Stepping into the ring is Script, a 120 page newbie. We have great hopes for Script, who is a repped thriller/mystery, and looks ready to spar.
In the opposite corner is Reader, a wily son-of-a-gun who has chewed up lesser scripts, and plays dirty. Reader holds up two fingers toward Script, two back at Reader: I've got my eyes on you.
On p. 1-3, Script swings with his best characters. Are these the protagonists? Antagonists? Can't tell. Oops. Script just fell.
Reader is yawning. Script bounces back up, still trying.
On p. 3, a trio of characters show up. Who is the main character again?
Script ducks and dodges. No one lands a punch.
On p. 28, Reader realizes what the story is about, who the characters are, and that this Script is following a predictable pattern. Reader is unimpressed with more of the same. Script swings at air and can't connect.
On p. 36, Reader decks Script with a mean left uppercut. Script is knocked out. It cannot recover, even though the stakes rise in p. 36-120, and there is a satisfying ending.
Script was prepped with a story arc, tension, characters with something to protect, ok dialogue.
What went wrong? Though Script contained a different location, different characters, there were no twists and turns. Reader knew exactly what was going to happen.
Reader walks away, saddened. Script wasn't a worthy opponent.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: The Reader is looking for a contender.