Reviews for Songbird
eiyuang999 chapter 1 . 5/24/2010
hi !

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CinderellaWithCombatBoots chapter 1 . 8/26/2009
I like the story but I don't like the ending. I think you should write more of it. It's so good and it seemed like it had finally gotten to the climax of the story and it abruptly ended. Please, please write more? *Does puppy dog eyes* haha. Anyways...loved it.
Oco chapter 1 . 11/15/2008
Sorry, me again. Meant to say that the confusion I referred to usually isn't a problem in your stories. I rarely find myself confused. Think it has to do with the switch of style, and it may be that screenplays are naturally a little confusing to the reader, since they are not meant as the product itself.

Just wanted to clarify that, since I've been remiss about giving appropriate gushes over your other work.

-Oco
Oco chapter 1 . 11/15/2008
Hi, new round these parts. Been reading a bunch of your stuff and like it all, beetch-slap me if you want - for not reviewing yet, but maybe I can make it up to you.

You speicifically asked for a crit of this, so I am giving, and spent some time on it, figuring you given me hours of wonderful reading, so trying to give back. Been meaning to review you soon anyway. This was my kick in the butt.

Which is to say, in part, that if this lengthy thing seems to imply that I am tearing your writing apart, nothing could be further from the truth, because your talent humbles me. But I write, and know how wonderful a careful crit can be when you are trying to tighten things up.

First, it's a wonderful story. And I think it ends in the right place. Ouch, heart-wrenching. Wishing I could fix it for him. Angry with you for hurting us (but angry in a good way, I mean...this was effective). I find myself (selfishly) hoping you write a sequel (not another chapter, but a new story-and in your usual non-screenplay style) that has him finding friendship/love/closure... something. But this story works as a unit. IMO.

Love your use of water as a theme. Wonder if you could develop singing more as a theme. Is he humming at the beach? With Dustin? Does the man in the park have significance, or do only the birds? Found myself wondering if I'd missed something there, kept expecting him to re-enter the story.

A general sticking point for me: I had some trouble figuring out who was who at any given point in time. Keeping Sean and Dustin separate, figuring out their relative ages. In your opening scene, you said 'young boy' which (to an ancient like me), could mean anything between 4 and 15. When you described the 'childish' plaque on Dustin's door, I got it in my head that he had been Sean's younger brother (and since the first scene didn't say how young the drowner was, I was thinking six or seven, and that it had been Dustin in the scene). The later ref to rock posters threw me, and I found myself wondering if Sean had begun living in there or something...that maybe he was trying to replace his brother for his folks, and that was the story...do you see my confusion? You may have been intending some ambiguity there, but it ended up making me feel frustrated and misled, not intrigued. I remember reading back before continuing, trying to figure out what was going on. Not sure this would have been as confusing if I had been watching this as a movie, but thought I'd give you a heads up on it, in any case.

Also still confused as to whether or not Dustin's room is being cleaned meticulously ('a thin layer of dust after one week' seems like conflicting information) and by whom. His mother? Sean? It matters to me, because I'd like to know if this is Sean's first time back in, or if he goes in often. Also, if his mother is still grieving heavily, if she perhaps holds a grudge. Dad doesn't seem to much care...at least not that way.

I think I get what your professor means about the novelesque quality. Trouble seems to come when you either:

1. give hints that a screenplay couldn't, (e.g., Dr.'s gaze was 'discretely intrusive, intense', or 'he saw nothing but the sidewalk', or 'it is obvious that they have been this way some time')- in all cases, how would you show this?

or

2. don't provide information that a screenshot most certainly would. For example, is the kid at the opening scene wearing a red jacket? How old is young? Re the first scene with the 'teen' at beach. 12? or 19? I learn later the latter, so I would've known immediately that it wasn't Sean.

The best example of this that comes to mind is your description of the row of portraits. I would think that for a screenplay you need to be much more specific. Do we see Sean there? Another boy? Do all of the portraits end? Are there recent photos of Sean, or did the family stop taking pictures of him as well? Do family portraits stop? Or do we see the family drop from four to three? A film would have all of this information, even if it did a good job of keeping the viewers from noticing it. We should be able to 'rewind' and see the info there.

The conversation with Sean's folks about Harpjaw (getting his name wrong) wouldn't make much sense to viewers, who've neither seen nor heard his name. Maybe you need a screenshot of his office door as we first meet him, with his name plaque prominently displayed.

Again, I loved it. Stirred me. Really am just putting my thinking cap on and trying to think critically. I know a lot will be like "I know, I know, I wanted it that way" but maybe you'll find something in here worthwhile. Thanks for keeping me in good stories!
Naomi Schemer chapter 1 . 11/14/2008
There, I'm finally reviewing. Let's see...I like the chronology, but then again that has always been your strong point. It's seems like it'll make a nice little art film, albeit a short one. I would say more...but I don't have experience with screenplays.
Mya chapter 1 . 11/13/2008
lol, i was unfulfilled with that ending...and everytime i type something they amount of characters I can use go down. It's really annoying, so i try to go faster than it can by typing faster! RAWR! Beat me beetch...and soem backspacing to throw it off. andsfoeiwaphfv and some random characters. And it won. , dang it.