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Frost in Summertime (Scenes 4-5)

by Elinor


Scene 4

It’s dinner, and the entire family, including ALEXEI, 13, sit around the table. Watching them is GUARD #1 joined by GUARD #2. They eat in silence. Nicholas seems particularly uncomfortable.

NICHOLAS

Excuse me, Guard?

Both Guards watch.

NICHOLAS

Any word on the letters from our family?

The Guards share a look.

GUARD #1

Nothing yet.

Nicholas takes a deep breath. He doesn’t believe them, but knows better than to say anything. But Alexandra isn’t quite ready to drop it.

ALEXANDRA

Surely our family must want to know how we’re doing.

GUARD #1

(curtly)

I said there are no letters, Mrs. Romanov.

NICHOLAS

You watch the way you speak to the-

After a moment of awkward silence, Nicholas catches himself and turns back to his family. There’s a long silence.

NICHOLAS

Do you girls remember when we had Crown Prince of Romania over for dinner? What was his name?

OLGA

Carol. Why?

NICHOLAS

Whatever happened to him? He was a nice boy.

Olga blushes and sighs, but doesn't respond. 

ALEXEI

Mama?

Alexandra turns to her son.

ALEXEI

Mama, can Olga take me sledding again?

ALEXANDRA

You'll have to ask Olga.

OLGA

ON Christmas?

Alexei nods. 

NICHOLAS

Just two more days.

Scene 5

Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia lie awake in bed, in their nightgowns. Outside, they listen to the howling of the wind.

TATIANA

Is this what ordinary girls have always felt like?

MARIA

In Siberia, maybe.

ANASTASIA

In America, I’ve heard every home has heat in the winter.

MARIA

Of course every home does. No one would be able to survive without it.

ANASTASIA

I meant, not just from firewood.

TATIANA

Soon it will be summertime.

ANASTASIA

Not for six months.

OLGA

Where shall we go, when this is all over?

ANASTASIA

America. I’m going to be an actress in New York City.

MARIA

Who would want to see you act?

ANASTASIA

A lot of people. I could do Shakespeare or… Tolstoy.

MARIA

Tolstoy wasn’t a playwright.

TATIANA

Why are you so mean to Anastasia, Maria?

MARIA

I’m not.

OLGA

Girls, let’s not go at each other’s throats.

ANASTASIA

He wrote plays. And if someone adapts Family Happiness, I could play Masha.

OLGA

And we will all be in the front row.

They smile sadly.

OLGA

I would love to sit in Central Park and eat a hot dog.

MARIA

We could see the Ziegfeld Follies.

TATIANA

First we have to make it to England.

The girls say nothing, suddenly faced with harsh reality.

TATIANA

And I don’t think Mama would let Alexei come to America.

MARIA

He’s not a child anymore. And Mama needs to stop treating him like one.

ANASTASIA

Papa just sits and does nothing. (Pause). You should have been Empress, Olga.

OLGA

Me? I don’t know. I certainly don’t envy Mr. Lenin.

MARIA

Don’t you mean Comrade Lenin?

The girls laugh emptily.

TATIANA

You know, I heard Mama and Papa talking yesterday. Papa was saying because he made so many other people suffer, he deserves to be here. Do you think we do?

OLGA

I’ve tried to be kind to other people.

ANASTASIA

I don’t want to talk about this any more.

OLGA

What shall we talk about?

ANASTASIA

I want to sleep.

The girls all turn off the lights. 


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118 Reviews


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Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:59 pm
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LUNARGIRL wrote a review...



Great job on it. One thing I must say is that when you write a script, since people are speaking it. It is more about the actions and what they are saying and doing. Compared to what they are thinking and feeling.

Like in this part "Nicholas takes a deep breath. He doesn’t believe them, but knows better than to say anything. But Alexandra isn’t quite ready to drop it." It's describes a lot about what is going on in his head and what his internal thoughts are. When it should be more about his actions.

If you are directing this, no one is going to hear what the characters are thinking. How can characters act what there thinking? In a story that's different, because that's when you use a lot of description and details. In addition, what is going on in the character's mind, what what is happening on the outside as well as internally.

When a new character was about to speak and you put their names all capitalized. I recommend that next time you either italicize them, or put their names in bold.

Besides that it was very well written, and I loved it. Keep on writing, and wait to read what you write next. Have a good day.




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Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:12 am
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omer wrote a review...



Hey Elinor! I'm back for this again. I'll jump right into it:

Nicholas takes a deep breath. He doesn’t believe them, but knows better than to say anything. But Alexandra isn’t quite ready to drop it.

The difference between writing a story and a script is that in a story, we describe the way our characters feel and thinks, while in a script we only describe how they look and act. It's hard, because we keep wanting to add some personality through the directing notes, but we must keep them directing notes and not to turn it into feeling notes. Even if their feeling have an mpact on the way they act, and they do, instead of writing them down, write the way it makes them act! So, what I'd do at this particular sentence, is writing it like this, instead:
Nicholas takes a deep breath. He doesn’t look like he believes them, but he says nothing. Alexandra seems uncalm, like she requires an answer.

That way you describe how she looks.

After a moment of awkward silence, Nicholas catches himself and turns back to his family. There’s a long silence.

The long silence there seems a little bit forced and out of context. What do they do during that silence? I'd write that down to fill the gap between that silence and the next sentence.

NICHOLAS

Do you girls remember when we had Crown Prince of Romania over for dinner? What was his name?

He's refering to the girls, but what about Alexie?

OLGA

ON Christmas?

I'm not sure if the capital letters were intentional here, but if so, I'd italicize them instead, like this:
OLGA

On Christmas?


Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia lie awake in bed, in their nightgowns. Outside, they listen to the howling of the wind.

I think it would sound better this way:
Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia lie awake in bed, in their nightgowns. Outside, t They listen to the howling of the wind, coming from the outside.

or something like that.

Scene 5 is amazing! I really liked the ping-pong sort of dialogue there, it's very well written. Great job, Elinor! I hope some of this was helpful, and I'm looking forward for the following scences!





Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.
— J.K. Rowling