Praise for The Gem Laddie

Quotes from pro-feedback: “Well... I just lost my Sunday because I COULD NOT PUT THIS SCRIPT DOWN!” “The Gem Laddie offers one of the more shocking and confidently disturbing horror stories in recent memory.” “This is a scare fest” “The horror visuals, of course, are a true stand out… whether they range from creepy and subtle… to terrifying nightmares and bloody carnage…, the script balances these really important horror elements to showcase a strong demonstration [and] impressive mastery of the genre.” “You’ve done some really nice work here, and demonstrate a mastering of the art of screenwriting and gift for suspense. You have a terrifically original concept, and overall the piece has so much going for it.” “It feels like an Ari Aster set up.” “One of the many strengths of this script is the depth in which you immerse us in this wholly original world (and the depth this brings to the script), yet it is a complex world - one that will ultimately make for an excellent, smart, if not horrifying experience.” “First off, WOW! This is a smart, engaging, and incredibly well-written script . The fact that it is horror makes this all the more impressive. Your writers’ voice is fresh, strong, precise and direct, with sparse prose that makes for a page-turning read full of gripping suspense.” “Your utilization of SOUND as a device is eerily effective in triggering anxiety.” “Dialogue is solid: smart, crisp, subtext driven, with nuances of authentic conversation. Each character speaks in their own “voice” and vernacular, with independent world views... In short, they “sound” different and human.” “Tension and suspense is delightfully maintained throughout. Everything about this sophisticated piece puts the reader on edge, starting with the intriguing and horrific opening hook.” “I did an “OMG” out loud.” “The opening hook is well-written and evocative, putting us immediately on edge, feeding us all we need to know about setup and character via organic and engaging dialogue.” “You’ve created a diverse set of unique and original characters to populate your world – all well-developed, regardless of their amount of screen time, with genuine dynamics between characters.” “Dialogue is at times super funny with tons of personality. (As an American, the vernacular is a hoot.).” “I even Googled to see if it is some sort of myth. I didn’t find anything.” “The dialogue is fantastic. Each character has his/her distinct voice that is quickly recognizable. Better still is that this distinctive dialogue always reveals more about the characters.” “The mystery offers plenty of creepy turns” “You don’t play into the expected norms of structure and character development. You shockingly [redacted]. Who does that?! (This is a compliment).”

✍🏻 WRITING UPDATE - If you’re interested, you may need a cuppa 😉☕️😂 - March 19th, 2021

Hands up! Writing is a lonely enough world without remaining cosy in the comfort of shadow. I said a few months back on here that I aimed to be more transparent about my writing, but have barely said anything since. That’s chiefly because I’ve been working hard on the third draft of my second feature - The Gem Laddie - but also because I’m simply not used to sharing my climb. I know, I know, I’m super shy and I do really love that shadow. But, after receiving a handful of messages these past few weeks, I thought I’d cobble together a post for anyone that is genuinely interested. If not, that’s cool, Godspeed and scroll on, there’s nothing to see here. Either way, this post is more a means of keeping myself honest.

I’m currently at the stage of this draft where I’ve read through and made my own notes - the script is dripping in red ink! - and ‘am now working through all the pro notes I’ve received (quite a lot, it turns out), contemplating theme, character arcs, peeling layers, adding spice, always with an eye on the cosmetic nature of the craft, aka. EDITING!

Just like being a photographer, a writer spends more time in the proverbial dark room than they do in action. A simple fact of the arts. Lose that notion of just sitting down, bashing keys, and then hailing ‘Eureka!’. Those flash moments happen, sure, and they’re magical when they do, but they’re always accompanied with hours and hours of edits. Good writing is REWRITING.

Screenwriting is a very different art form to penning prose most of us would be used to in a novel. You find yourself keeping a constant eye on white page real estate, fighting constant battles, like how deleting one word knacks up the next line; how adding this amazing verb, actually shafts the beat or splits between pages, damaging flow; and on and on and on. In my opinion, FLOW is KING and you haven’t the room to be wasteful (something I’ve learned whilst developing my own skills).

So, working through the industry feedback I’ve received so far, I thought I’d share my BEST and WORST (in the issue of fairness) score charts, along with quotes from various professional analysts.

FYI: The way the industry works in usually within a PASS - CONSIDER - RECOMMEND metric, with 7.5 usually being the ‘Recommend’ baseline, and an 8 being the much coveted rating. Goes without saying I’ve been thrilled with the response to The Gem Laddie, then. Also, analysts are industry professionals, mostly in and around the Hollywood bubble. They aren’t agents or managers and many are writers themselves.

Obviously, the following quotes are accompanied by advice, some criticism, suggested bolts to consider tightening, and so on. I’m not trying to pretend it’s all piña coladas and dancing in the rain, but I am very pleased with how the project is developing. It exists today in a much better state than it did yesterday, and so on and so forth. This is not to say I’m getting carried away. There’s every chance another round of feedback could come in with very low scores, the analysts simply not gelling with the work. After all, art is subjective and I fully appreciate that some will outright despise my work (especially my second feature!

I hope to sign off on this third draft in the next four or five weeks, at which point I will be sharing with some interested peers within the writing community I am becoming increasingly more part of, as well as seeking some eyes from friends and non-writers on here. So if you’re still reading this and the following quotes whet your whistle, do let me know.

Finally, as a more general update, the business side of this is constantly ongoing, a mix of shining my own bells and whistles, networking, and yada, yada - honestly, the list here is endless. Exactly why us writers lower down the climb are trying to entice a manager! Heck, I want a team of sherpas! Lots of potentially interesting stuff bubbling away though, most of which I won’t share for now. After I sign off this third draft, my plan is to head back into my first feature for some major overhaul which should take me to late-May, whilst also developing my third feature, the seeds of which have already sprouted. The novel - well, that is a very different beast, is growing daily, but remains a long, long way off and a much lengthier endeavour. At the moment, I’d struggle to guess when even a first draft may be completed. But… she’s growing!

If anyone has read all of this, fair bloody play. Lockdown boredom has obviously got the better of you! I don’t expect many will read, but in bashing out this update, as mentioned above, I feel it keeps me honest and therefore must be a positive thing.

Anyway, if you have read and remain interested, thank you. Sincerely.

Ryan x

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