenplay. He knows it’s not ready to shoot. He knows they need more time to get it right. Star Wars isn’t just the creation of a story. It’s the creation of an entire universe. Imagination (TRUE imagination) takes time. So if the big reason we have Star Wars in 3-D is for the script, then JJ, 3-D it is.

What the heck am I talking about Star Wars for during Amateur Friday?? Because Star Wars is big enough that it can be talked about in any post. And since lots more Star Wars news is coming over the next couple of years, no post is safe!

“What Doesn’t Kill You” focuses on Clive Washington, a 45 year-old African-American detective with salt-and-pepper hair (hmm, I wonder which actor Shawn had in mind here) who’s had a rough month. He was involved in a skirmish that ended up getting another cop killed.

But that’s just the beginning of his problems. Three little sisters were murdered a couple of months back and they just found the bodies. All signs point to a lonely bachelor named Derek who splits his time between watching really sick porn and buying drugs (porn and drugs – not good for you, folks).

Derek doesn’t stand a chance with his city-appointed lawyer and gets the death penalty. To add insult to injury, a new law just passed that allows killers of multiple people to be revived after the execution, so they can be executed again. The state finds these killings so brutal, they want Derek to die three separate times.

When Derek is hit with his first execution, his “metaphysical body” is transported to the house where the killings took place. It’s here where we find out Derek isn’t the killer. It was someone else, a mysterious man in a black mask. Derek must gather as many clues as he can before he’s revived the first and second time to prove that he isn’t the killer (he gets a day between each execution).

In the meantime, Clive is starting to have doubts that Derek’s their guy. But what can you do when you’ve already technically executed someone? Derek is not legally alive. So you can’t turn him loose. This seals Derek’s fate, but that doesn’t stop Clive from trying to find the real killer before he continues his killing spree. And if you think you know who the killer is and what’s going to happen here?  Think again.  “What Doesn’t Kill You” keeps ya guessing until the very end.

Whenever you open a script, you’re always looking for something unique – a new voice, new concept, characters you haven’t seen before, a unique execution (no pun intended). You get that with What Doesn’t Kill You. I have some problems with this script, most notably the fact that it’s needlessly violent in a lot of places (brutal descriptions of violent acts against little girls often go too far). But if Shawn can dial a lot of that back, he may have something here. This reminded me a lot of Prisoners. And I think it may even be better than that script.

Here’s the catch, though. This “execution/revive” thing has to be real. Although it sounds made-up, I’m very trusting of the writer and wondered, “Could this law have snuck in there without me knowing it?”  When Shawn had the characters talking about the lone inmate in recent history upon which is was tested, I thought, “Hmm, I vaguely remember reading something about that… I think.”   So I googled it but got nothing.  If it’s indeed made up, I don’t know if this script can work. You can’t just make up a huge law like that and expect the public to go along with it.  I’d love to be proven wrong though.  Can anyone think of one? (Double Jeopardy was a real law, albeit used liberally in the film)

What was cool about that though, was it gave the script that “wild card” element a procedural needs to stand out. Seven had the really bizarre killings. Lambs had Hannibal. But no one’s really been able to catch that wild-card element since. This is definitely a wild card and is the main reason the script feels so different. Remember that without the wild-card, you have a cop chasing clues looking into a murder. We can see that every night on TV.

(spoilers) Besides the graphic violent description, another squeaky wheel is Derek’s character. Derek hasn’t done anything terrible (by “terrible” I mean hurt or kill anyone). But he is introduced looking at young girls online. Later, we’re asked to essentially root for this guy. And kudos to Shawn because he almost makes us do it. But we’re not going to get over that kind of thing. So he probably needs to dial that way back or take it out.

The thing is, it’s kind of essential to the story. We have to believe this man is our killer. And the fact that he looks at young girls online is the main reason he gets convicted for killing these three young girls. Screenwriting occasionally puts us in this position, where we’re forced to talk out of both sides of our mouth. We must make Derek likable enough to root for later, but terrible enough that it’s believable he’d get convicted. That’s some of the toughest stuff to make work.

The thing is, (major spoilers) Derek’s fingerprints and hair were planted on the scene. So if you just made him watch really fucked up porn (not little girls) and those two pieces of evidence put him at the scene of the crime, I think that’s enough to convince the police (and us) that he did it.

What I really have to give Shawn credit for is the out-of-body stuff. Technically, it shouldn’t have worked. You have your main character having an out of body experience. Then Derek has them three times while dead. It feels like we’re giving the story too much string – that it’s getting too “out there.” But it worked for me. I’m not sure why, but it did.

This script definitely needs a few tweaks, but I think we’ve found a cool new voice in Shawn Davis.

Screenplay link: What Doesn’t Kill You

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

What I learned: When dealing with extreme violent acts, do what directors do. Show the raised bat then cut to the next scene. There’s no need to show the swing and hear the thump. It’s too much. Remember at the end of Seven, we never saw Gwyneth Paltrow’s head (although I’m sure plenty of middle-aged women would’ve wanted to).

  • Warren Hately

    You’re seriously wondering if this killing people and reviving them thing might be a law somewhere? I worry about you sometimes Carson :)

    • carsonreeves1

      lol, I’m very trusting of the writer. Was I too trusting?

      • Warren Hately

        It strikes me off the bat as a silly idea requiring too big a leap of suspended disbelief, but you’ve read it and I haven’t. It reminds me a bit of the screenplay (names eludes me) where the guy is released for one day every 5 years and we see the world advance as he investigates. That was a really good script too which I thoroughly enjoyed (shame I don’t remember the name), but the required suspension again undermined it somewhat.

        • Jovan

          Hybernation

      • Wes Mantooth

        Haha, yes way too trusting. But I think Shawn can remedy that by setting the story in the near future where technology and laws have changed.

        BTW, might want to edit your review: “We must make Shawn likable enough to root for later, but terrible enough that it’s believable he’d get convicted. The thing is, (major spoilers) Shawn’s fingerprints and hair were planted on the scene.” Think you meant Derek there.

        • Shawn Davis

          Thanks Wes,
          Yeah, I’m going to be working on both Derek’s profile and the time line this weekend. I think the “future” angle will solve several issues.
          Shawn…..><

      • garrett_h

        The concept reminds me a lot of HIBERNATION, reviewed here a couple months ago. And SOURCE CODE.

        Surely you didn’t think putting people into hibernation was real! Or sending them into the source code of another human being! :)

        You really liked Hibernation if I recall. And your love for Source Code is well documented. Guess I’ll get to work on a revival idea and take over AmFri in a couple of months!

      • Shawn Davis

        First off,

        Thank you Carson for the wonderful review and great advice. This site is such a great resource for writers like me who need a voice.

        I’m very flattered that you enjoyed WDKY. I also appreciate the kind email today.

        Carson isn’t the only person who’s asked this question regarding the execution law. Believe it or not, I’ve had a couple dozen writers inquire about it.
        There are some things I will be changing regarding the great notes I’ve received here. I want to thank everyone for the positive and constructive feedback thus far.

        If anyone has read this version of WDKY now posted, you’ll notice some of the changes you’ve already suggested have been implemented for the betterment of the script.

        As with my home planet, http://www.simplyscripts.com, my script is made up of countless readers who took the time to offer support and advice.

        Thanks again for making my experience here a memorable one. I hope to work with many of you on your work so that I might be able to return the kindness you’ve shown me.

        Take care

        Shawn…..><

        • drifting in space

          It’s really great that you are open to notes. It puts you a notch above the other people so stuck in thinking they are the best thing to type a word.

          Good luck to you!

          • Shawn Davis

            Thanks man.

            Fellow writers and people who review are the backbone in my writing world.

            Any advice can be solid gold to a story. Why pass up someone’s willingness to tell you how to make something better?
            Shawn…..><

        • pale yellow

          I’m proud of you :) and enjoyed reading an early version of this! You put in the blood and sweat dude! You rock!

          • Shawn Davis

            Dena,

            You’re one of the reasons it is what it is…

            Thank you.

            Shawn…..><

          • pale yellow

            :) you’re nice.

  • Steffan

    Congrats! This sounds right up my alley. Smart, dark, different. I haven’t read IT yet but will after reading this review. I’m interested to see how you pull off the multiple deaths angle.

    Writer of ‘Inhuman’ reviewed on SS

    • Alex Palmer

      Hey! I read Inhuman a while ago and remembered liking it for similar reasons. Good luck with whatever you’re working on now.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thank you.

      I hope you enjoy the read.

      Shawn…..><

  • jlugozjr

    You Googled this to determine if it was real?! What? Have you heard of the term cruel and unusual punishment. Execution has alway been a delicate subject, but kiling someone three times? Come on. That would never be acceptable.

    Now as for a movie, this could be interesting if it takes place in the future or some other alternate timeline. But if the story takes place in 2013, I’m not buying it.

    And why does the main character have out of body experiences after he’s dead?

    Is he a ghost?

    • wlubake

      I think this works better with an even darker tone (if you can believe it). Have Clive and his partner illegally interrogating Derek (read: torturing). Derek keeps dying or passing out or whatever (and drifting off to the scene of the crime), and they keep reviving him. Much more believable than a multiple-execution law.
      Then you can add the conflict of Clive and his partner regarding Derek’s guilt.

      • shewrites

        A good idea but that may make it too close to the recent film “Prisoners”

        • wlubake

          I definitely feel the Prisoners vibe with that change.

      • Shawn Davis

        Interesting thought.

        In fact, I’m working on a Thriller / comedy that I think part of that angle would be perfect.

        Mind if I use it?

        Shawn…..><

    • Wes Mantooth

      “This “execution/revive” thing has to be real. Although it sounds made-up, I’m very trusting of the writer and wondered, “Could this law have snuck in there without me knowing it?” LOL’d when I read that part. Imagine a prolific serial killer with say twenty victims or more. They’d be whackin’ him all damn day.

      This is why I think the story has to be set in the near future, where America has definitely taken a turn for the worse. And the “kill/revive/kill” concept has to be introduced organically into the story at the beginning. Right now, Derek hears it from his lawyer in a bunch of expo dialogue. Because this is a central concept of the story, it should be woven in to the narrative early so it doesn’t feel so shoehorned in there. Same for the supernatural aspect. Talk about a tonal change. Derek talking to the ghost girls came out of nowhere and made this feel like a different movie.

      To me, this felt like a rough early version of the script, with some interesting ideas that still felt half-baked. And…I guessed who the killer was right away. I was really hoping for some insane twist there. Ah, well. Congrats to the writer for getting the thumbs up from Carson though. I can see this script being developed into a something very interesting with some serious work.

      • Shawn Davis

        Hey Wes,

        I’m taking that advice and adding it to the story. It will be set not to far in the future but far enough for the distance needed to be acceptable.

        Thanks for all the great advice you’ve given

        Shawn…..><

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks for the input and comments jlugozjr.

      I will be setting it in the future. That seems to be going consensus here.

      I think it will allow enough of a buffer for the reader to accept the premise.

      I’m not quite sure of the question regarding the out of body experience.

      Shawn…..><

  • Calavera

    Watch out Carson, there’s another mix-up with the names at the end of the article !

    I understand Shawn is the writer of this screenplay, not the one who watches fucked up porn and leaves fingerprints on the murder scene… Or is he ? That becomes metaphysical as well :-)

  • carsonreeves1

    fixed. :)

  • tom8883

    But peeps like Tarantino never cut away after the bat is raised . . . . {Yeah, but you’re not Tarantino!}

  • jlugozjr

    So Carson’s article on Nov. 4 listed 10 screenwriting mistakes to avoid via M. Night’s Lady in the water. At #10 was SILLY/GOOFY choices.

    I stopped reading this script at page 25 because this choice was just too absurd —

    This is when Derek’s lawyer tells him:

    “Two years ago, a highly controversial law was passed…” and then we learn that the prosecution wants Derek executed three times. I’m sorry, but this idea feels way too contrived. It would never happen in real life. On top of this, we have three young girls brutally murderd and a character who watches kiddie porn. I’m no longer interested.

    And early on when Captain Marcus says “Let’s try to handle this a little better than the situation with the van.” Naturally, I was wondering what happened with Clive and this mysterious van. But later in the story when we learn what happened, Captain Marcus’ comment feels out of place.

    Here’s what happened.

    Clive was investigating an abandoned van, saw a man in the woods and then gave chase. The man in the woods attacked and shot Clive. It was an attack on Clive’s life. He almost died.

    So why in the world would Captain Marcus later say “Let’s try to handle this a little better than the situation with the van.” I mean, who says that?

    • Matthew Garry

      One of the ways to get away with a contrived plot element is to bring it in hard, early and unapologetically. Force the viewer to make a choice: either he can dismiss the contrivance now, and spend the rest of the movie complaining and being bored, or he can accept it and follow along in the plot. Combine that with a chance that the contrivance might be explained in detail later on, and most people will opt to just accept it at face value for the time being (and given enough momentum, will forget about it completely once the movie progresses).

      For an example, look at Inception. Nowhere the stupid suitcase and the actual mechanics of sharing dreams are really explained. But it’s presented early on and in your face as “This is how it is in this world. You can accept it now or sulk for the rest of the movie.”

      Trying to ease an audience into a change of rules later on hardly ever works, so I think it’s best to confront the audience with any devices that require a huge amount of suspension of disbelief right away instead of gradually trying to introduce it.

      • romer6

        I was thinking about The Purge. How can we accept that once a year commiting crimes is perfectly acceptable? Either you embrace this concept early on or you don´t even go to the theater. I don´t think I can embrace any of these two concepts. They are both too absurd for me to just let go.

        • drifting in space

          I feel like the difference between this and the Purge is the genre. With Se7en, it feels real. With the Purge, it explains everything and is just a cool twist on the horror genre.

          I think this script is trying to walk the line of feeling real AND a cool twist, but you can’t have both in this genre.

          There is absolutely no way in hell you can kill/revive someone 3 times for the crime that is committed. I mean, shit, Casey Anthony killed her daughter and straight up got away with it.

          It just doesn’t feel plausible enough to go along with the gritty drama that is presented with this script. In The Purge, you go along with it because you want to see how it plays out. Here, you have too many conflicting elements that bring you OUT of the story.

          As a reader, you don’t want to stop and think “wait, is this real? *googles* oh, no it isn’t, okay, back to the read” and be taken completely out of the story. PLUS, the whole kill/revive thing is not even mentioned in the logline, where as The Purge, it’s the entire premise.

          You’re basically setting up a read that will be clunky before we even start reading the material.

          • romer6

            I felt the logline was missing too. It was too simplistic and generic. I haven´t read the script yet but I intend to. Let´s see then how it really goes under my disbelief.

          • Wes Mantooth

            Also, in The Purge you can get away with a crazy premise like that because it’s set in 2020 in a U.S. which has gone completely off the rails.

      • Citizen M

        The legal issue should have been in the logline, seeing as it is central to the story. My suggestion:

        A new twist in the law allows an executed man to discover evidence that might clear him, but will a Louisiana cop believe a dead man with a sleazy reputation?

        • Wes Mantooth

          That’s better, but still doesn’t highlight the central “multiple executions” concept. That seems to be the big idea that has Carson so excited over this script.

        • Shawn Davis

          Love the angle in the log line. I think that’s something I should explore.

          Thanks

          Shawn…..><

      • Shawn Davis

        Great advice Matthew,

        I’ll have a re-write complete in a few days and will be pulling the time and execution element closer to the beginning.

        There are so many scripts I’ve read where suspension of belief was apart of the story that I almost go into one with that in the back of my mind now.

        Thanks bro-

        Shawn…..><

    • Shawn Davis

      Hey jlugozjr,

      Thanks for the time you did dedicate to my script. In many instances, readers will stop at page 1 and assume they know what the story is about enough to comment.

      I’m just sorry I couldn’t entertain you with this work.

      That is what I’m out to do.

      Perhaps in the future, I can get another shot with another script.

      I truly appreciate your input.

      Take care

      Shawn…..><

  • Citizen M

    “Gravity” raised the bar on space operas. They’ll all have to be in 3-D now.

  • jlugozjr

    Wait a second. Page 3. KING, Mexican, typical long baggy shirt, bandana.

    “Typical”??

    I’m Mexican. I guess I’ll go put on one of my typical long baggy shirts and my bandana.

    • Cuesta

      Y no te olvides el arma Yo.

      • Shawn Davis

        Muy divertido. Gracias por la risa.
        Shawn…..><

    • drifting in space

      This happens so many times in screenplays. Not sure how it gets skipped over.

      • GeneralChaos

        We can probably quess how.

        • GeneralChaos

          Thank you, downvoter. Karma will downvote you.

    • GeneralChaos

      I personally like to wear my typical long baggy shirts with only the collar button done.

    • Shawn Davis

      No malice intended.
      KING, Mexican, long baggy shirt, bandana.
      Better?

      • jlugozjr

        No harm no foul.

  • ximan

    Instead of Derek looking at kiddie porn in various stages of undress, why not make him someone who suspiciously collects images of young girls, and later we find out that it’s because his daughter got washed away in a hurricane along with all the pics of her (this could also tie in to his addiction to drugs to deal with the depression) — or something like that. Play with our expectations a little more. Make us feel guilty for judging the guy and believing he was a pedophile. But don’t make him an actual pedophile!

    Otherwise, CONGRATS to the writer! :)

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks for the suggestion ximan.
      I am actually taking away some great note from the conversation here.
      There are several aeres where I will be making some tweaks.
      Take care
      shawn…..><

      • ximan

        You’re welcome bro. Best of luck!!

    • Randy Williams

      I like Ximan’s suggestion. Derek is a father and under investigation. The closer the detective gets, the more fearful Derek becomes that he will be found out and his investigation into his kid’s disappearance will be stopped and he deliberately commits a murder (of a scumbag) to go to this prison where they are experimenting on death row immates with this new execute and revival thing. He has heard that prisoners have come back to recount details of the crimes and he wants to know where his kids are. The twist at the end is the reveal of all this. Kind of like “Prisoners” meets “The Fugitive”

  • Citizen M

    This is a new version. There’s additional stuff compared to the AOW script. Download the latest version before reading.

    • romer6

      Sorry if I missed the train here but… What is AOW?

      • wlubake

        Amateur offerings weekend.

        • romer6

          Oh, I see! Thanks!

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks for mentioning that Citizen,

      Parts were re-written based on the comments and notes from you fine folks.

      I appreciate all the great input and advice.

      Shawn…..><

  • Zadora

    I thought this script was very good! Great even, if it wasn’t for the issue of the new law. I thought that there’s no way that would happen or that an audience would swallow it. The trend is, we are moving away from executions. No way would we go in the opposite direction. Other than that, great work Shawn and congrats on the score! :)

  • Marija ZombiGirl

    I liked this story a lot and immediately bought into the admittedly far-out idea of executing someone repeatedly. But reading this script felt like going up and down from “Really good” (everything to do with Derek and the police procedural) to “Ok, this feels very first draft” (everything to do with the parents). I’m sorry, it just felt clichéd and forced, especially the father’s fate. I also agree with C that Derek’s “hobby” should be dialed back. Instead of him watching kiddie porn, just have him ogle young girls on the internet (nothing X-rated). Pedophiles may start out fantasizing but they usually cross the line at some point so we’ll believe it. Granted, they don’t all go as far in real life as in this script but setting up a character mouth-watering over young girls is sick and disturbing enough. Also, no need for the graphic violence as recommended in the review.

    Congrats on the double Worth the read, Shawn, and good luck with it :-)

    • ripleyy

      As gross as it may be, you could do it where Derek is in a park looking at young girls (trust me, I felt gross writing that) but you get that he’s into young girls but without the x-rated-ness the first scene shows.

      But I agree with your points. I felt the father’s fate (which I talked about previously in the AOW post) was too cliche. I really didn’t understand his suicide. Was he talking to Tina or something? Very weird.

      Shawn was going for R-rated and he went there but at the cost of making the script seem too R-rated and less about story.

      • Shawn Davis

        Hey ripleyy,

        I’m going to take the pedo angle out all together. It just seems to be more touchy than people want.

        Fair enough!

        As for Bret, I actually moved Bret around a bit in the most recent script and made him more front of a suspect in the story. It wasn’t until Clive really thought he had something to do with it, he decided to kill himself.

        A new twist. Or at least That was what I was going for.

        Thanks man!

        Shawn…..><

        • ripleyy

          You don’t need to get rid of it at all. It’s what drives this story. You just need to tone Derek down and make it less direct. I really do think you have something here :)

    • Shawn Davis

      Hi Marija,

      I’ve been listening to everyone and agree that the pedo angle should be removed.

      I’m currently doing a re-write and will be eliminating that all together.

      Thanks aging for your comments and advice.

      Take care

      Shawn…..><

  • Poe_Serling

    Congrats to Shawn for the [xx] worth the read. I had a hunch that this script was right down Carson’s alley.

    I read this project two weeks ago as part of the AOW group. Here’s my blurb from back then:

    The swamplands of Louisiana. A string of horrific murders. An almost tangible teeth-gnashing grittiness to the storyline. It travels the same disturbing road as Se7en, 8mm, and others. Though the subject matter is not my cup of tea, I think the writer has talent and there’s definitely a market for this type of thriller.

    • Mike.H

      Is AOW alliance of Writers group? is it online? how and where do they meet?

      • Poe_Serling

        It’s the Amateur Offerings Weekend post… found here on Saturday.

        Per Carson:

        “This is your chance to discuss the week’s amateur scripts, offered
        originally in the Scriptshadow newsletter. The primary goal for this
        discussion is to find out which script(s) is the best candidate for a
        future Amateur Friday review.”

      • Malibo Jackk

        It’s a secret organization.
        (You might want to read The Da Vinci Code.)

    • kenglo

      I’m at work and read the first ten, and I agree, this writer has got some chops. I’m super interested in the story now, will read later, but just wanted to say congrats young man!!

      • Shawn Davis

        Thanks Kenglo,

        I hope you enjoy the story.

        Shawn…..><

    • Citizen M

      Digits are severed. No wonder Carson like it.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks a ton Poe,

      I remember the great review you gave and I really appreciate it.

      It’s comments like yours that gets me to the keyboard my friend.

      Thanks again and take care

      Shawn…..><

  • garrett_h

    Welp, I read GRAVITY KILLS last night based on the Newsletter. Did I miss an amended Newsletter or correction post or something?

    Oh well. Congrats to Shawn Davis on the Double Worth The Read! Don’t wanna take away from your day, so I’ll just reserve my thoughts on Gravity Kills if/when Carson reviews it.

    I’l try to give this a read one day. Maybe I should skip the review for spoilers sake. But it sounds interesting.

    • garrett_h

      OK, I went ahead and read the review anyway, and I have one question…

      What’s up with that logline?

      When I first read it, I thought, “Oh, OK, another procedural where an “innocent” person is locked up and accused, proclaims their innocence, and a detective/lawyer/whoever goes to bat for them. They try to figure out the true perpetrator, while running into roadblocks from law enforcement, wondering if the person is really the killer or not, etc. Seen that 1,000 times!”

      Then the revival after execution thing comes up, with him gathering clues in a Lovely Bones type of way, and coming back and telling the detective what he found. THAT’S YOUR MOVIE.

      It’s gonna be in the trailer. It’s gonna be in the movie reviews. It’s gonna be on the poster. Why keep it out of the logline? It’s the only thing separating your story from every other murder mystery (like the recent Prisoners and Law Abiding Citizen, etc.) out there. That part took me from thinking, “Ho-hum, I’ll get around to reading this one day,” to “I need to read it this weekend.”

      Also, as Carson said, PLEASE get rid of the kiddie porn. NOBODY likes people who watch kiddie porn, except for other people who watch kiddie porn. Just like your protagonist absolutely cannot kill a pet dog or cat or boil a rabbit, they cannot watch kiddie porn. Those are actions reserved for villains. And if your protag does either one of those, they better have a damn good reason. Otherwise your audience will turn against them.

      • Shawn Davis

        Hi Garrett,

        The kiddy porn thing is being re-written as we speak. It seems the general reader doesn’t want to get as invested in Derek so long as that is on the readers mind. It’s actually an easy fix so I’ll be making that change.

        Thanks for the great notes

        Take care

        Shawn…..><

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks for the well wishes Garrett.

      Shawn…..><

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    I agree. It could also be written as a law that passed only in one state (probably Texas.)

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    As a fan of Gaspar Noé, I love this out-of-body experience angle.

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      So I’m guessing you liked INTO THE VOID ?

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        Directing-wise it is easily one of the most interesting movies I’ve seen, but it was sooo damn loooong, that I was exhausted by it.

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        Directing-wise it is one of the most interesting movies I’ve seen, but it was sooo damn looong. I was exhausted by it.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thank you!
      I glad you enjoyed the read.
      Shawn…..><

  • ripleyy

    I was so confused when he picked “Gravity Falls” (no offense to Thomas) and then later, through Twitter, he said it was “pretty dark” and I was just left there completely confused.

    I clicked with this script (I reviewed it last week) and I thought it worked except the “out-of-body” experience. The graphic nature of the script didn’t bother me at all but I, too, thought the law was real which is why it worked. I believed it and if you can make a reader believe something that isn’t real? You’re one step above the rest.

    Shawn really went with it and he never toned it down. I think that’s really brave because some scripts and even films get graphic and violent and then sort-of tone it down. Seven didn’t, Hannibal didn’t.

    I want to see more of Shawn in the future. He definitely has what it takes.

    I’m glad down-votes aren’t as violent as “What Doesn’t Kill You” though.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks ripleyy,

      I appreciate the kind words.

      I’ve actually gotten interest in it over the last 24 hours (thanks Carson) and if a production company decides to take it on, then I’m basically at their disposal as to the amount of violence they would prefer.

      But IMO. it’s kinda like a fashion show when writing a spec script. Make the prototype packed with all the possibilities available.

      And then, by the time it reaches the screen, it will have been tailored to that companies particular taste.

      But that’s just me.

      Take care

      Shawn…..><

      .

  • fragglewriter

    I re-read the page where the violent act takes place. IMO, what yore insisting the writer to do is basically directing on the page which some see as a no-no from a writer. I think the writer did a good with depicting the violence, but it is really up to the director to display how he/she should visually capture this scene in regards to shooting for the audience.

    There’s a movie, “Lady Vengeance” (trilogy that included Old Boy as the second film) where there was a child murderer who taped his child killings. The way is was displayed to the audience took in the consideration because the director took into consideration his audience.

    • ripleyy

      I think there is some truth in your comment but ultimately I don’t think it really matters. It’s entirely up to you if you want to go all-out and make it as graphic or cut away at the last second – it’s cinematic either way. True, let the writer do what he wants and let the Director do what he wants, but in the end, a writer is writing fiction solely for the purpose of entertainment, and no matter how you write it, your goal is to make the scene as entertaining and gripping enough for the reader to go onto the next scene.

      • Shawn Davis

        Well said ripleyy!

        That’s all I set out to do as well. Make it entertaining.

        btw…What scene are you discussing?

        As far as how much to put in or leave out, i try to strike a balance to make it entertaining.

        That said, every so often, you need to use CLOSE UP: in order to make a scene pop. It’s not that I’m trying direct rather place an emphases on that moment.

        But as far as trying to tell an actor how to act or a director how to direct, I try to keep that to the people who paid to do it. I just try to tell a story.

        If you notice, I use almost zero (parenthetical) in my writing.

        Take care

        Shawn…..><

  • shewrites

    Audiences bought the law on which the concept of “The Purge” was based on. That premise for me was much harder to buy than a law reviving death row convicts especially if the story is set some time in the future.
    There is indeed a trend against death penalty but in several states there’s also a trend toward reversing Roe vs. Wade.

    • wlubake

      Not to make this political, but Roe v. Wade and the death penalty are not really related.
      I agree with the idea that this law has zero chance of being constitutional in a modern America. Either needs to be in the future, in another country or reworked entirely. Make this outside the law. Think Mystic River justice, or Prisoners.
      If you HAVE to stick with a rather contemporary setting in America, I agree with having the concept be introduced early. Hit us with an execution in process, followed by revival of the criminal. Hit the audience in the gut with it from the opening frame. That could be a cool WTF scene. A detailed execution followed by a surprise revival of the criminal with the warden scheduling his next execution.
      (Worth noting, I’ll be damned if this wouldn’t be the least fiscally responsible approach to criminal punishment ever.)

      • shewrites

        Clearly, they are dfferent.
        The point I was making is that our society on certain issues tend sto go backwards instead of forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if the concept of multiple executions is something that a certain type of Americans fantasize about.

      • Gojuice

        I like this alot. Have the girls’ father be some kind of medical professional who can set up this kind of ‘justice.’ Then, the detective can try to save him while solving the crime. This gives you a way to dial back the protag’s habits, as well. Make him more likable, but the dad sees circumstantial evidence and grabs him to dispense his ‘die three times for three girls’ justice.

      • Kirk Diggler

        Yes, ‘outside the law’ was a suggestion that I made during the original comments for the script. Vigilantes would do something like this. But modern American society? Nope. I think the vigilante angle could work and it would give the lead detective another crimes to investigate, the kidnapping of the prime suspect.

      • Citizen M

        Maybe the procedure is a political compromise. The Democrats agree to executions as long as Obamacare can revive the executed person.

        • Shawn Davis

          That is so wrong. I love it:)

          Shawn…..><

  • Cambias

    Seems to me a simple change would be to have Derek commit suicide while on Death Row, but get medically revived. That way he can be dead and do all the dead-guy stuff, but we aren’t asked to believe in the frankly absurd multiple-execution law.

    • drifting in space

      This I could get on board with.

    • garrett_h

      I know Blake Snyder is a bit of a controversial figure around these parts, but it seems to me his “law” of Double Mumbo Jumbo applies here.

      For those who haven’t read his book, Snyder says the audience is willing to make one leap in logic, but once you introduce two or more you’re in trouble.

      First, we have to accept a law that kills murderers as many times as the victims they have. Which some people already find absurd. And I think Matthew Garry, drifting in space and others hit the nail on the head. That aspect needs to be put front and center, like, say the absurd Pre-Crime law in Minority Report that we all went along with.

      Then, on top of that “twist” with the crazy law, you have to accept an absurd supernatural aspect – that Derek is a ghost investigating the crime.

      What started out in the logline and first act as a crime thriller has turned into a Sci-Fi Supernatural crime thriller all of a sudden. The Double Mumbo Jumbo, and the way it’s introduced, makes it hard for the audience to wrap their minds around it.

      • drifting in space

        Nailed it.

        I know people boo Save the Cat, but there is a reason the books are there. I’ve read them as they are great for outlining, just don’t write solely on their guide.

        With the double mumbo jumbo, it completely applies here. These things need to be laid out up front for us to dive in.

        Shawn could literally save all of this by working on his logline and peppering a few hints throughout Act I.

      • Paul Clarke

        I think that was the best piece of advice he gave. More than one Mumbo Jumbo can be used if that mythology was already well established.

        I always think of it like a science experiment. If you remember science class the basic principle is to alter ONE variable and record the results to see what difference that makes. In a story we change one thing from our world to the story world, and observe the effect this has on it. A psychological observational experiment of sorts.

      • GeneralChaos

        Looper had ”Double Mumbo Jumbo” and no one seemed to mind – Accepting time travel was a given, but then they threw telekinesis into the plot pot.

      • Citizen M

        The only reason for the triple execution is so Derek can have three near-death experiences. There are other ways for Derek to nearly die without surmising a new and unconstitutional law.

  • Kay Bryen

    As I was reading, I kept thinking how absolutely ludicrous the whole premise of being revived to “die another day” is — cruel and unusual and what not. But then I remembered it’s no more ludicrous than the “murder free-for-all” premise of The Purge, so what do I know?

    • klmn

      It’s hard to believe it could happen in the United States, but I’m reminded of this recent news story.

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/17/world/meast/iran-execution-survivor/index.html

      • fragglewriter

        That news made my throat hurt.

      • drifting in space

        The writer should change his location to Iran. Bam, everything is legit.

        That is terribly sad and I can’t believe you get the death penalty for meth. NUTS.

        • klmn

          There’s a whole lot of shit going on in the world. Like China executing political prisoners (mostly Falun Gong members) to sell their organs. No one seems to care.

          • drifting in space

            Wow. And we think we have issues…

  • drifting in space

    I think the complication here is that the kill/revive element is not mentioned in the logline. Sure, it gives us a twist during the read, but it is TOO much of a twist and it brings us out momentarily, which is never a good thing.

    My first issue is the law itself. This would never happen. Ever. I understand in writing we are allowed to create a world and have the reader fall into it. However, you can’t create a world that is seemingly exact to the one we live in currently, then introduce some absurd aspect that doesn’t exist.

    Comparing this to The Purge is futile. The Purge’s entire premise is based on the “once a year crime is okie-dokie” element. Therefore, when we start reading, we know the world and how it exists, so we go with it.

    Here, it is a gritty crime thriller. The logline gives us that information. When the element is introduced LATER, unbeknownst to the reader, it suspends our belief in the story, even for a moment. The fact that Carson had to google it proves this (and worries me).

    Even with Se7en, the world is explained. And it still hovers on the realistic line of things. That is what sucks us in. That is what makes it good. It’s gritty, and we know that the killer uses the seven sins as his motive. There is nothing to bring us out of the story. We know it going in. Same with The Purge.

    If the logline for this was something more along the line of: When a convicted child killer is sentenced to a new, controversial death penalty, the investigating detective discovers that the very man being executed holds the keys that can solve the crime.

    That way, we know going in that this is outside the normal jurisdiction of the law. It suspends our belief, and we understand the world immediately.

    • ripleyy

      I don’t think Seven is a good example to bring up. Seven’s story was about a killer who used the seven sins as his method, it’s not like there was a supernatural twist when we found out there were demons, angels, and Kevin Spacey was actually God.

      I do agree that it just doesn’t gel at all. Moreso, the “out-of-body” experience that Derek has. That doesn’t gel with me at all. I don’t think it works.

      I do, however, think the Law is possible in a Sci-Fi setting (as a cheat, you can always put wacky, crazy ideas like this one into a “Sci-Fi setting” and it’ll automatically make it seem more believable, but tomato/tometo, that’s just what I think. I might be wrong)

      I bring this up because “The Purge” is actually Sci-Fi. “What Doesn’t Kill Me Makes Me Go To Heaven For a Brief Moment In Order To Get Important Exposition To The Reader” is straight-up procedural/thriller (or “Dark Thriller”) and like you said, doesn’t really work. If put into a Sci-Fi setting, this actually could work. I mean, that’s just my two-cents.

      • drifting in space

        I was just saying it because Carson and others compared it because of the killings and how the two are in the same vein.

        I am essentially agreeing with you, just stating that although Se7en had bizarre murders, they were somewhat grounded in reality, along with the story. This script hovers too closely, as you say, to Sci-Fi, but is not introduced nor written with that theme in mind.

        I think we’re getting at the same thing here.

        • ripleyy

          Yeah, I was agreeing with you. I definitely agree what you mean about Seven. It was grounded in reality and worked. One thing is for sure, though, this script has a better execution (no pun intended) than “The Purge” did. It really fudged itself up, which is sad.

          • kenglo

            Yeah, the Purge, to me, could’ve gone Waaay darker. I mean, is that all people want to do for the one night a year? Kill other folks? They could’ve had rapes, robberies, arsonists, or any other sicko crazy stuff going on, but they only focused on one, and made it, in my opinion, boring.

            Everyone needs to see the original ‘Old Boy’ for some REALLY F*Up Chit!! Here’s the trailer for the new one –

            and for all you ACTION NUTS (like me!)

    • Kirk Diggler

      Drifting you nailed my exact feelings when reading this script. I don’t believe the writer had “earned” the kill/revive kill/revive scenario. He did nothing to set up a world in which such a crazy law could exist. It was a plot device. A plot device that apparently impressed Carson for some reason. He even admits that without it, it read like a regular police procedural.

      I think the idea could work, it just needs to be presented in the proper context. i.e. In a dystopian world or a religious theocracy.

      • Shawn Davis

        Hi Kirk,

        Actually on the re-write I’m doing, this will be set in the not to distant future in order to allow for the “possibility” factor to flow though the readers mind.

        Shawn…..><

        • Kirk Diggler

          Yeah I think that would also help with the technology angle. I wouldn’t denote a specific year though, just something like “the very near future”.

    • Ken

      Yeah – I don’t buy the kill, revive, kill, revive, kill thing either… UNLESS it’s the main premise of the story, as in THE PURGE.

    • Shawn Davis

      Hi Drift,

      The log line can be re-written to include it.

      The story will also be set in the future to allow for this to give the reader some room to believe. Oh, and the pedo angle is being taken out.

      Thanks for the great notes.

      Shawn…..><

  • ThomasBrownen

    Congratulations Shawn! I hope we get to read more of your work in the future.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks Thomas.

      I appreciate the well wishes.

      Have a great weekend.

      Shawn…..><

  • https://twitter.com/deanmaxbrooks deanb

    Does anyone remember the dual identity film SUNSHINE? How it started off as a magnificent Sci Fi thriller and then veered into Event Horizon? I think WDKY handles it’s own transition much better since we’re already in dark territory. But I do think the afterlife aspect needs at least a hint of a set up. Perhaps a conversation or some kind of medical anomaly earlier that gives us a glimpse of what’s to come.

    Regarding the violence–please, please. Audiences are much more sophisticated and mature these days. They can handle it. And Law and Order: SVU has often times turned dirt bags into heroes also.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks deanb,

      I gotta tell you, if folks cringed at the violence on this draft, the first few drafts would have curled their hair. :)

      Let’s just say the nails in the girls feet were very effectively used in the first couple drafts.

      I think the violence level can really be tailored if/when someone want to take an interest in seeing it filmed. I’ll be dialing it back some on this re-write to make it a bit easier to go down.

      Thanks again for the great notes and thoughtful notes.

      Shawn…..><

  • A Tribe Called Guest

    Yah this script was supa dope.

    • Q-Tip

      Maybe, but when I read it I couldnt relate… I couldnt relate
      Stopped after 20, just not my thing.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thanks Tribe!

      I appreciate you bro-

      Shawn…..><

  • kenglo

    I like the idea of killing the convict and then killing them again – beats the hell out of ‘you have been sentenced to double-life plus 1000 years’. And that’s f’shizzle!

    • Shawn Davis

      I like the idea too. :)

      Shawn…..><

  • drifting in space

    It appears our mysterious down-voter has disappeared…

    • Poe_Serling

      Probably nursing a sore index finger… downvoting a 150+ comments yesterday alone has to be taxing. ;-)

      • drifting in space

        HE STRIKES AGAIN!

        • Citizen M

          I wonder where he’s been. Probably down-voting pictures of puppies.

        • Poe_Serling

          lol.

          I’ve been hit by

          I’ve been struck by

          A smooth criminal

      • ripleyy

        I MUST MEET MY QUOTAAAAAAAAAHHHH

        (I am not the down-voter, but this is possibly what the person is saying)

  • Stevetmp

    Well done Shawn! The script kept me gripped, curious and turning pages quickly. A triumph for any writer, I’m sure everyone here will agree.

    I read this a while ago though so one or two bits are a little foggy for me. Clive is our protagonist. What’s his arc? Derek has a fairly clear arc of redemption from apathetic weirdo to crime solving vigilante (of sorts). I don’t really see an arc for our protagonist, Clive… and I really love a clear crisis choice. Was there one for Clive here? He made a good choice to take out King at the end, but at no real consequence for himself. Perhaps some more work here would benefit Clive? Please remind me if I’ve forgotten something.

    I definitely agree with the double mumbo jumbo theory. I was also taken out of the story by the fact that Derek came back to life after the third execution without explanation. Perhaps in this world people with a reason to live (ie to track down a killer) don’t die but I didn’t feel particularly well guided through this.

    Again, great effort Shawn, thanks v. much for entertaining us all!

    Also, RE: ‘The Stranger’ at the end… do I smell a sequel!? ;)

    • Shawn Davis

      Sequel? Mmmmm…:)

      Steve, thanks for the notes.

      I’m glad you mention Derek coming back the third time. I think it’s where my writing may be weak. What I was going for was the first time, no problems. The second time, it seemed he built up a tolerance and it took double the amount to put him down and barely any to bring him back.

      I was trying to make it appear as though he was overpowering the effect and by the third time, he was able to pull himself back with no adrenaline.

      I think I need to emphasis it more for the reader to catch it when he’s executed the second time.

      Thanks for the great note my friend.

      Shawn…..><

      • Stevetmp

        Hey Shawn,

        Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I completely see where you’re coming from here. Yes, perhaps it would be useful to know how and why he was overpowering the effect. There’s something really cool in there about his will to apprehend the true culprit being so strong that it keeps him alive. Or alternatively, perhaps a fault in this new, relatively untested system of execution/resuscitation where the body builds up an unnaturally powerful immunity to the drug over a short space of time?

        Anyway, I’m sure you’ll nail it. Thanks again for the entertaining read and for taking the time to engage! Looking forward to reading more down the line.

  • Citizen M

    Carson calls this a “dark thriller”. Dark, yes, but not thrilling. To me, the essence of a thriller is tension and suspense, and I felt none. (It might be because Carson gave away too many spoilers in his review.) I’d call this horror, or torture porn, with supernatural elements.

    It wasn’t for me. Admittedly it was quite ingeniously plotted, and the writing was better than average AF, and it showed a strong if twisted imagination. But apart from the gruesome scenes of violence against children which were stomach-churning, there were other issues I had a problem with. This will be a rather negative review.

    p. 16 – Although the precise date of death of the children is unknown, the date and time of their disappearance, and of the chase in the woods, is known. The cops should establish that Derek can’t produce an alibi for these times.

    p. 40 – Can the post-malarial infection be determined from a hair sample? There’s no distinctive toxin like arsenic which can be absorbed by the hair and detected. AFAIK infections don’t affect the hair.

    p. 41 – Dan Scarlatti prosecutes a murder case in criminal court which makes him a D.A. He can’t also be an attorney representing someone suing in a civil court on a related case, again AFAIK.

    p. 48 – The execute/revive procedure looks suspect. Once blood stops flowing to the brain, death is pretty quick. Execution drugs also block the breathing reflex, a further source of oxygen starvation. As for Derek reviving after the third execution, well, that stretched credulity waaaay too far. (Suggestion: They use an experimental procedure for partial executions, one that still has bugs in it.)

    p. 60 – (and elsewhere) Bret and Kandace’s reactions to their children’s deaths never rang true. I think people are more stunned that such a thing can happen to them rather than being angry. Anger comes later. Although recriminations between couples are common. Marriages ususlly break up after te death of a child.

    p. 64 – Clive interviewing Derk after his out of body experience. It’s unclear what Clive is hoping to achieve. If he wants more information he’s too combative. I don’t believe a cop would behave like that. Derek, too, is very aggro. Generally, Derek seems to accepting of his fate. I’d expect him to protest his innocence more. Also, re the question “Is there a video you didn’t mention…” Derek’s liking of snuff movies would have come out in his trial. Perhaps Clive thinks Derek is remembering a snuff movie he has seen rather than an OOB experience. Clive should be more directly probing for the supposed movie.

    p. 71 – The vision of the killings should explain the nails in the heels. Not that I personally want to see this, but they are a signature part of the script and we need to see the reason for them.

    p. 72 – Clive: “Bring me something back.” Doesn’t square with Clive’s earlier aggro attitude to Derek.

    p. 80 – If the video shows Derek wasn’t the killer, the authorities have to reopen the case, or agree between themselves to suppress the evidence, which is a criminal conspiracy and a very serious matter. It seems all rather casual at this meeting.

    p. 90 – A physician has to certify death, not a prison officer.

    p. 94 – Why does King need to control Derek’s computer? Derek says to Clive, “Yeah, I had videos. I never had those girls though. Don’t know how that shit got on my computer, okay?” It is unclear what he means by “that shit”. Okay, I just checked back. P. 26, the picture of Katlin with the code in the eyeball pixel. I had forgotten it. The cops should have been continually hammering Derek on how he got the image.

    Niggles: EARILER/EARLIER; threading water/treading; lunges it/plunges; feel me in/fill; the defense sites/cites; shot glass/flute (for champagne); witnessBret’s/Bret’s; ‘em=them, ‘im=him.

    • garrett_h

      Just wanna say, you consistently have some of the best and most copious notes for both AmFri and pro scripts, and all-around insightful comments. Well done, sir.

    • Shawn Davis

      Hi Citizen M,

      You give some great notes my friend.

      I, however need to sleep some sense I haven’t been to bed sense Tuesday.

      I Promise I’ll respond once I get up.

      It may be Sunday though.

      I’m really tired.

      take care

      Shawn…..>,

  • klmn

    Kiddie porn is a big turn off. It might lose a lot of readers.

    • Shawn Davis

      I am actually working on that very issue being taken out. The funny thing I’ve found is that there are only two/three references in the story I need to deal with so it should be pretty easy.

      Thanks for the insight

      Shawn…..><

  • Tom

    Shawn definitely has some writing chops.

    Look at how many characters he introduces in the first 20 pages. It’s a rolodex! But because they’re rolled out one-at-a-time and they have specific jobs (the shrink is always doing shrinky stuff, lawyers are doing lawyery stuff, the computer guy is always doing computery stuff), it’s not as confusing as it could be. He uses titles (“Dr. ___” “Captain ____”), he addresses cops by last names and civilians by first names. I wouldn’t be surprised if he came up with the name “Mackie” for the computer guy because it has “Mac” in it. Are they great characters? Nah. But their roles are clear, and at least you know who they are. It’s a pro-move because this script has an unnecessarily large character count.

    The problem with the script is that Shawn hasn’t committed to the premise. His hook – “In a world where criminals can be executed multiple times, one man is having visions during his ‘deaths’ that may prove his innocence.” – is clever enough. But Derek’s first execution isn’t until page 52. He doesn’t start talking with Clive until page 64. This is when the premise finally kicks into gear. Shawn is a good enough writer that he makes pg25-52 interesting and all, but when you step back, it’s a CSI episode inserted into the middle of the script. I know he’s probably trying to build tension for the execution, but it feels like the script is stalling, buying time. I mean, what exactly is Clive trying to accomplish at the beginning of Act II? He’s got his man. He doesn’t have much doubt about Derek’s guilt. He’s just gathering evidence for the sake of evidence, and going to therapy. Not much of a goal.

    The executions and visions occur at the midpoint, which is where a script is supposed to have a major shift. The problem is that the midpoint is supposed to be a twist on the original premise. You can’t introduce your premise at the midpoint, or else it creates a tonal shift for the whole story that just doesn’t feel right. Again, Shawn is a good writer and spent the previous 25 pages prepping us for this shift, but that doesn’t change the fact that the premise doesn’t begin driving the story until halfway through. So what’s driving the story before that? In essence, there is very little story between Derek’s arrest (pg 18) and Derek’s first execution (pg 52).

    Maybe I just don’t “get” the script. But If visions and multiple executions aren’t the hook-and-premise of this script, then what is? Look at the submitted logline, which boils down to: “A man is sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit.” I’ve seen that movie. I’ve seen Law & Order, I’ve seen CSI, I’ve seen everything the first half of this script has to offer.

    Shawn needs to embrace his premise. It needs to be in his logline, it needs to be introduced to us in an early scene, and it needs to be off-and-running by the beginning of Act II. Each execution should be a little time-bomb that shoots the script forward.

    But Shawn has skills. Fixing this script is very doable.

    • Shawn Davis

      Thank you Tom for the fantastic note my friend.

      When I get notes that outline what possibly could be some room for improvement, I want to take them as serious as possible.

      In fact, I keep a folder that contains only these kind of notes.

      As you can imagine, it’s a pretty thick folder. :)

      Notes designed to help and to provoke me to ask some questions I might not have considered.

      I truly am thankful you’ve taken the time to offer some interesting questions for me to consider.

      Thanks again

      Shawn…..><

  • pale yellow

    Totally agree with you Eoin. The law doesn’t need a ton of backstory IMO either…it’s a MOVIE guys :)

    • Shawn Davis

      You’re dead on Pale,

      I’ll be adding it to the front side of the story. Most likely on page one. maybe even as an opening blurb setting it in the near future.

      Btw…Had A BLAST last night on Skype. :)

      Take care

      Shawn…..><

      • pale yellow

        I had a great time too Shawn..nothing like spending the night with a bunch of writers/best friends. And don’t spend a lot of lines on worrying over that law thing…get in/get out. It’s a movie.

  • GeneralChaos

    Contemplation is your friend. Try it some time!

  • tom8883

    I just want to say that a pitch like the following doesn’t get sold to Fox. Morgain’s reputation and/or whatever he said to those execs is what sold it. “A former Army Ranger is enlisted to infiltrate a dangerous group of ex-Special Forces soldiers living overseas who have revolted against the U.S. government by assassinating confidential informants all over the world.”

    • Jim

      Agreed.

  • Citizen M

    The script is set in Louisiana. What if you create a new minor character, a crusty old right-wing State Senator who pushes the law through, and this is the first time it’s being applied, so he hangs around to see it pusherd through. later, when there are doubts about Derek’s guilt, maybe the senator insists on proceeding because otherwise it would make him look bad.

    The thing is, the law is almost plausible, especially in one of the Southern states, and many of us would like to see it used for horrific multiple murders. It would be pretty popular if introduced.

    • Shawn Davis

      Those are some great ideas Citizen.

      I really like the political take on it and it wouldn’t be too hard to incorporate into the story.

      Thanks man!

      Shawn…..><

  • Alex Palmer

    This reminds me a hellova lot of BBC’s Luther. Idris Elba would be a good casting choice too.

  • Shawn Davis

    I’ve written other stories.

    Stories completely different from this one.

    My last moral story place in the top 50 in the KAIROS competition.

    That’s the contest for wholesome uplifting spiritual stories.

    I’ve also written comedies, shorts, horror, etc…

    I wrote this because I believed it was a good story.

    And now I’m writing a thriller comedy.

    Please don’t make assumptions on a person’s character unless you know that person.

    Take care.

    Shawn…..><

  • Shawn Davis

    Hi K.Nicole,

    I hope you enjoy the read. I am working on the time line thing to put it into the future.

    Thanks for the input.

    Take Care

    Shawn…..><

  • Shawn Davis

    Hi Chiefton,

    yeah, the general consensus is to take out the kiddy angle. easily enough done seeing there are only a couple instances where it comes up.

    Instead, I’m thinking of making him a harp seal killer.

    Seems to be in vogue these days.:)

    I’m also moving the date up. I think putting an up front –The year is…

    blurb might be the easiest way to go and get it set up.

    I like the Washington link too. Might be something there. It would make the story bigger for sure.

    Thanks for the great notes and the thoughtful insight.

    Take care

    Shawn…..><

  • Shawn Davis

    NOW I RECOGNIZE YOU!!!

    I replied to you over on http://www.simplyscripts.com.

    Did you get it buddy.

    I did do a partial re-write based on your advice. You never steered me wrong yet brother.

    Thanks for all the help you’ve been man.

    I really mean it!

    Shawn…..><

    • gazrow

      Glad to have been of some help to you! Really thrilled that WDKY resonated with Carson! And I truly hope that this success has a major impact on your career!

      Take care, bro

      Rolo (gazrow)

      • Shawn Davis

        Thanks brother!

        Shawn…..><

  • Shawn Davis

    Thanks Eoin,

    That’s really is where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it?

    It’s a story, designed to entertain.

    I will be setting it in the future. So far, about 2/3 of the readers have hit on this as a really easy solution and I agree.

    Thanks man.

    Take care

    Shawn…..><

  • Steffan

    I’ll send notes after I read it.

  • Just sayn’

    I’m sorry to say I have only read parts of it, and didn’t go much further. With no disrespect to the writer, I’m sure you’ve worked long and hard on it. However a point about the law, it’s just plain doesn’t make sense. Why would tax payer dollars go into killing someone, reviving them, then killing them again, and repeat. It’s too ridiculous in any universe that involves human beings with a functioning government, not to mention the torment this would put the parents through, drawing this shit out, they need to move on (if this were a real scenario of course)….. not that it’s a bad idea, it just doesn’t hold water as is, and since this is a peg on which the story rests, it needs to be changed, otherwise it all falls down. I do apologize, I am only piecing things together from the review and other comments. But this law seems like a personal vendetta, so why not (only a suggestion) have the children’s parents do this to the main character (not the government), and he must prove he’s not the killer before they actually do kill him. The parents could be doctors, and you can still have the police investigation. Only a suggestion. One last point – if you make him a pedophile, you must have him hate that part of himself, like in the film the “Woodsmen”. Otherwise no will want to root for him, make him want to redeem himself.