Overall Recommendation:
3.5 stars
(2)
5 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
4 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
3 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Story structure:
3.0 stars
(2)
 
Character:
3.0 stars
(2)
 
Dialogue:
3.0 stars
(2)
 
Emotion:
2.5 stars
(2)
 
 
1-2 of 2 reviews
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5 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Okay story but...

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
August 06, 2011
My first impression was this is like Huckleberry Finn not Thelma & Louise or Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. Here's why -- I know you gave Lizzy a real goal but each stop on the road across country was just an isolated adventure. They didn't build and lead up to a final resolution because you had no real theme driving the story. HF had no increase in tension and build up as he went through his adventures while T&L got deeper and deeper into shit with men. See the difference?

Unfortunately I found it hard to get through because of the dialogue. Everybody talked the same no matter what part of the country they were from. I was remembering how much enjoyed reading True Grit and maybe you should too since they're around the same time (I'm guessing). The girl in TG spoke with a more educated tongue than any other character in the movie.

Speaking of the time period, you didn't give much of a hint in the beginning. Maybe the bartender couldn't have said something about the year. Maybe it's not necessary - I don't know but you don't give us a date until pg. 98.

Some things didn't work for me. I don't think the school teacher, Edna would care so much for the girls that she would actually go out there and chase them. I didn't feel the Eli character was quite right. They seemed to hit it off right away and I just couldn't buy that. His flashback was not necessary. If he's a storyteller then make him "tell" the story in an intriguing way.

McBride has a voice over?! He's tells the story of Lizzy swindling the rancher and it goes on too long. He's not the protagonist. You should fix this. Maybe her daughter should be doing all the voice overs if you think you need them.

I'm not a history buff by any means but some things stick out:
- Secretaries in 1910 were men not women with low cut dresses.
- Satin was a fabric of royalty and upper class not for whores.
- Jails didn't have visitation rooms and a sign that says "no drugs" - too contemporary. And tobacco would be allowed with a sign that said, "no spitting!"
- Manilla envelope? not sure. Do you need to say "manilla"? Is that being too nitpicky?
- Female reporter in the courtroom? In 1910? Did they even allow women in the courtrooms back then? Seems too hollywood?
- McBride could be a child molester but the photographs don't seem likely b/c a professional photographer would have had to take it back then.
- Ma Parker - way too close to Ma Barker. Seems like a cheat that didn't quite work.
- They didn't execute women back then. Mary Surratt was a special case b/c it involved President Lincoln. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been considered by any means.

Here's the kicker -- you can't mess with real history like the first woman senator from Maine in 1949 especially since there really was one. You will piss people off because they will think you're trying to tell a story about the real senator.

Take your time with your rewrites. Don't be so anxious posting newer versions that aren't true rewrites.

Write on!
 
3 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Strong concept, pretty good overall

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
July 27, 2011
The premise is a strong one and the story gets better as it goes along. The beginning was a little weak to me. It wasn't until sometime after page 30ish that I started to get into it.

Eli's death came across as detached from the rest of the story. Whether he lived or died didn't really matter to the story as his role was over and he wasn't a part of it anymore.

Early on the story seems jagged and jumpy. It cuts from scene to scene without much of the deeper story building. I would like to know why she left her kid and had a whole big life and only cared abou ther kid when suddenly she was put into an orphanage. Seems strange to be traveling around swingling people and living it big while not sending money back to your family/kid and then suddenly be mad that the kid isn't being taken care of. I would like to see more of their cons early on as well.

I liked the first stagecoach getaway scene and the action with the fireworks, that will be nice up on a screen.

The story of the crimes at the orphanage is when we finally get some emotion flowing into the story.

The dialog when Cassie find Muriel seemed too short. I think the orphans wouldn't be so trusting with everything they've been through. Make her prove to them in some way that she isn't another bad person. Also add some tension to the scene with how Cassie barely makes it out with the kids.

The original scene with Ma Barker seemed so short and didn't really give the reader a good connection with Ma and the girls. Yet Ma shows up later and saves the day after just that little scene. Ma gives her life to help these girls with only that initial tiny scene to setup this massive bond... that first scene needs more.

The cliff jump into water is very cliche for an old west flick. That isn't necessarily bad or good, but figured it was worth noting.

Ben visiting Cassie seemed too short. She is in there for like 10 seconds when they say to wrap it up. Prisoners get more time than that. Pull some emotion out of Ben. Overall, all of Ben's appearances are very short so we don't get to become attached to him or feel that he truly loves this girl.

The ending was very nice. I actually liked it ending with Lizzy dying, but I can see that getting to find out how the daughter turned out would be a big win to a lot of viewers. It is always more powerful when a main character dies at the end like that and is reminds me a bit of True Grit.


Lizzie and Cassie oddly enough were the characters who I felt were the most bland. All of the support characters like Eli, Ma, Victor were all well written and interesting. The girls just come off as just any other girl, I'd like to see more character to them and their dialog.


Truly overall it is a solid piece (obviously since it got to the semi-finals) so there isn't a whole ton to say about it. A few more tweaks and I could see this making it to the finals.
 

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