|Reviews for The Fruits of Life|
| this wild abyss 6/22/12 . chapter 1
[Scene] I liked that you paid so much attention to detail for your scene. Because of your description at the beginning, I got a good feel for what the scene was and how the cast was moving in relation to the props. That being said, I thought that within the scene itself, you had far too many stage directions. In a good script, the dialogue itself will indicate how the characters are moving and saying your lines. I felt you had far too much detail, and, in a lot of places, your directions vastly overweighed the actual dialogue.
[Plot] The thing with a script is that you have to hook the reader's attention automatically and let them know what the conflict is. I honestly didn't get a sense for what the plot of this was, as it just seemed to be everyday actions of a family. That's fine for a novel, but it's boring for a script.
[Dialogue] Obviously, with any script, dialogue is the biggest factor. And script conversation is going to be a lot different from conversation you would find in prose. However, I did think your dialogue was stiff and very awkward reading in spots. And, especially in the beginning, I thought the girls were talking in a way that wasn't age-appropriate.
[Characters] In spite of the fact that we spent so much time with them, I didn't get a good feel for who these characters were. They came off very flat and dull to me, and I didn't find them to be particularly memorable.
[Technical] I think it might be a good idea to separate this into chapters according to scene, rather than by act. As is, it's very long and you're going to have a hard time keeping online readers engaged for the entirety.
| lookingwest 6/21/12 . chapter 1
Formatting wise, I did see a lot of places where the spacing was missing. Not a big deal, but just thought I'd mention it.
You do a good job with Laurel's lisp because I found it sounded believable and it was consistent.
Well, after finishing this I have to say the whole time I was looking for a purpose to all these scenes. Something that speaks to me or gives me a fresh perspective on something. And this didn't do that quite - I feel the best scene was when Sage was speaking to herself in her room, it was the most reflective moment. And I feel that the play revolves around her as she has top billing, but so far it's very similar to any other story about sickness in the family, etc. It's happening to a young girl, she feels overwhelmed, her uniqueness in this is her sickness, otherwise she's quite an average teen and - why should I care about her story as opposed to others? That's what I felt like I was searching for in this. Granted, it's just the first act, but it didn't end with anything that made me want to read on, I felt a little apathetic towards Sage and I'd like to see something that draws me into her more, or makes me curious about her nature or her personality - I want her to become a character I should care about, as opposed to a bunch of other stories about young women battling cancer or sickness.
Other than that though, this was well put together, well paced, well formatted, the scenes appeared to have beginnings and endings, and I appreciate that this was put together so tactfully. I think you've got the medium down, I'm just not sure about the content.
| Kharmaoftherainbow 6/20/12 . chapter 1
Hmm...so my biggest ehhh about this was that your dialogue seemed too forced and formal, especially Olivia's at the beginning. At first I sort of thought that this might not be taking place present-day, but as I kept reading I began to think I was wrong about that. At least in my opinion, using dialogue to establish place/time setting is one of the more important bits of plays.
You do an excellent job of setting up Sage's problem without overdoing it, though, despite my hesitancy with the dialogue.
I do like how real the girls' dynamic is too. Sage is such a perfect example of the kid who's just old enough to be self-aware and wants to help everyone else get there too, and Livi and Laurel act almost exactly the same as my younger brothers, which is hilarious (and speaks to a certain universal sibling dynamic).
| Whirlymerle 6/16/12 . chapter 1
Scene: I'm impressed by the way you've set your scenes. Not a lot of playwrights go into such painstaking detail describing everything to the minute detail (ie candle stand but no candles). I personally really like your attention to detail, as it makes everything easy to visualize.
Opening: I think your opening with Sage playing the piano, Olivia dancing and Laurel sucking her thumb is quite cute. While I can't quite determine what time period this is in (I'm guessing quite modern, though I could also see this anywhere between now and fifty years ago), it's definitely something I can see a bunch of girls doing. The atmosphere is intimate, though of course, not without bickering and disagreements between your characters.
Character: Gotta be honest, if I didn't know what your characters' ages are based on your character list I'd think that Laurel and Olivia 1.5 to twice as old as they actually are. I can't quite put my fingers on why, maybe it's because I'm just not as used to reading in play format. Maybe I'm underestimating the intelligence of young children, but I feel like Laurel talks a bit too much for a four year old and some of the things Olivia says, like "That crying's going to break the windows one day" just seems to sophisticated for a seven-eight year old. That being said though, I absolutely love how Laurel has a lisp.
Plot: Ah, but I suppose the real meat of the plot concerns with Sage. I think it's intriguing. The plot definitely got really morbid when Sage says she won't live too long—it seemed like she had some sort of terminal illness. But then, her parents clearly don't know something serious is up with her, which makes it all the more mysterious. I think your plot is moving along nicely.
| ck3712 6/16/12 . chapter 1
Wow. This is really good. What's wrong with sage? Please updae asap. I wwonder what's going to happen next. Keep writing!
| OneOriginalThing 6/7/12 . chapter 1
Charectors: I could really understand that sage is sick, and how sick she is. When she goes into her room and talks about her eyes and her hair. And her refused to believe that she actually is sick is quite realistic, dennying is always the first step. Her cousins seem very oblivious to the whole thing, as young girls in a family probably would. Her mother seems very motherly, saving pie and taking care of her daughter and I really look forward to seeing who Alexa is.
The opening was a bit slower then I would have liked, but I really start to see how sick sage is when she goes to her room, which is where I really start to get a grasp on the plot, also in the opening I really see how sage proves that she's older and more of a peace maker and her statement shows her parents do the same with the two children as well.
Plot: I like the plot, it was also very enjoyable to read, It wasn't very cliche. Just incredibly realistic, with the day to day lives of a family. It just seems like things are working out well between her parents which is because she's sick, that or they just naturally get along. It just seems good, and I can't wait for the plot to advance
Dialogue, your writing style is deffinetly unique, it represents a script more than a story, but that's fine as well. I'm just not very familiar with it so I didn't expect it. Which can be good and bad, some people like. Hange and some don't. Your dialogue flowed incredibly well and I liked it.
| Dr. Self Destruct 6/6/12 . chapter 1
Keep in mind I've never reviewed a screen-play before, and I've only read a few, so I'm sorry if this comes out sub-par.
Beginning: I liked the light-hearted tone of the beginning. I thought the way the children interacted with each other was also very believable, as well as how they bickered back and forth. I'm glad you took the time to introduce the characters and let the reader get a better feel for their personalities, too, since it's sometimes overwhelming to read about so many people all at once. That was the biggest problem I had when reading screenplays in school, I always had trouble pinpointing who was who because there was often a large cast, but you ease into it by introducing the character a little at a time.
Dialogue: The way you wrote out Laurel's dialogue was a nice touch, making sure the reader got the full effect of her lisp, and how her young age makes it difficult to pronounce certain words. I also thought the dialogue itself was very realistic, and I particularly thought the conversation between the parents during scene 4 was a good way of hinting Sage's condition. I also liked the exchange between the two girls in scene 2 when they're carrying the dishes and Laurel admits to dropping one - I thought that was a nice little touch of comedy and shows a little more about her, how she'd probably try to hide something she did wrong to escape punishment.
Enjoyment: I'm going to be honest, I found this a little boring and stale. That's not at any fault to you - I'm sure you've noticed by now that I'm a sucker for action, blood, violence and the like. However, I did think some of the scenes dragged a little, like the conversation between the mother and father, and the first scene felt a little longer than it needed to be. Aside from getting an introduction to the cast, all this chapter really did was tell us Sage has a health condition, which was pretty apparent from how she acts and how tired she always is. But, like I said above, I don't read screen plays very often so I'm not 100% sure how the pacing should be with something like this.
[Who can know much is the clear truth without any form of restraint and what is simply the mask pushed to the forefront?]
I was a little confused by this sentence, and the meaning behind it is lost on me. Perhaps reword it? Though I guess it could just be me, but I have no idea what she's trying to say, lol.
[The room dims as the sun vanishes completely behind cloud.]
[ The mattress sunk a little under her weight. For a moment, she simply sat still,]
Edit: Since this is being told in present tense, the 'sunk' needs to be 'sinks' and 'sat' needs to be 'sits.'
[The books at her desk caught the light flittering through her half-open door.]
Edit: 'caught' needs to be 'catch.'
[The smile quickly changed to a frown.]
Edit: Changes. In fact, I see a lot of tense mix-ups in scene 3. From what I've seen, I guess screenplays are supposed to be narrated in present-tense? If so, I suggest going back and editing the action to make sure it all matches, because being inconsistent can be extremely confusing for a reader. I don't think I noticed any problems with this until scene 3.
I saw a lot of those space issues you mentioned in your AN, but I guess you're already aware of those. One of the bad things about the FP document manager is that it likes to eat spaces before and after formatting, like italics or bolded words. It's annoying. :(
| professional griefer 5/29/12 . chapter 1
I liked this a bit better than your other story.
Because it was a play, there isn't much to say in the way of description.
The family interaction was fairly natural, and I like the way you included Laurie's speech impediment.
The only thing that really bothered me was that the dialogue wasn't quite natural. For a teenager, Sage must be very well behaved and well spoken. I don't know many teenagers who talk like that.
Other than that, this was fairly good.
| Findus 5/22/12 . chapter 1
I liked the sweet innocence of your characters and the simplicity of this opening scene. The approaching storm gave a sense of dark foreboding and then you followed up nicely with the mention of Sage saying she doesn't have long to live.
If I could change anything, maybe I'd use the lisp thing with Laurel more sparingly. I think you can get a good sense of how young she is by the words and the phrasing she uses. (And you already mentioned she'd have a lisp. But that's just me :)
Some minor spelling things, just off the bat: Lemon meringue pie for desert too.- Dessert
| Rogue Energizer Bunny 5/12/12 . chapter 1
Relevant? Daw. I'm not good at relevance :P.
I like it. Not much experience with plays, writing them I mean, I'm in dramatics but I haven't tried writing them. I didn't see anything wrong. I liked the asides. Formattig seems natural, dialogue seems natural. Good conflict. Update soon.