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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    August 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Running Backwards - * Moderators: Administrator
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  Author    OWC - Running Backwards - *  (currently 2168 views)
Don
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 5:47pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Running Backwards by Jonathan L. Terry (jonathan terry) (Only My Mother calls me Terrance)  Short, Romantic Dramedy w/ music - A social outcast has an unexpected romantic encounter during a road trip to a high school football game. - pdf, format


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Don  -  September 7th, 2009, 2:51pm
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LC
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 7:20pm Report to Moderator
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On the plus side you've incorporated the lyrics into the story well, so well done on that.

As far as Romantic Dramedy goes, well it didn't really work for me because your pivotal moment of romance is ugh!! yuk! - sorry but I'd be just taking a huge step backwards. Plus the words you use in your action lines in this scene in particular gave me the impression they are at odds with each other not enamoured.

Imo, you needed a scene in here to establish Corey's attraction right off the bat and I would also suggest he be a couple of years younger. As it is he's seventeen and only a year younger than Jack. If Corey was younger and the 'moment' actually romantic it might have worked for me. Sorry, I can't be more positive than that.


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Ledbetter
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
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First off, who ever wrote this is very new and I want to give full KUDOS for the effert. I think something as tough as a OWC for a new writer is a great accomplishment.

The script is basic in it's story line.  Good, not great. I felt the dialog was a bit forced as if english was a second language. But it worked.

Overall effort, A+,  Overall script compared to what I have read so far B-.  That is not a bad thing though, you are in great company.

Take it as a complement my friend.

Shawn......><
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stevie
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 7:40pm Report to Moderator
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This started promising but sort of fizzled out by the end. It reads ok but there's no motive and the song is patched in. The characters aren't really likeable.

One point - I thought Jack was going to be playing in the game? Cos Nat says someting about him wrestling with other guys? Or is she talking about actual wrestling?


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elis
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 7:52pm Report to Moderator
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I found myself rereading the first few pages trying to recall where Natalie came from, she was introduced so early in the story that I had forgotten about her.
So, as for the flow after that, it was great.

You seem to have your final draft (or other) program set with the more's and continued for the pages and characters on. There really is no need for that.

The lyrics came into play well but I really didn't go for what eventuated.
Corey is the most unlikely guy to be be picked for a romantic interlude, even if Natalie was overwhelmed with alcohol.

I saw very little humor as well.

Overall, a great effort for the OWC


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Astrid
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 10:12pm Report to Moderator
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It seemed like this was set in a different time...the characters names, Jack and Natalie...those sound like they should be parents or grandparents names, not teenagers. And then calling people dweebs and dork wads just sounds kind of dorky. Maybe r tard?

Also, Natalie had two beers and she is all over Corey. And then when Jack sees this he says "He was putting the moves on you". I can't imagine anyone saying that.

And would Natalie throw up after only two beers? And why would she after two beers even be interested in a loser like corey?

You have a complete story, but there isn't any romance. Even with the wink at the end, it's still just kind of sad... not funny.

There are some positives. It's an actual story, which is good. It's well written, easy to read....fast paced. Writing lyrics for a song that two characters dance to is original. Really, it's a good story...it just seems kind of dated.
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khamanna
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 10:55pm Report to Moderator
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Very original premise!

I liked reading it and I thought that the romance was there up untill they arrived to the game. The resolution did not feel satisfying at all, I thought Corey and Natalie would hook up together... I thought it's not finished, was waiting for something exciting.

I'm thinking Walt came too late into the picture, perhaps you could do without Walt or introduce him earlier.
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slap shot
Posted: August 30th, 2009, 11:42pm Report to Moderator
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i agree with khamanna...i thought walt came in a little to late...would have preferred having corey be more adamant about not going to the game...but that's just a personal preference...very nicely formatted...a little "wordy" in places (i.e. "in the back, cprey"...we already know he's in the back...we only need to know if there has been a change)...but an easy read with lively banter...a little straightforward, but one of the better presentations...
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Dreamscale
Posted: August 31st, 2009, 1:16am Report to Moderator
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Sorry, but this one does not work for me...at all.  The writing is OK, and you incorporated lyrics and a song into a script, but I don't see any romantic comedy going on here.

Biggest problem, as someone else brought up, is that it feels like it takes place in the 50's or 60's.  These don't come accross as real 17 year old kids at all...almost like a parody or something of a bad 60's flick.

Good effort for the challenge, but it doesn't work, sorry to say.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Trojan
Posted: August 31st, 2009, 5:51am Report to Moderator
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This was well written enough, but lacking a bit in story and romance. Others have covered most of the points so I won't go into it again too much.

I didn't understand how Jack could be 'obviously drunk' after only one beer. It also seemed extremely unrealistic that Natalie would hook up with Corey after being so disgusted by his presence earlier. Maybe if they were along on an island together after a few months she might crack. Maybe. But they were only alone together for what, an hour at most? Didn't make sense.

I also thought Jack was playing in the football game, but when he gets there he seems to only be watching.

A fair effort, well done on completing the challenge.

Cheers,
Tim.
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grademan
Posted: August 31st, 2009, 10:31am Report to Moderator
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RUNNING BACKWARDS

Pros – Good pace. Good quick sketches of teen characters: Corey the video gamer,
Jack the beer drinking macho man and Natalie as the impatient party girl.

Cons – Lead character is Jack? Corey? Natalie? Corey is too passive. Car runs out of gas?

Comedy – Needs more. Somewhat predictable: Puking-drunk girl jumps disinterested boy while boyfriend gets mad.

Romance – Teen physical attraction does not equal romance. If Corey developed a crush on Natalie that might step up the game.  

Lyrics – Integrated as song on the radio which energizes Natalie to dance with Corey. Cool.

Writer – Good basic writing. Not bad at storytelling. Advise turning off software feature that puts “continued” at top and bottom of each page.  

Criteria – Needs a more romantic feeling.  And a heavier comic element.

Gary
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lalaindahouse
Posted: August 31st, 2009, 2:43pm Report to Moderator
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although, i'm not hung up at all about the lack of comedy or whatever, i'm not a big fan of the story, and i can't say why.

it seemed to be well-formatted, lines flowed together nicely...

i don't know.  i guess, it felt like it's incomplete in some way.  i understand the author tries to keep an open conclusion at the end (if that makes any sense).  

i don't think there's anything wrong with it, technically.  i just can't pin down as to what bothered me about it.

i think the author is a good writer and knows how to write a script, but there's something lacking with the story, imo.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: September 1st, 2009, 12:38am Report to Moderator
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This had generated some interest for me at the page five mark when the car broke down.

I actually thought something creepy was going to happen. Well, maybe for Corey it was creepy, I don't know. He didn't seem too interested in Natalie really. And why should he be interested in a puking girl.  

This one I think does have potential. The beginning felt slow to get going.

It wasn't romance really, but it was a good effort.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: September 1st, 2009, 8:57am Report to Moderator
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I thought that this was good.

There's more going on under the surface than you have brought out in this draft, but it's a nice little piece.

I think the idea of Corey becoming a man is under-developed. I'd like to see more of that theme in the script. Kind of the idea of what makes a "real" man if you like. I think you already have it there, but you can go further with it.

Is Jack the real man with his hard drinking, football watching and fighting (maybe he should play and then they drink after the game, that way you can intensify the fish out of the water aspect, as it is he just drives Corey to the game and Corey meets his friend. If he has friends in the area, what's the big deal? Better if he is a complete stranger to everybody and jack's embarrassed by him), or is Corey the real man because he is sensitive and open to dancing and such.

I think we should see Corey standing up to Jack at one point, perhaps he can say something to Natalie when Jack bullies her a bit or something like that. It would show he is more mature and strike interest in Natalie. Not a challenge but something intelligent or understanding that the real "boy" of the script, Jack, doesn't get.

I liked the ending as well. Leaving it open.

Part of me wants to see Corey get the girl straight out though.

Good effort though. Nice coming of age tale that was well told by a writer who is empathic and in control of their craft.
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martin_b
Posted: September 1st, 2009, 12:51pm Report to Moderator
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A very nice piece of writing. At the start, we are given a picture of the characters in their world, the action escalates in a believable fashion, there's a strong climax and a nice finish. I felt I knew the characters and what was going through their heads. Maybe it was pushing the definition of "romance" a bit, and the characters weren't entirely true to today's teenagers, but I enjoyed it.

The song was integrated very organically into the story, but I did have a problem with "The music intensives." Does it mean gets louder? More dramatic? Faster? I'm really not sure.
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