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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2017 One Week Challenge  ›  Retribution Ridge - OWC Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Retribution Ridge - OWC  (currently 1339 views)
Posted: January 28th, 2017, 10:34am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Retribution Ridge by Anonymous - Short, Western - A mysterious woman comes to town hell-bent on avenging the murder of her father. - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

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Posted: January 28th, 2017, 12:56pm Report to Moderator

Don't get it right, get it written.

Independence, Ky
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This was a pretty straight forward western, but entertaining all the same.

A lot of telling when you should be showing. Over written in places, the script sort of drags as a result. A few typos here and there, but nothing egregious.

You got the western dialog down. It all flows quite well.

Not much to it in terms of surprises, but it works for what it is. Not bad.


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Posted: January 28th, 2017, 3:24pm Report to Moderator

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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"As wide as the day is long." - Not a good way to begin, IMO.  Asides as generic as this rarely if ever work, and here, it definitely does not set the scene the way you could have.

So, you label your 2nd Slug, "TOWN", and then compare it to 2 other cities, and then we find out it's actually "Retribution Ridge" - which should be the Slug.

Dialogue ain't half bad, and does sound like women from the old West.

Writing is pretty good, too, and your action is well written.  For me, far too many cliche asides and descriptions, but I bet some will enjoy them.

Story-wise, it's rather weak and very predictable, but it works for what it is.

You met the challenge and succeeded in what you set out to do.  Best one of the 1st 4 by a long shot.  Good job.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.

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Dreamscale  -  January 28th, 2017, 5:59pm
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Posted: January 28th, 2017, 5:54pm Report to Moderator

Down Under
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Ah the classic Western!  This was done pretty well and the writer confidently worked his way through it.

Agreed with Zack in that the exposition slowed things a bit but I guess in a 12 pager you haven't really got time to show real backstory that drives the plot along.

Nice job

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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: January 29th, 2017, 4:19am Report to Moderator

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Like the other Western I read, it certainly succeeds in creating a Western style atmosphere.

Interesting how similar the tropes used here are to the other one:

The mysterious visitor who looks like a man, but is really a woman. One is called the Stranger, the other the Drifter. It shows how deep these sort of things are in our minds.

I felt there was too much exposition. Like a lot of the entries we have a long, long conversation telling us the whole story. This means there's little tension.

Then it moves to an expected conclusion.

Underneath the surface there's probably some more interesting stuff going on that you could bring out, outside of the challenge. The idea of the woman killing to help other women isn't bad. If you created a very dog eat dog world where everyone is fighting for scraps and everyone is morally ambiguous, you could create a much deeper, more satisfying story.
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Posted: January 29th, 2017, 12:15pm Report to Moderator

Southern California
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Let me start my saying overall this was a solid effort.

Quoted Text
It's no St. Louis, but in the right light it could pass for an Oklahoma City.

I'm not crazy about this description since one would have to be familiar with both of these towns to get what the author wants them to see

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Daddy and I had been estranged for a spell. Trivial bullshit. I was young and in love with a gunfighter. Just wanted to travel the West together makin' a name for ourselves. Needless to say, my father didn't approve.

IMO, starting here and the two dialogue blocks that follow, way too OTN. Like you had to get all of the details out in this one page. Worse, you lose the voice of your character. When the STRANGER comes into the bar, it's terse, gruff one word sentences. And then suddenly, complete passages about the details of her life right down to her feelings about Daddy. i.e., I lost the character here.

Have Belle and Roxy more involved in drawing out this info - I think it would flow more naturally that way.  

Quoted Text
Retribution Ridge

Not crazy about the town name or the title - it tries too hard. Like naming it Vigilante Village.

The setting was done well - I felt the old western grit.

Action sequences were solid.

Aside from the dialogue hiccups mentioned above - there was a lot I liked about this.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Posted: January 29th, 2017, 12:34pm Report to Moderator

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This one lacked reversals.  As written, it's straightforward and predictable, although ably written.  I think some misdirection and lying would help.
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Female Gaze
Posted: January 29th, 2017, 4:42pm Report to Moderator

It's not who will let me; It's who will stop me?

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Quoted Text
You're too ugly for whorin',

Said no madam ever!

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Thank ya, hummingbird.

Idk why but this tickled me.

This actually wasn't too bad. I did like this one more than the other western. Mostly because it was simple and made me laugh more than I probably should have.

Anyway, I would love to learn more about Belle's murdering past, mostly bc I wanna know why?

And if the Drifter and her father are estranged then why avenge him? Curious.

Straightforward western. Good effort though,
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Posted: January 30th, 2017, 6:24am Report to Moderator

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A woman's western! Not an easy genre to write at all but in my book, this covers it all very adequately.

A good use of lean, yet mood setting descriptions. The way the characters looked and spoke sounded authentic enough and natural enough to me, although I'm no expert.  

I did start to drift off (pun intended) when the Drifter drawled on about her backstory and I could see what was coming a mile off.

I didn't see her somersaulting her way out of a shotgun blast though! That was a new one and it almost jumped the shark for me but you did enough with the rest to let me forgive this extravagance.

In the end, the tale is a very straightforward one with no surprises but you completed the challenge in a tough genre. My stetson is therefore tipped in your direction sa', you certainly haven't forgotten the face of your father.  


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Posted: January 30th, 2017, 7:00am Report to Moderator

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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One of my favourites, a well told story, nicely written, with some nice touches added.  I think this'll be a contender.  One thing I'd like to say, the 'daddy' word, isn't that more of a modern day word.  Wouldn't father or paps have been used back then?

Good luck & all the best,


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Cam Gray
Posted: January 30th, 2017, 7:15am Report to Moderator

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Hey writer.

Well, it ticked the boxes and worked as a western, but it was just okay for me, nowt too special. This could be because I ain't a western fan, but it just didn't really move that quickly, nor did it go in any really surprising directions.

Well enough written, but just not for me


Tommy's Millions -
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Posted: January 30th, 2017, 10:51am Report to Moderator

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Good work for seven days worth.
Some notes: when Roxy says "can't argue with that" she sounded like Belle.
Some more complexity to this and it would be great I think.
Belle says she did it to help all the girls off the streets - maybe you could expand on that thought. I liked that thought, it gave Belle a bit of a soul. Maybe Roxy could help Drifter - maybe she has a reason as well - just want more. But it's good as is.
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Posted: January 30th, 2017, 11:31am Report to Moderator

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I believed the drifter was a woman out for vengeance. The boot on the throat was just right.

The Western is hard to get right.

Tradition has the drifter ride in alone dusty from a hard ride, meet the local barkeep with a big heart and we get the back story before retribution.  This was easy to follow and a pleasant read.

Some tightening of descriptions (especially the "A Tale of Two Cities" opener) and dialogue on a rewrite and you could confidently check Western off on your genre to do list.

I liked the hummingbird touch. Amazing how one word can add an insight to the character and color to the dialogue.
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Posted: January 30th, 2017, 4:02pm Report to Moderator

Tucson, AZ
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Yup, nailed every western cliche out there. Pretty transparent, just a matter of time which woman would take the slug. Good writing though to take those cliches and make them not a distraction. The ending was very Unforgivenish. Belle's last words should have been '...but I was building a whorehouse.'

Good effort.
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Posted: January 30th, 2017, 4:10pm Report to Moderator

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Another Western.  Man, I don’t envy you.

“As wide as the day is long” sounds like dialogue from a western, but as a descriptive phrase, I don’t like it.

This dialogue kinda feels like someone pretending they are well versed in Westerns… which I understand because it’s probably not the genre you write often if ever.

I assume either Belle or Roxy killed Drifter’s father?

Decent little revenge story I guess.  You got dealt a bad hand and made the best of it.  Saw the reveal coming, and the story was pretty straight forward, but still not bad.

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