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Scenes 3+4: Solving

by omer


Scene 3

A detectives Office. MS. CRIMES (an intimidating 45 y\o woman) is sitting in front of a central desk. JAM approaches her.

JAM

Hello!

MS. CRIMES looks at JAM and checks him.

MS. CRIMES

And what are you?

JAM

I'm a person who would love to work here, in your great office! My name is JAM.

MS. CRIMES

Jam, huh...? I can find you a short plumbing job, the toilet is clogged.

JAM

The truth is, ma'am, I was aiming for a different kind of work.

MS. CRIMES

Technician?

JAM

Neither. I'm looking for a job as a detective.

MS. CRIMES

You don't say... And why do you think you can work for me as a detective? Do you have any special abilities?

JAM

No.

MS. CRIMES

Potential?

JAM

No.

MS. CRIMES

A good memory?

JAM

No.

MS. CRIMES

Ability to discern small details?

JAM

No.

MS. CRIMES

Persuasiveness?

JAM

No.

MS. CRIMES

Detective jacket and pipe?

JAM

No.

MS. CRIMES

Willpower?

JAM

Yes! This is exactly what I have, willpower! Available in stock, in large quantities!

Pause.

MS. CRIMES

Listen. I'll give you a case of theft from the office supply store on the street corner. You'll solve it - you'll get in; you won't solve it - you won't get in. Is that clear?

JAM

Yes, for sure! Totally clear! Thank you very much, Ms...

MS. CRIMES

Crimes.

JAM

Crimes? Is that your last name?

MS. CRIMES

Yes. Solving Crimes.

JAM

Solving is the first name, I understand.

MS. CRIMES

Exactly.

JAM

Is that the birth name? Or did you change it?

MS. CRIMES

Birth name, and you will stop questioning me right now. Do you have a problem with my name, Mr. Jam?

JAM

No, not at all! It's just a bit amusing, that your parents called you a Solving Crimes and you grew up to be a detective.

MS. CRIMES

Well, what did you want me to do with that name, growing up to be a footballer?! A Kindergarten Teacher?! a singer?!

JAM

No, I didn't want anything! You are absolutely right! I think it's a fantastic-wonderful-heart-warming name!

MS. CRIMES

Here.

Mrs. Mystery hands JAM a briefcase.

MS. CRIMES

You have until the weekend.

MS. CRIMES expels JAM with her hand and goes back to work. JAM goes away.

Scene 4

JAM and BARBARO's apartment. JAM comes in with the briefcase in his hand. He sits down, opens it and reads it carefully.

JAM

Stealing money and products... Office supply store... Three employees... Manager... On Tuesday... Disappeared from the cash register... And three matchmakers... Fifty-three boxes of safety pins... Wheels of an office chair... at night... Security cameras weren't working...

BARBARO enters and JAM closes the case in a panic.

JAM

I'm on my way to get myself a job!

BARBARO

On your way?

JAM

Right on the trail!

BARBARO

A job?

JAM

Detective!

BARBARO

Detective?

JAM

You'll solve a case - you'll get in; you won't solve it - you won't get in!

BARBARO

A case?

JAM

Well, that's beyond the information I can share, dear Barbaro. Everything is on these pages, and this is a top secret investigation that I swore to keep secret and not expose to everyday conversations.

BARBARO

Swore?

JAM

In my heart.

BARBARO

Salary?

JAM

My share of the rent will be provided!

BARBARO

That's all I wanted to know. You should have started with that. Have you heard of Kapit?

JAM

Kapit?

BARBARO

The neighbor downstairs.

JAM

Have I heard?

BARBARO

What she did to her husband.

JAM

What did she?

BARBARO

Cheated!

JAM

Cheated?

BARBARO

With another man, for years! Mojito has never suspected.

JAM

Mojito?

BARBARO

Her husband.

JAM

Has never suspected?

BARBARO

Kapit has claimed Rodrigo is her masseur.

JAM

Rodrigo?

BARBARO

The other man in the affair! Kapit lied to Mojito for years.

JAM

Wow... Seriously?

BARBARO

For years.

JAM

Wow... Poor mojito... Believe me, lies are our all's arch nemesis.


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Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:47 pm
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whatchamacallit wrote a review...



Hi there omer! I see this script has been in the green room for a while, so I thought I'd leave a review to bump it out ^^

First, a quick disclaimer - I haven't read any of the previous parts, so if I say something that doesn't make sense about the characters or the plot, feel free to disregard.

So my first impression is that this is a really humorous, fun, lighthearted script. It's not super realistic, as @Plume pointed out in their review, but I'm guessing it's not meant to be? So while there are some inaccuracies about, you know, a regular citizen being given a folder of classified information about a robbery, I'm not hugely concerned about that. The vibe I'm getting from this is around a grade-three-level story - stories that kids in grade three read are usually possible, but not necessarily plausible, and they're not really meant to be. (Also, I want to clarify, I mean that in the best way possible! It's really well written to be directed at a younger audience!)

So, having said all that, I'm under the impression that you intended the audience of this to be young-ish kids and likely not adults? You do a really good job of keeping the vocabulary understandable for kids while also keeping it varied and engaging, which I love. And there are a couple of parts where I can see the little siblings of my friends absolutely cracking up, especially here:

MS. CRIMES

Well, what did you want me to do with that name, growing up to be a footballer?! A Kindergarten Teacher?! a singer?!

JAM

No, I didn't want anything! You are absolutely right! I think it's a fantastic-wonderful-heart-warming name!


However, if this is meant to be seen by a younger audience, I think that the second half of scene four feels a bit out of place. I don't think little kids tend to find the idea of cheating that humorous; I'm not even sure that all of them fully know what that means. If you really want to keep that element, maybe you could try making it about cheating in a game of cards at the surface level and then add some subtle insinuations for any older people reading it, that would pass over the heads of little kids?

Outside of the fact that I don't think that part of the scene fits the tone and naivety of the rest of the script, I do like how it demonstrates Jam's oblivious personality. The fact that he's trying out to become a detective yet is having so much difficulty figuring out what Barbaro is talking about is very ironic and works well to add even more humour to the script!

[While we're talking about that part, I have one teensy nitpick:
Wow... Poor mojito... Believe me, lies are our all's arch nemesis.

Like Plume said, this sentence is worded oddly, but I just wanted to mention that "mojito" needs to have "m" capitalized since it's a proper name!]

And last but not least, on a related note to Jam's oblivious personality, I quite like how you distinguish each character's personality traits. Ms. Crimes comes across as stern, business-like, and no-nonsense, Jam comes across as a bit clueless, playful, and laidback, while Barbaro seems fairly sensible and just like your average person. They're a bit caricatured, but I think that fits the style of your writing perfectly :D

Overall, this is a really fun, comical script! The characters are all distinct, the dialogue is easy to follow and engaging, and the plot is quick-paced and humorous. My main suggestion would be to make sure all of the script is consistently addressed to readers of the same age-group, but other than that, I don't have any huge critiques!

I hope this review proves useful, and if you have any questions feel free to ask c:

Keep writing <3

whatcha




omer says...


Thank you, Watcha (love the name)!!
That was a great critique that I find really helpful and useful. I would definitely come back and read it when I'm writing and feeling like I need to remember some important notes.
Thanks again for your time!!
Omer.



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Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:56 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey! Plume here, with a review!

I know scripts pretty well, so hopefully I can give you some helpful feedback. Looking at this piece as a whole, I quite enjoyed it. It's very humorous and almost... satirical? It's definitely not naturalistic, but I think it works. I can definitely see actors performing this, and you give them enough character to work with while also allowing them to bring their own interpretations.

However, your formatting was a little off. For one, I wasn't sure if this was meant for screen or stage. If you meant it to be for screen, you need a scene heading or slugline at the top that's simply INT/EXT. (interior or exterior) PLACE - NIGHT/DAY. For yours, it would look something like INT. DETECTIVE'S OFFICE - DAY (or night, depending on when this is taking place). If you're writing a play, you don't need to have that, but you should have a setting description, simply formatted like "setting: *insert setting here*" as well as an "at rise," which is what the audience sees when the curtain goes up, like what characters are on stage, what props are there, and the suchlike. You'd also include a "Dramatis personae" at the beginning, where you go over all the characters and their descriptions, which would eliminate the need for them in stage directions. In screenplays, you can just weave it into the stage directions. You can find great examples of everything I've mentioned online, if you're more of an example/visual learner. Also, in a screenplay, you only have to capitalize the character's name in stage directions the first time they appear, but in play scripts, capitalization of a character's name in stage directions is consistent.

Anyways. Moving on to some more specific things.

MS. CRIMES looks at JAM and checks him.


I wasn't sure exactly what you meant by "she checks him." Is she checking him out? Is she checking him off a list? Is he checking in somewhere? It was a bit unclear.

And what are you?


This seems a little insensitive. I'd suggest changing it to "who are you?"

Listen. I'll give you a case of theft from the office supply store on the street corner. You'll solve it - you'll get in; you won't solve it - you won't get in. Is that clear?


Uh. OK. This whole aspect of him getting the detective job right off the bat seems a little strange to me. I'm not sure if that was supposed to be part of the humor of this piece, but if you wanted it to be more naturalistic, you should probably edit this. Becoming a detective (at least where I'm from) is super hard work, and you have to serve as a police officer for a while beforehand, not to mention attending school for a while as well. I really don't think they'd just give a case to a civilian who walked in wanting a job. Also, this is kind of irrelevant, but when I first read it, I thought the case was from the office supply store, like they had bought it there. You might want to reword it so that it says "a case of theft that happened in an office supply store," just to clear up any reader confusion.

No, not at all! It's just a bit amusing, that your parents called you a Solving Crimes and you grew up to be a detective.


I also thought this was a little strange. The name was funny, but I didn't understand why the detective would be at the front desk. Usually I think of a receptionist or a secretary to be there, and even if it was a detective, I assume it would be a pretty low-ranked one, and not one that can just hand out jobs with no screening.

What did she?


I think this would sound better if you added "do" at the end, to make it "What did she do?"

Lies are our all's arch nemesis.


To be frank, this sentence doesn't make much sense. I think you were trying to say something along the lines of "lies are all our arch nemeses," but the way it's phrased now doesn't convey that. I'd suggest revising to the example I provided, or even just rewriting it in a way that makes more sense.

Overall: I think this was really good! Scriptwriting is always hard because of all the conventions associated with it, but I think you're starting on a really great journey along it. Keep writing!!




omer says...


Thank you so much, Plume!!
This was super helpful.
I was not (at all!) trying to make this naturalistic, and it was supposed to be hardcore nonsense. The whole detective %u201Cinterview%u201D is indeed satirical, and so is the first scene, which includes God and his assistant in it.
I meant for it to on stage, so I%u2019m grateful for your notes about that and I%u2019ll definitely use them as a guide. :)
I'm not a native English speaker so I wrote the original script in my mother language and translated it to English to see what YWS folks think!
Thank you again, you really encouraged me to keep writing this piece.
Omer.




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