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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2016 OWC  ›  Family  - OWC Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Family  - OWC  (currently 2402 views)
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 6:28pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Family by Andrew Lightfoot - Short - A family goes for a hospital visit and a game of Scrabble. - pdf, format

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  March 12th, 2016, 7:42pm
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Angry Bear
Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 7:33pm Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

The Swamp...
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Dimply lit?

Another child with cancer story. I have the same thought here as I did with the other one I read, how come these children are alone in their rooms? Usually if a kid is fatally ill, parents, relatives, friends, whatever take turns to be with the child. They are usually not left alone.

Just when I thought Laura was a bitch, Jessie turns out to be a MAJOR one.

Okay, I don't know, maybe this is something families actually have to deal with nowadays, but in the end, I hated everyone but Jake.

Good job, just didn't make me feel very good at all.

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Posted: January 23rd, 2016, 8:53pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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On page 1 you mention cell phone buttons. Is this like a flip phone? This isn't a big deal or anything, just something I noticed.

Also on page 1, you first refer to the 30 year old woman as Laurice, then later she Laura. Also, with the ages you mentioned, this would mean that Laura gave birth to Jessie when she was 13. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.

Typo on page 3, you wrote laying instead of playing.

The emotion from Howard on page 4 is great.

Typo on page 5, you wrote slept instead of spelled.

On page 6, "are you kidding me" should be capitalized.

The escalating of the anger was really well done. And I loved how it ended.

I would love feedback on any of these!
Back to Class: (comedy series, RECENTLY UPDATED DEC. '16)
Cause & Effect: (comedy-drama series)
Waking Up: (comedy series)
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Posted: January 24th, 2016, 12:04am Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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Ooh, too saccharine with the Hollywood sentimentality at the end, and sorry to say I found the content of this one a little off. He's going to discuss the kid's life (5 years of it) and how much it'll cost them, and in front of the kid?! The wife needs to dump this guy straight away. The family dynamic here is really screwed up so you portrayed that very well, just not my thing, sorry.

Quite a few typos too but that's often to be expected if you're under the gun with an OWC deadline.

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Posted: January 24th, 2016, 12:47am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Sunny Coast. Qld. Australia
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Now that's a dysfunctional family.  Seemed a bit far fetched though and a cheesy conclusion.

What I didn't get was the doctor giving Jake 1-5 years but in the next breath tells them that he could recover??? Even after that info the step mum wants to dispose of him as an inconvenience? To sure up funds for her daughter's uni? That's some f'ed up family, so well done in building that dynamic in the story.

Another typo I noticed was 'what' instead of 'wait' on pg 3

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Posted: January 24th, 2016, 3:23am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Hi Writer,

A family bent on silent accusation finds a way to address the elephant in the (hospital) room of their terminally ill child. Touching premise and, good use of the theme.

Although the story flows well on page, the numerous typos make it appear rushed and forced me to decipher some of the dialog more than a few times. Still, a very decent effort for this challenge.
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Posted: January 24th, 2016, 6:39am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Cast Your Fate To The Wind

Upstate NY
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Lots of scrabble stories going around, spelling out feelings with tiles. This one was heartfelt in the end, but it seems a but odd for them to go there with that kind of conversation in his son's room. Totally irresponsible of those parents, but maybe not all that unrealistic. Money issues, I would guess, are the number one reason for failed relationships. But you did a good job at making Jessie totally despicable, which I think prompted a very good comeback from the father.

Overall, good work.


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irish eyes
Posted: January 24th, 2016, 12:46pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

There`s too much blood in my alcohol

Upstate New York
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Another Scrabble entry, not bad using an array of emotions of a family split in half.  Strange time to bring the emotions but for me it worked. I guess it was coming to that.

Good job... quite a few typos though but it is the OWC so I look past that.

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Posted: January 24th, 2016, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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My thoughts...

Scrabble again, oh well...

Hospital elevators are not normally small suffocating spaces, in terms of elevators they tend to be larger than most because they have to get patients beds into them.

There a LOT of typo's, these quickly become quite distracting, definitely worth another polish. There's also some add phrasing e.g. dead empty of people.

As far as we know the cancer hasn�t spread at all - I'd kinda hope the Dr treating my son would know that!

The other scrabble scripts have been a bit forced with their word usage, but death and bitch seem much more natural in this one and that sequence works well.

Ending, not really feeling it, the tone of the previous bit was dark comedy, you could keep this going and have his final word as euthanasia or suicide ... just a thought.

Something here, but not working for me as it stands.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
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Posted: January 24th, 2016, 11:10pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Killing villains since 1980!

Buffalo NY
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     I'd say that I felt bad, but, I didn't.  You seemed to want to tug at the heart-strings and I just didn't buy it.


Please read my scripts:

I'm interested in reading animation, horror, sci fy, suspense, fantasy, and anything that is good.  I enjoy writing the same.  Looking to team with anyone!

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Posted: January 25th, 2016, 12:07am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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This started pretty good and was ok right up to when the arguing starts. Maybe if we have seen a few words go down before the accusations begin flying as it escalated a bit too quick.

Writing was good with a few typos ( small on mister). Was prolly hurried through deadline pressure and don't we all know about that!

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Posted: January 25th, 2016, 10:03am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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The margins and formatting here looks off, I would use some different software if I were you.

I would suggest adding some subtlety to the characters' actions and their dialogue. Things explode very quickly and much of what they say is on the nose.

IMHO none of the characters behaved in a very believable way and it didn't really work for me. Good try though.
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Posted: January 25th, 2016, 10:59am Report to Moderator

North Carolina
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This one raises a point that is very real. It's why so many second marriages involving stepchildren have trouble or end in divorce. The various dynamics (eg., "you love your own child more than mine") never completely go away. I easily see a situation like this developing, even if only in thought and not explicitly expressed. In most cases, it probably wouldn't happen in front of the poor cancer victim. Nonetheless, for purposes of the script, the writer chose to play it out right there via the game as a means of unleashing long-simmering resentments and jealousies.

So, props from me.

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Posted: January 25th, 2016, 1:16pm Report to Moderator

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Some notes.

A bit too dramatic for me.  The characters are too one-dimensional.  I wish they would all play both black and white.

Overall, there are some problems with the writing.  The dialogue is a bit too formal and too on the nose.  

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Posted: January 26th, 2016, 1:07pm Report to Moderator

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Touching story but full of misspellings, lots of on the nose dialogue, some format issues.

This script could do with some more subtly. Show don't tell. For example, when the mom and dad fight over mounting bills with the Dr., instead of coming out and saying something along the lines of "we can't pay for this," maybe have the mom going over a stack of bills nervously, or on the phone with creditors.  Gives some extra insight into your charterers and makes them more believable. The on the nose dialogue really hurts here as there is a lot of emotion to be explored and you cut yourself short by having it seem so wooden.

But a touching idea and a very sad story. This could easily get some tears flowing if you go all out on tugging our heartstrings. Movie reviews, news, and fun! Write a screenplay. Write. Now. Separate from your competition. Affordable SEO services Because nobody likes receiving gift cards
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Posted: January 26th, 2016, 7:51pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I think those parents are absolutely crazy. It's a shame the boy needs to supplicate such assholes for love. Bitter fate.

I really really truly and more cannot imagine a health system where it comes to money when an ill boy needs helping treatments... just hmm...

In the script the boy loses just everything. He should at least have a friend. The emotions are definitely there but the couple is just too dumb that I think the boy is lost one way or the other. It's too dark that way, somehow senseless to watch.


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Posted: January 26th, 2016, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

Another scrabble script ...interesting. Only thing I dislike though about these challenges is that you read so many that have so much of the same ...feels like I'm going to go crazy. But reading.

With the logline, I may try to insert some conflict or something that will draw a reader in a bit more. I'm terrible at loglines or I'd give you an example.

I rather hate the characters except Jake of course. But I do love the story. I think it does hit where a lot of folks are out nowadays with the teenager on the phone regardless of anything...parents fighting over which child to spend the money on...

I think that the conversation in the hall needs to be reworked ...some of that stuff is way over the top unbelievable but I get what you are trying to do here and it works....just needs some rewriting.

There are typos throughout and the dialogue needs going over as well.

Not a tear jerker for me but I like the kid dying while everyone else is going on with their problems...spell 'FAMILY'. Nice touch there and my favorite part of the story.

Good job.
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Posted: January 27th, 2016, 4:44am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Action speaks louder...

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A nice lead in so far...  annoying typos though, too numerous to ignore. Typos happen by accident, we generally try to get it right first time.


He is already at the limit, anymore
and it may do more harm than good.
Could even drastically shorten his
life span.

Unrealistic dialogue for a doctor.


But if we continue with the current
treatment, it may also give him a
fighting chance. As far as we know
the cancer hasn’t spread at all,
it’s possible for him to recover,
but it won’t be cheap.

This seems complete twaddle to me. What current treatment (outside of chemo)?


I think we should choose a
different path doctor.

Is that like a witch doctor?

Disappointing. The opening held so much promise. I read some of the comments too and I thought this one might be OK, but, not to be.

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: January 27th, 2016, 5:15pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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Ah ha, that simple game of scrabble at the hospital - what could go wrong, well let's see...

Mother 30, daughter 17 - !!

Ok, there are typos. And yes the characters need to be dialled back, but I liked it.

This has conflict riddled throughout it and a meaningful heart felt plea at the end.

Jessie - is going to a hospital to see a dying step brother who doesn't appear to have done anything bad. Yes, she can be disinterested, but I would probably veer towards scared. I would like the idea of her bucking up during the process and uniting with the boy about the parents behaviour.

The tension of cost versus future, is excellent territory. I would let the issue creep in rather than burst out, a simmering issue. The last dialogue from the mother is too far, this could be achieved in a sentence or two.

If this had been tidy and dialled back, it could have been my favourite.

Keep working at this.

My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...
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Posted: January 27th, 2016, 6:13pm Report to Moderator

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It was definitely a quick read, even with all the typos.  I like the idea of spelling out their feelings with the Scrabble tiles; however, i think the story as a whole left me thinking it had a lot of logistical holes in it, such as the ages between the mom and daughter, the dialogue with the doctor, and the fact that a boy seriously ill (maybe even months from dying) is full of energy and wanting to play a rousing board game.  The sentimentality of the ending comes too quickly and ends the script right there, to the extent you feel like you've just run into a brick wall.

A clean up is needed and some work on the dialogue is definitely needed.

My scores (out of 5)
Concept: 3.0
Story: 3.0
Character: 2.5
Dialogue: 2.0
Writing: 2.5
Overall: 2.6

Best of luck!

My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Posted: January 28th, 2016, 10:30am Report to Moderator
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Other than the typos in this (which are to be expected due to the deadline on the challenge....) I really like this one!  Stark, solid drama.  Great characterization..    I have a FEELING I know who wrote this one, though I could be wrong.  It's one on my top picks list.  

Following are a few typo/comment notes.  Hope they help with the very quick polish.


P 1: Exhausted from life – nice!
p. 1: CAP on Laurice
p 1: CAP Receptionist
p. 2: Cap Mister
p 2: Cap second Doctor
p. 2: Cap Mister
p 3: Mashing away at the button – good phrasing!  
p. 3: PLAYING it all day with the staff
p 5: Already “slept” on it?
P 5: I think it’s because you can’t spell.  Great line! Death – it’s what you look like… also good…
p. 6: it should be counted (period)
p 6: Are you kidding me? (cap A)
p. 6: Dad, youR turn
p 6: Bitch line.  Great!!
P 7: spells out fucked (period)
P 7: a long silence (period)
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Posted: January 29th, 2016, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Southern California
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Okay - a ton of typos/grammar issues - looking past that.

The premise is a great one. The fragile dynamics of a mixed family set against the pending death of one of them.  I love that is a theme.

I would have liked the wife's objections to further treatment be a little more subtle/nuanced. She starts out as a good human being and too quickly flips to a money calculating bitch with no empathy for her husbands plight. That was too big of a fracture for me as it eroded the love between them.  

The voice of the teenager was perfect IMO.

I would very much like to see this re-written without the constraints of the OWC as the topic is a very poignant one and I think it would have great potential.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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