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The Sudden Stop

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Mr. Scratch
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#1

Posted 15 July 2013 - 08:01 PM Edited by Mr.Scratch, 16 December 2014 - 12:27 AM.

The name of the story is based on a manuscript page from Alan Wake called The Fall of Alex Casey. Basically it's Max's life after the second game except he does not meet Passos. Writing this was a pain in the ass so try not to be too harsh. More to come later.


EXT. MANSION COURTYARD- NIGHT
OCTOBER 2003

Alfred Woden’s mansion, swallowed violently in inferno. Smoke, thick and grey rises from the windows.
Flames lick hungrily into the night, reflecting on hoods of police cars entering the courtyard.

The death. The bullets. The fire.

Frantic officers shout orders, organizing firetrucks and fighters as they attempt to extinguish the blaze. Paramedics rush to load a stretcher into the back of a ambulance, lying on it is Max Payne. The detective, bloody and unconscious, breathes from an oxygen mask.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM- NIGHT.

Through Max’s foggy view, two men approach. One ,a doctor with a clip board. The other, a trench coated, hat-wearing man. Deputy Chief Jim Bravura.
-Is he going to pull thru, doc?
-Well his condition is stable for now, God only knows how he’s still alive.
-Can I have a moment with him?
-Sure, I have some work in the pediatrics department anyway. And with that the doctor was out the room.
-I don’t know if you can hear me Payne, but I want you to know I don’t blame you for any of this. Lem used Winterson to cover his tracks, son of a bitch got close to her and made her think he’s prince charming. You know when we first met I thought you were another cop who lost his family and his mind, goes to show even I'm wrong. We’ll talk about your situation when you heal up.

Over black.

The howl of windswept plains.

EXT. ELYSIAN FIELDS- DUSK.

We drift, pulling back across an endless, dusty landscape. A maze of golden fields that stretch limitlessly toward a dark horizon. Wind blows across the golden crops, carrying dust and debris with it. The sun is a dim yellow-orange; the landscape tarnished with a picturesque quality.

Stop beating that dead horse. It was dead a long time ago. You’ve hit it so much that it’s bones have turned to dust and it’s blood has seeped into the earth.Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding. The dark scene in the far off dusk is not ordinary somehow, either. It appears to grow the longer we stare at it, enveloping the beautiful fields.

You’ve beaten this horse so much that nobody remembers its death. Even now, you beat the ground where it was killed. The image freezes, but we continue to pull back, revealing a gold frame around the image…an oil painting. The bleak piece hangs above a crackling fireplace. We realize we are in Max’s old home-Suburban New Jersey.


TheBlackProject
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#2

Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:30 PM

It's not bad, but it really requires editing. Like putting spaces after periods and commas, put some quotations when a person is speaking or add in "said Max", etc.

albanyave
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#3

Posted 18 July 2013 - 10:01 PM

Interesting beginning. I'd like to read more. I'll check back hopefully to see another post.

Mr. Scratch
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#4

Posted 22 July 2013 - 05:02 PM Edited by Mr Scratch, 05 April 2014 - 10:40 AM.

Ok so here's some more MP for you people, leave a comment and share your opinion.



Revenge has always been as futile as beating the ground. And that’s the way it always will be.

Upstairs we hear shrill screams, the sound of a baby crying, and suddenly…a gunshot.

Cut to an eye as it snaps open; at the same time a gasp.

INT. HOBOKEN APARTMENT- NIGHT.

An aging Max Payne lies on a sofa in his dark living room, a bottle of whiskey resting on his stomach.
The middle-aged man has tired, deep carved eyes that look as though they’ve seen all the horrors the world has to offer.

We hear the tail end of a loud thunder that woke him, his eyelids open sharply, then flutter, closing once more. Through a window above the sofa, a neon sign casts strips of red light across the unkempt man.
A thunder storm roars on through the night, rain streaking down the glass.

Max puts the bottle of whiskey on a table next to the sofa, sitting, rubbing his face. Through the rain we hear police sirens crying out to one another in off-key harmony. He reaches back and spreads the blinds with his fingers, squinching briefly as blue and red lights rush past.

“I couldn’t remember their faces anymore.”

Despite his drunkenness, he stands, moving to a tidy desk, in the middle of the room. Stubble, unshaven for days, scrapes noticeably on his palm as he rubs his face.

“I used to try so hard to grasp every piece, every memory…but inevitably, they fade away. Everything fades away, in time.” He picks up the bottle of whiskey and takes a swig of the amber liquid.

A flash of lightning illuminates the room for a split second, producing a deep rumble of thunder, just as we cut to black.

Silence.

The darkness is all encompassing. It is an absence; a void in the mind of a man.

“I am Max Payne, I used to be a cop, just like them. But that’s ancient history. Now I just live each day, looking for a reason to go on living…and now maybe I found it”


Cut to black.


aritrabose
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#5

Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:56 PM

QUOTE (VF94 @ Monday, Jul 22 2013, 17:02)
Ok so here's some more MP for you people,leave a comment and share your opinion.



Revenge has always been as futile as beating the ground. And that’s the way it always will be.

Upstairs we hear shrill screams, the sound of a baby crying, and suddenly…a gunshot.

Cut to an eye as it snaps open; at the same time a gasp.

INT.HOBOKEN APARTMENT-NIGHT.

An aging Max Payne lies on a sofa in his dark living room, a bottle of whiskey resting on his stomach.
The middle-aged man has tired, deep carved eyes that look as though they’ve seen all the horrors the world has to offer.

We hear the tail end of a loud thunder that woke him, his eyelids open sharply, then flutter, closing once more. Through a window above the sofa, a neon sign casts strips of red light across the unkempt man.
A thunder storm roars on through the night, rain streaking down the glass.

Max puts the bottle of whiskey on a table next to the sofa, sitting, rubbing his face. Through the rain we hear police sirens crying out to one another in off-key harmony. He reaches back and spreads the blinds with his fingers, squinching briefly as blue and red lights rush past.

“I couldn’t remember their faces anymore.”

Despite his drunkenness, he stands, moving to a tidy desk, in the middle of the room. Stubble, unshaven for days, scrapes noticeably on his palm as he rubs his face.

“I used to try so hard to grasp every piece, every memory…but inevitably, they fade away. Everything fades away, in time.” He picks up the bottle of whiskey and takes a swig of the amber liquid.

A flash of lightning illuminates the room for a split second, producing a deep rumble of thunder, just as we cut to black.

Silence.

The darkness is all encompassing. It is an absence; a void in the mind of a man.

“I am Max Payne, I used to be a cop, just like them. But that’s ancient history. Now I just live each day, looking for a reason to go on living…and now maybe I found it”


Cut to black.

Nice, really.

Mr. Scratch
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#6

Posted 23 July 2013 - 05:34 PM

Much appreciated man.

albanyave
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#7

Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:02 PM

I like how vivid this post is. I can hear the cops passing by his window. I'm following.

Ziggy455
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#8

Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:39 PM

Allow me to give you some pointers as an avid screenwriter -prose too but we're focusing on the former- to help you improve this as I enjoy Max Payne fanfiction. So we'll begin with using your own work as a comparative example that I hope can improve you screenplay format skills overall.

QUOTE
EXT.MANSION COURTYARD-NIGHT
OCTOBER 2003

Alfred Woden’s mansion, swallowed violently in inferno. Smoke,thick and grey rises from the windows.
Flames lick hungrily into the night, reflecting on hoods of police cars entering the courtyard.

The death.The bullets.The fire.

Frantic officers shout orders, organizing firetrucks and fighters as they attempt to extinguish the blaze. Paramedics rush to load a stretcher into the back of a ambulance, lying on it is Max Payne. The detective, bloody and unconscious, breathes from an oxygen mask.

INT.HOSPITAL ROOM-NIGHT.

Through Max’s foggy view,two men approach.One,a doctor with a clip board.The other,a trench coated ,hat-wearing man.Deputy Chief Jim Bravura.
-Is he going to pull thru it,doc?
-Well his condition is stable for now,God only knows how he’s still alive.
-Can I have a moment with him?
-Sure,I have some work in the pediatrics department anyway. And with that the doctor was out the room.
-I don’t know if you can hear me Payne,but I want you to know I don’t blame you for any of this. Lem used Winterson to cover his tracks,son of a bitch got close to her and made her think he’s prince charming.You know when we first met I thought you were another cop who lost his family and his mind,goes to show even I'm wrong.We’ll talk about your situation when you heal up.

Over black.

The howl of windswept plains.

EXT.ELYSIAN FIELDS-DUSK.

We drift,pulling back across an endless,dusty landscape.A maze of golden fields that stretch limitlessly toward a dark horizon. Wind blows across the golden crops,carrying dust and debris with it.The sun is a dim yellow-orange;the landscape tarnished with a picturesque quality.

Stop beating that dead horse.It was dead a long time ago.You’ve hit it so much that it’s bones have turned to dust and it’s blood has seeped into the earth.Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding.The dark scene in the far off dusk is not ordinary somehow,either.It appears to grow the longer we stare at it,enveloping the beautiful fields.

You’ve beaten this horse so much that nobody remembers its death.Even now,you beat the ground where it was killed.The image freezes,but we continue to pull back,revealing a gold frame around the image…an oil painting.The bleak piece hangs above a crackling fireplace.We realize we are in Max’s old home-Suburban New Jersey.


This is your work. I'll throw in all the points and I'll give you examples. So here we go:

1. Formatting slugs

Well, you've got the basics down but you're lack of space and use of periods is a little offputting.

QUOTE
INT.HOSPITAL ROOM-NIGHT.
Wrong.

QUOTE
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM- NIGHT
Right; there's little changes but formatting is 30% of the battle with screenwriting.

2. Spacing, punctuation, and format

When it comes to actually writing your description, your work consists of no spaces, overused commas and a mix:

QUOTE
Alfred Woden’s mansion, swallowed violently in inferno. Smoke,thick and grey rises from the windows.
Flames lick hungrily into the night, reflecting on hoods of police cars entering the courtyard.


This is a wonderful line; it sets the image of Woden's inferno well. But, format is important and let's see how this would look with the correct punctuation. Remember! Whenever you use a comma, immediately put a space after it.

QUOTE
Alfred Woden’s mansion: swallowed violently in inferno. Smoke, thick and grey rises from the windows.
Flames lick hungrily into the night, reflecting on hoods of police cars entering the courtyard.


3.Writing Dialogue

You seem to mix up your expression of writing dialogue. You use quotation marks and it feels like it's some kind of lovechild hybrid between a novel and a script. When somebody speaks, you must have their name above the text; even if it's a made-up name for the two medics in this scene.

QUOTE
INT.HOSPITAL ROOM-NIGHT.

Through Max’s foggy view,two men approach.One,a doctor with a clip board.The other,a trench coated ,hat-wearing man.Deputy Chief Jim Bravura.
-Is he going to pull thru it,doc?
-Well his condition is stable for now,God only knows how he’s still alive.
-Can I have a moment with him?
-Sure,I have some work in the pediatrics department anyway. And with that the doctor was out the room.
-I don’t know if you can hear me Payne,but I want you to know I don’t blame you for any of this. Lem used Winterson to cover his tracks,son of a bitch got close to her and made her think he’s prince charming.You know when we first met I thought you were another cop who lost his family and his mind,goes to show even I'm wrong.We’ll talk about your situation when you heal up.


This feels wrong, rushed. You've got the descriptive power but your punctuation and formatting is a little amateur, but fret not! Once you master the format, you can only improve your story. Now here's the same scene but with a proper format.

QUOTE
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM- NIGHT <- Remember! No full stops at the end and space your words.

Through Max’s foggy view two men approach. One, MICHAEL, 28: a young, black-haired doctor [you can always throw in some description here] with a clip board. The other, a trench coated, hat-wearing man. This is DEPUTY CHIEF JIM BRAVURA, 56.  <- Capitalize the full title when introducing a new character.

Bravura
Is he going to pull through it, doc?

Michael
Well his condition is stable for now,God only knows how he’s still alive.

Bravura
(to Michael, low) <- Feel free to throw in some parenthesis with some subtle movements and such.
Can I have a moment with him?

Michael
Sure, I have some work in the pediatrics department anyway.


You're mixing dialogue and action. Remember! Action, dialogue, or anything starts on a new lines.

And with that the doctor was out the room. The doctor leaves, he shuts the door. Bravura bends down close to a comatose Payne; he's as lively as Woden's charred abode remains.

Bravura
I don’t know if you can hear me Payne, but I want you to know I don’t blame you for any of this. Lem used Winterson to cover his tracks! Son of a bitch got close to her and made her think he’s prince charming.You know when we first met I thought you were another cop who lost his family and his mind, goes to show even I'm wrong. We’ll talk about your situation when you heal up.


See the clarity in that? I haven't altered much of it. I've just corrected your punctuation and your formatting and from it, comes a much clearer and concise story. Now we'll focus on something else I've noticed. You're writing in prose when it comes to some form of metaphorical-based narrative of Max.

QUOTE
Stop beating that dead horse.It was dead a long time ago.You’ve hit it so much that it’s bones have turned to dust and it’s blood has seeped into the earth.Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding.The dark scene in the far off dusk is not ordinary somehow,either.It appears to grow the longer we stare at it,enveloping the beautiful fields.

You’ve beaten this horse so much that nobody remembers its death.Even now,you beat the ground where it was killed.The image freezes,but we continue to pull back,revealing a gold frame around the image…an oil painting.The bleak piece hangs above a crackling fireplace.We realize we are in Max’s old home-Suburban New Jersey.


4. Voice-overs!
This kind of descriptive dialogue fits Max's style of narration but you have to remember that a script is a blueprint of the movie you're trying to get your audience to envision. This is dialogue and should be shown like so:

QUOTE
Max (V.O) <- V.O stands for Voice-Over! Simples!

Stop beating that dead horse.It was dead a long time ago. You’ve hit it so much that it’s bones have turned to dust and it’s blood has seeped into the earth.Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding.The dark scene in the far off dusk is not ordinary somehow,either.It appears to grow the longer we stare at it,enveloping the beautiful fields.


See? Let's see you improve this with what I've shown you.

Mr. Scratch
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#9

Posted 29 July 2013 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for the tips Ziggy.

Mr. Scratch
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#10

Posted 03 August 2013 - 07:17 PM Edited by Mr Scratch, 05 April 2014 - 10:47 AM.

Alright, so as promised more Max Payne. I had to make the switch to first person because of the dialogue.


There is a knock at the door.

“Max…hey Max, you there ? “ The loud knocking wasn’t going to go away by itself, forcing my body to wake up. My eyes flew open and I found myself face-down in a puddle of my own vomit. Not the best place to be, by any stretch of imagination.

“I’m coming, “ I grumbled as I stood up and checked the mirror in the sh*thole that I had lovingly dubbed my apartment. Satisfied that I had swiped away most of the regurgitated contents of my stomach, I made my way to the door, clutching everything I could, just so I wouldn’t fall over again. I opened it, and was greeted by someone I figured I wouldn’t be seeing until later. Much later, after I had the time to not look like a homeless bum who robbed a liquor store.

“Jesus, you look like sh*t, Max.”

“And hello to you too, Mona.” She was dressed to the nines, her hair combed back and tied together in a ponytail. Tight black jeans, with black boots and a black shirt, her red leather jacket finishing the ensemble. A dash of red lipstick finished the look she was going for, dangerous and inviting, while standing in contrast with the way I looked. Dishevelled, a wife-beater and some boxers. Oh yeah, and some of my stomach’s contents plastered over my face.

“What the hell happened?” She asked as she pushed her way into my apartment. “Did you forget we were supposed to go out today, celebrate being alive and all that?” It had been about six months since Vlad shot her in Woden’s mansion.

“That was today?” I asked. Where had the time gone? I had reverted to the pity-party that was my life, and embraced it in full. Usually that meant grabbing the nearest liquor and drinking myself into a stupor. Today, I’d gone out of my way to buy a good whiskey. Mona was right. I had to celebrate being alive. And what better way of doing that, than to feel sorry for myself? The ultimate act of self-conciousness.

She rolled her eyes. “No, I’m dressed up like this because I like the way the fabric clings to me like a second skin. Of course it was today.”

“Sorry, sorry” I said and started grabbing newspapers and magazines making a futile attempt at cleaning up to save face with her. “Just let me clean up a bit and I’ll be ready soon.”

“Don’t bother,” she gently grabbed the stack of crap that I had gathered and put it on the coffee table. She guided me to the sofa and sat me down, staring over me.

“You’re lucky you’re great in the sack, Max. I don’t do this for everyone.” She gave me a saucy smirk.“Besides, you’re still half drunk, you’ll end up making an ass out of yourself, and that’s the last thing we need.”

I got up and got dressed, before heading out of my apartment which looked like a drug den. I couldn’t say I truly missed my house and the white picket fence. I only had it for a little while after all. It was easier for me to think of this sh*thole as home.

 


albanyave
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#11

Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:41 PM

Still liking it. icon14.gif Your last paragraph, did Max leave with Mona or had she already left before he got dressed?

aritrabose
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#12

Posted 04 August 2013 - 02:12 AM

Okay, one question, Mona is alive, then, but why is Max Drinking himself to death and living in that hellhole with clothes that would only suit a bum or a hippie?

Mr. Scratch
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#13

Posted 04 August 2013 - 08:10 AM Edited by VF94, 05 August 2013 - 04:09 PM.

albanyave: They both leave.
aritrabose: Well he killed his only "friend" and an entire army, plus his family is still dead so he's got PTSD to deal with.

aritrabose
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#14

Posted 05 August 2013 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE (VF94 @ Sunday, Aug 4 2013, 08:10)
albanyave: They both leave.
aritrabose: Well he kiked his only "friend" and an entire army, plus his family is still dead so he's got PTSD to deal with.

But that should not have made him stay in that f*cking hellhole, Okay, Your family is dead, but it's f*ckin' six-seven years, so get over over it, you got Mona, start a new life with her, she has the hots for you, all you guys need is a couple a' passports and a new face job, okay not a face job, grow some beard, get a new haircut, then spend the rest of your lives in Hawaii, drinking Coconuts and having fun. Okay, you don't have to do that, just get him out of that hellhole and get him a new place and stop his Scotch/Whiskey addiction.

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#15

Posted 05 August 2013 - 04:01 PM

So basically you want me to turn him into an ex-cop who's living a happy life in the suburbs?

Ziggy455
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#16

Posted 05 August 2013 - 04:43 PM

I wouldn't say that is what he wants. I believe you're giving Max too less of an emotional anchor. He needs to want something, and he needs to want to change something. What conflict does Max really have? If he has Mona, who has the hots for him, and he's leaving with her, then what's he really losing?

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#17

Posted 05 August 2013 - 05:14 PM Edited by Mr Scratch, 05 April 2014 - 10:48 AM.

He's trying to change his view on life, but it wouldn't feel like Max Payne if I changed his personality like that.


aritrabose
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#18

Posted 09 August 2013 - 04:32 AM

QUOTE (VF94 @ Monday, Aug 5 2013, 16:01)
So basically you want me to turn him into an ex-cop who's living a happy life in the suburbs?

Nah, I didn't mean that, but it's high time that someone changed the Tragic P.O.V Just that, but yeah, good job BTW, and if you really wanna keep the tragic tone, then you chose the wrong ending, Cuz' the Dead on arrival ending was the happy one. Keep writing it.

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#19

Posted 09 August 2013 - 12:18 PM

There's a reason it's called The Sudden Stop.




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