Reading an exciting action script. [Well what should be an exciting action script but we will get to that.]
So far, it is an exciting action script. It opens on cool stuff. Something Matrixey. People in cool clothes pulling cool power weapons and pulling even cooler stunts. Diving through air. Leaping tall buildings. Defying motion normal humans cannot defy. Everything looks good, everything is barreling along, the clothes are cool, the characters are cool, the setting is cool, the action is cool, I am totally expecting cool action, and then —
It starts raining and everyone sits down to play cards. And play more cards. And play more cards. And, yes, MORE FREAKING CARDS.
Fifteen pages later, I flip forward and do a page count on just how long these characters are going to play cards.
And they play cards a long LONG time.
Okay. Listen. If I were reading a script about high stakes poker and some card savvy gambler fighting for his life? I might expect a fifteen or twenty or thirty page [well okay not really but still at least the subject matter would be appropriate] card game to just crop up in the middle of the script. I mean, it is a script about card playing, maybe it could happen. But this is not a gambling script. And this is not a card player script. This is an Indiana Jones script. Or a Matrix script. Or a King Solomon’s Mine script. Or a Lord of the Rings script. And —
Are characters saving the world from evil?
Characters are playing cards.
Listen. Take a step back. Think about what you are writing.
Ask yourself —
Would Frodo sit down in the middle of saving Middle Earth and play five card stud for half an hour?
Oh hell no.
Action characters save the world and that is just not how you write an action script.
But. People are doing it. Every day. Over and over again. I keep seeing it. Action stops for no good reason and characters start playing cards. Or some mundane thing. That takes up a quarter of the freaking script.
Okay. Do not do that. Ever. The end.
Your Don’t Do That Adams Girl