I was back at Rewrites Workshop with another 10 pages of Come Ups tonight, and the reader’s desire for action was answered. We read through Shep and Reydel’s first confrontation and the deteriorating situation with Angel who is holding Grady’s family hostage. There was great tension building as Reydel hunts through the house for Shep who is trying to stay just ahead of him. Grady breaks out of his bindings and everything is set for an explosive climax. Unfortunately, that’s where I had to break tonight.
Everyone seemed on pins and needles and they are anxiously awaiting the next installment. There were no negative comments in the feedback session. All good news thus far. I don’t really have anything else to say at this time.
As far as outside feedback goes, I have not heard back from anyone yet, so my own anticipation is running high. I have several concerns regarding that feedback and the reactions the outside readers will have. These are:
Will they see Reydel as the protagonist or Shep?
Will there be enough separation between Shep and Grady. Specifically, is Shep the stronger character?
Is there too much ink on the page? Are the action sequences too wordy?
Does the second act slow down too much?
Is Reydel, as the protagonist, not sufficiently active in the second act? He spends a good portion of the first half of the act hiding in his house. Does he need to be more proactive in searching for Shep, Grady and Tyler? I’ve explained why he isn’t, but that may not make for good drama.
And finally, are the characters likable? I had some feedback last October that the characters weren’t very likable, particularly Shep. This is a major problem. There has to be a character that audiences can relate to. Grady fulfills that to a certain degree as a family man, but he dies late in the second act. Shep remains until the end and must carry that mantle.
This likability issue doesn’t seem to be a problem when the script is read out loud, but Hollywood readers aren’t going to have a table read to listen to. It’s just them and the script. It has to translate in the written word as well as the spoken word.
But all I can do at this point is wait.