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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2015 One Week Challenge  ›  Feels Like Falling - OWC
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  Author    Feels Like Falling - OWC  (currently 4177 views)
Don
Posted: May 24th, 2015, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Feels Like Falling by Michelle O’Connell - Short, Drama - An elevator operator finds his simple job becoming much more complicated when he tries to talk one of his building's tenants out of an abusive relationship. 12 pages - pdf, format


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stevie
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Wow, this is very good! The writing dragged me straight up. I could picture it all nicely.

Love the use of the phone to show days and weeks passing - excellent idea.


Something will have to be good to beat this!



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Max
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Yeah this was pretty damn good. A few typos here and there but that's to be expected on challenges such as this.

I liked the way David got his comeuppance, creative way to do it... and it also brings new meaning to the title. Everything was clear and easy to picture, I'm not entirely sure what type of elevator it is though but that's hardly important... I could picture it all the same.

And like the user said before me, the phone was another creative device to show the passing of time.

Another solid effort indeed, keep em' comin'


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JSimon
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Wow, I keep going to the bottom of the barrel to the scripts no one is reading...and I keep finding gold!

This is the 10th one I've read, and so far this is the maybe the most competent OWC I've participated in...and yet I already have a hunch this one might get my vote in the end.

This is excellent writing on display. Might be in some ways the best OWC I've ever read, and I've been involved in them since 2011.

Nothing supernatural here. Just good storytelling.

Most OWC's have characters we could care less about. Even the very good ones. This story creates two characters that we care VERY much about. It manages to create emotional reaction, and I can't remember the last OWC I read that achieved that.

While it's somewhat predictable, it's pulled off so effectively that this predictability is not a flaw. The dialogue is very well done, the characters feel real.

suggestions to improve:

one: do you need all the date references? That seems to be an unnecessary distraction to the story. There are better ways to show progression of time. And we don't need to see what Marcus is doing on his iphone.

two: you might consider adding an element of growth to the character of Marcus. For example, maybe we see that he normally doesn't get involved in peoples business, which is kind of the nature of the elevator operator. I mean he might be friendly but distant. Or it could be something else. Maybe there's a scene where he is intimidated by David so it will really require some courage on his part. Or maybe he's even a retired cop so he has to overcome his blue loyalty to give David justice. Something that shows growth

The image of David falling to his death matches up in perfect irony with the earlier story of freedom told by Marcus. Well done! I'm just wondering if there is a way to show this final act of courage by Marcus as also showing some kind of growth and or change in him.

But then...it's also just fine the way it is! Great work!

Oh, yeah, the title does suck, sorry to say. The only thing that really needs to change. Think about all the things a title needs to do, and this one does none of them. That's probably why it has started out with so few reads.

ADDITIONAL NEXT DAY SUGGESTION: when we finally meet the cop husband killer, he's waaaay over the top evil. I mean he's not even careful about what he says. It's an easy thing to change...and it HAS to be changed. We always have to make characters act as they really would. This guy just killed his wife and unborn child in a drunken rage. He's a cop. He's trying to cover it up. He's going to be very careful with what he says. And we don't need to see him as over the top! We know he did it! Marcus knows it too. And if there is some doubt with Marcus...even better! Creates more tension. I suggest maybe introducing this cop earlier, before the killing, and he's a dick...not friendly to Marcus at all. After the killing he's MORE friendly to Marcus. Which is kind of suspicious. Give your audience credit, they know the guy killed his wife, and they would know he's compensating now, trying to be smooth, trying to pretend he's crushed by her "suicide".

This is a very good OWC entry. I was so caught up in the fact that it's such a rare quality piece of work for a short that overlooked this mistake. It's an easy fix though.

Revision History (1 edits)
JSimon  -  May 26th, 2015, 1:36pm
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rendevous
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The title reminded of a line from that Jeff Bridges film about a country singer. Called Crazy Heart. Had to look up the title. I'm far too honest for this internet business. I should be pretending how clever I am like everyone else. Sadly my heart's not in it.

I was hooked until page three. I realise time had passed, a few weeks in fact. But it still felt a little early for Marcus to say what he does. Maybe it'd work better on screen. And maybe I'm wrong. I hope so.

Have to say I quite admired the dialogue in this one. I was convinced by the black guy and the woman. It's hard to make such conversations seem completely credible. There's usually a line, or more usually a pile of them, that don't work. But this seems polished and plausible.

There's a few things in it I'd change. But then there's always a few things in any script I'd change. If I got hold of Marathon Man before they made it I'd have red ink all over it.

This is a good script. One of the best I've read in this OWC so far, and I've read quite a few. Fits the criteria and felt pretty original. Impressive.

R


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LC
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Quoted from JSimon
This is excellent writing on display. Might be in some ways the best OWC I've ever read, and I've been involved in them since 2011.

Since 2011? And, you have only 17 posts? You're either reincarnated with a new user name or you've been a very slack reviewer with your previous OWCs?

Sorry, I couldn't help myself, your comments intrigued me. And no I didn't write this.

And, I haven't read this yet, but I will because of the ringing endorsement.

Onto the script review:
I think I know who wrote this one...We shall see if I'm right when it's all over and done with.

All I can say is, wow!
Subject matter - realistic - had me wondering which route Sophie was going to take - brilliant that you had her say UP,  and I actually groaned and said NO! run as fast as you can. Terrific dialogue - each character has a unique voice - nice economical description/action lines -

and, I loved David...

SPOILERS:

taking a dive.

I think this last line is superfluous:

Yeah, I’m going to check now.

But that's a real nitpick and makes not difference overall.

Oh, and I love the title btw, fits perfectly. Some entries just take a while for people to get around to reviewing and I love that Don posts them all at once now.

Congrats.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
LC  -  May 25th, 2015, 10:49am
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Dustin
Posted: May 25th, 2015, 9:51am Report to Moderator
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Great script. No going the easy route like I did. This effort has to be admired. Well done.

9 out of 10.


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JSimon
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LC...reincarnated. And no, not Michael Harrop, lol! He's had more lives than the Dalai Lama!
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LC
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Quoted from JSimon
LC...reincarnated. And no, not Michael Harrop, lol! He's had more lives than the Dalai Lama!

Aha!   Wonder if I'll be able to guess...



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AnthonyCawood
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Liked this a lot, strong writing throughout and a believable set of characters as well.

I didn't like the end so much, but purely as I felt sorry for Sophie and didn't want the inevitable to happen ;-(

Great effort

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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This was good writing, but kinda bland for my tastes. Very sterile. Marcus is your run-of-the-mill nice guy who decides to set things right in his own way, except there was never a hint his own way could exist in his arc. So in the end, justice was served and readers are going to get onboard that.

Not for me, sorry.
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DanC
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I actually thought this was the best story I've read so far.  I cared about the girl.  I hated him.  It told a complete story and it kept me involved in it.

I do agree that the dates were annoying.

9/10


Please read my scripts:
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Jeremiah Johnson
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Congrats on getting an entry in.

The writing is good and I liked the story.  It was a little bland but think the writing fit the tone.  You could cut a page or two with a rewrite but overall it's good.  Good luck with this.


My Scripts:
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eldave1
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This is tied for first with one other of the ones I have read so far.

Great style - on the point dialogue - well developed characters.

I did see the ending coming 2/3rds through the story - it was quite predictable in that regard. However, in this case, predictable was good because it ended how it was supposed to.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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Reef Dreamer
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Good entry.

Like with every script some extra time will allow you to fine tune but overall this was a very solid entry.

If I had a niggle, it was the easy way the police didn't investigate as if a death is easy to cover, but I get the point of that.

Not sure dates are required as mentioned.

How about the bellboy resigns and leaves, but comes back for the last time to set it up. Then disappears. Always fancied going to Ohio

Well done, decent work.


My scripts  HERE

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SteveDiablo
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You know you've read something decent when a story makes you smile at the end.
The best I've read so far.
At one point I thought it might have been plodding along, perhaps you could cut Kirby and Sophie's elevator meetings to three times max, but overall this is a solid well thought out script.
4/5
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Dreamscale
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This is well written and even well conceived.

It's almost all dialogue, so it depends on that dialogue being real, natural, and telling the story.  And it is all those, and because of that, it works exactly as it set out to.

I don't think we need the dates on the phone.

There are several little errors throughout, but nothing too major.  Biggest issues I see were not naming Officer Fred right out of the gate, and having your FADE OUT on the very top of Page 8, which doesn't look good.

This is obviously slow and very light on action, but it's powerful because of the little dialogue details you included, making both characters real and likable.

Good job!


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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DS
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Hi, writer. My thoughts below -- all completely subjective:

I liked this one. Spreading the story out for months with occasional glances at the date were a nice touch. I'm wondering whether David was a little overdone as a villain. Not that he shouldn't be the drunk abusive villain, rather that he shouldn't be so sloppy every time we see him. I would have liked to see him calm and collected at some point instead of sloppy, angry and drunk constantly. Would have helped take the character more seriously and really made him more frightening due to it. Both Marcus and Sophie were good characters imo though and the story went by at a nice pace.

Another small suggestion, I think Marcus's speech goes on a little too long at page 4 & 5. Good luck!
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stevemiles
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A clean, flowing read that stuck to the story at hand and made good use of the parameters.  Liked the attention to detail, thought you used the old style elevator to good effect.  An engaging story with convincing characters and a satisfying payoff.  Top three for me.

Nicely played.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


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MarkRenshaw
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I’m so glad I continued reading these scripts. I read about 20 on Monday and each one either didn’t stick to the parameters of the challenge or didn’t work for me. Today I’ve read several that are really good and do stick to the rules.

Guys and gals, THIS is how you write characters. In just a few pages you made me care about Sophie and Marcus, you made me believe their plight and I identified with them as real human beings. Great writing, great descriptions, superb dialogue!

Quite honestly you had me totally and I would have loved this 100% if you’d finished on page 8. So much feels man!! Then you went for the obvious and killed her off, plus you paint David as this one-dimensional monster, which grates loudly against the very believable characters that came before it.

My love dropped to 88.9%.

But then David got his comeuppance so my love went up to 98%. It would have gone back to 100 if you’d managed to get the ‘feels like falling’ line in somehow, either just before he pushes him or as he’s falling.

Love this. It fits the parameters of the challenge perfectly without cheating. I do like the use of the Phone, just think it’s overused. After we’ve seen it twice I think the audience can get that it presents a passage of time.

This is in my top 3 for sure.

-Mark


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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khamanna
Posted: May 28th, 2015, 10:22am Report to Moderator
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Hi,

I was going to stop the reads but then decided to go for one more.

I'm glad I did. You packed a lot into your story and it covers a month of real life time and did it very well. I'm glad it's an elevator man's story not Sophie's.
It's a very very good story and I don't have any reservations against it.
I could deffinitely see it filmed.

I'm 90% sure I know who it belongs to. I think this one will be getting awards as well.  
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nawazm11
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Not sure if I'm a fan of this. There's potential in the writing, but it feels like you're still grasping at a lot of concepts but in saying that, some of them do work.

A lot of people prefer the whole 'there's a bad guy, needs to be defeated, and is then defeated' narrative, and there's nothing wrong with that. But you need to escalate it something a little more original. David is evil for the sake of evil, Sophie is a damsel in distress and really, portrayed as a stereotypical abuse victim, Marcus has nice guy syndrome until he suddenly doesn't. He has a few little original quirks, but he takes a back seat role in the story until the last few pages. What you need to do is really build the story so any time where it doesn't feel fresh or the audience knows where's it's going, you switch up the dynamic. Granted, there were a few instances of that but it's just really lacking anything new or engaging enough to really recommend it. Seems like I'm in the minority here though.
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Stumpzian
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I once worked with a teacher who had to leave her abusive husband who was a cop. Even after the divorce, he was able to track her movements and harass her because of his position.

That's only part of the reason this script resonated with me. The situation (even without the cop element)  is such a common problem, and I'm glad the writer tackled the subject. He or she did it well and believably.

I'm with those who like the title. I had the same thoughts as others about the way Officer Fred acted toward Marcus. I suppose, though, it was a convenient way to show the fix was in for David.

This writer clearly has been around the block in terms of script-writing and will repair or redo some of the things that have been mentioned.

Thumbs up.



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wonkavite
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 6:47pm Report to Moderator
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Wow.  Nice work.  

Not reallly sure what else to say. But professionally written, subtle.  Works on all levels.  One of my top three, no doubt.  )
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oJOHNNYoNUTSo
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Quoted from nawazm11
Not sure if I'm a fan of this. There's potential in the writing, but it feels like you're still grasping at a lot of concepts but in saying that, some of them do work.

A lot of people prefer the whole 'there's a bad guy, needs to be defeated, and is then defeated' narrative, and there's nothing wrong with that. But you need to escalate it something a little more original. David is evil for the sake of evil, Sophie is a damsel in distress and really, portrayed as a stereotypical abuse victim, Marcus has nice guy syndrome until he suddenly doesn't. He has a few little original quirks, but he takes a back seat role in the story until the last few pages. What you need to do is really build the story so any time where it doesn't feel fresh or the audience knows where's it's going, you switch up the dynamic. Granted, there were a few instances of that but it's just really lacking anything new or engaging enough to really recommend it. Seems like I'm in the minority here though.


My thoughts on this were less constructive and more slack rock, but this is a insightful review Mo, and I agree with it.
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JSimon
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I agree with Mo's points. I think those are easy tweaks, though, and the structure is there. Marcus should have to overcome some internal obstacle when he pushes David to his death. David should be playing it sweet after he kills his wife. Sophie is ok the way she is because she should be a prop in the story. Marcus is the protagonist, he is the one that should have to grow to do what he needs to do to get justice for her. It's a good touch that Sophie doesn't decide to leave until she's pregnant. That gives her the courage and it shows she's thinking of someone else.

Don't know the writer, but I picked this one to win. It's not perfect, but none of them are perfect, and not sure I've ever read a perfect OWC entry(yes, read my share in another life).
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah...right...don't forget that all important character arc, huh?  Please...let's not worry about the screenwriting 101 BS.

What works, works, and this works.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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JSimon
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Screenwriting 101 deals only with asides and the proper construction of Fades.

Things work and don't work for reasons. Reasons that have nothing to do with rules. Rules they teach in 101.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 9:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JSimon
Screenwriting 101 deals only with asides and the proper construction of Fades.

Things work and don't work for reasons. Reasons that have nothing to do with rules. Rules they teach in 101.


Sounds like "your rules" include the all important character arc, huh?  Of course it does, bro...right?

What good is a great character without that character arc?

Hilarious...



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Max
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Maybe you guys should settle this inside the Elimination Chamber on Sunday.


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Dreamscale
Posted: May 30th, 2015, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Max
Maybe you guys should settle this inside the Elimination Chamber on Sunday.


As long as both our characters have an incredibly cheesy and obvious character arc, I'm game.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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JSimon
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A character does not need an arc.

But a narrative requires obstacles. The more strong those obstacles are the more tension it creates and the more satisfaction it achieves when the character(s) succeeds.

The obstacles can be internal or external or both. Again, the more powerful the opposing force is the better.

This story succeeds in getting us to really want Marcus to get justice for Sophie. And we know the system won't work, the cops have rigged it. So we know Marcus must do it himself.

The question is what obstacles are in the way.

An external obstacle exists in that David is a cop. But this obstacle is also limited by the fact that David has no idea Marcus had been advising Sophie to leave him, no idea Marcus knew she was about to leave. So David is not really consciously opposing Marcus. Which means it will be relatively easy for Marcus to take matters into his own hands...he has surprise on his side.

However, it becomes much harder of there is some internal obstacle in Marcus. Maybe he is a stickler for the law. Maybe he's a former cop. Maybe he's one of those guys that observes and never gets involved, which is consistent with his profession.

The more we in the audience feel this internal obstacle weighing on him the more tension it creates, the more we root for him to overcome it, and the more satisfaction we have when he finally does and pushes David down the shaft to his death.

If you want to call that an arc, that's fine. But an arc is not a rule...it's a tool. Just like the screenplay grammar rules you like...they are tools, not rules. An arc can be a useful tool to create internal obstacles. Worth having all the tools in your storymaking toolbox you can get.
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 31st, 2015, 4:39pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JSimon
But a narrative requires obstacles.


OK, just want to make sure this isn't a rule that every single script must follow.

Oh wait...based on how you worded this, it does sound like a rule.

The thing is, the "obstacle(s)" can be organic, and in reality, it's actually hard not to have some type of obstacle.

My point?  You don't need to shoehorn some redonkulous "thing" in, trying to make sure you indeed have your obstacle.



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

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JSimon
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There is only one rule: hold people's attention.

Whatever it takes.

Whatever writing style you want.

Creating obstacles helps create tension and interest. It helps hold an audience or reader's attention.

If there are ways to do it without obstacles, fine. Pretty tough to find examples of that.

But we're here to explore how to make stories better, right? We're not just on the hunt for asides and other script monsters? So my suggestion...on a story which I said was the best OWC I'd read...was that maybe an internal obstacle would help. Imagine if after Sophie is killed, and the cops clear their fellow cop, imagine if we wonder if Marcus will overcome his[fill in the blank].

That potentially adds to the tension and the interest, and creates a potentially more satisfying conclusion. Think of Jaws...Chief Brody is afraid of the water.

EDIT: I think the Sherlock Holmes with R Downey Jr is an excellent film. And not only does Sherlock not have an arc...we don't want him to have one! And that's the strength of the film. When the story begins, Watson has recently become engaged and has moved out of the bachelor pad he shared with Holmes. Holmes is like a jilted lover. Watson wants to grow up, Holmes wants to keep living the bachelor lifestyle: fighting, gambling, womanizing, and solving cases. And WE don't want Watson to grow up and change! We don't want Holmes to grow up! Because we want to see them together again as a team. So the obstacle here is...wait for it...the character arc! We want these characters to resist the arc which will lead them to grow up.

It's this need to resist come opposing force that matters. Usually that involves a need to change, but it can involve the need to RESIST change.

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JSimon  -  May 31st, 2015, 7:24pm
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eldave1
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Quoted from JSimon
There is only one rule: hold people's attention.

Whatever it takes.

Whatever writing style you want.

Creating obstacles helps create tension and interest. It helps hold an audience or reader's attention.

If there are ways to do it without obstacles, fine. Pretty tough to find examples of that.

But we're here to explore how to make stories better, right? We're not just on the hunt for asides and other script monsters? So my suggestion...on a story which I said was the best OWC I'd read...was that maybe an internal obstacle would help. Imagine if after Sophie is killed, and the cops clear their fellow cop, imagine if we wonder if Marcus will overcome his[fill in the blank].

That potentially adds to the tension and the interest, and creates a potentially more satisfying conclusion. Think of Jaws...Chief Brody is afraid of the water.

EDIT: I think the Sherlock Holmes with R Downey Jr is an excellent film. And not only does Sherlock not have an arc...we don't want him to have one! And that's the strength of the film. When the story begins, Watson has recently become engaged and has moved out of the bachelor pad he shared with Holmes. Holmes is like a jilted lover. Watson wants to grow up, Holmes wants to keep living the bachelor lifestyle: fighting, gambling, womanizing, and solving cases. And WE don't want Watson to grow up and change! We don't want Holmes to grow up! Because we want to see them together again as a team. So the obstacle here is...wait for it...the character arc! We want these characters to resist the arc which will lead them to grow up.

It's this need to resist come opposing force that matters. Usually that involves a need to change, but it can involve the need to RESIST change.


Funny you should mention JAWS - just watched (for the zillionth time) with my wife and I loved the fear of water obstacle.

While I felt that this script (Feel Like Falling) was excellent (got a recommend from me) I do agree with you in that the inclusion of an obstacle would further enhance the story. I remember at the time I read it thinking - hmmm - what if Marcus was blind? A man that absent his eyesight would have taken care of things much earlier - ultimately using the only thing that he knows without seeing (i.e., the elevator) to accomplish his mission. I know it's a short so there may not be enough space - but I would have also like to have seen an earlier confrontation between Marcus and David (e.g., something akin to mind you own business blind man). Anyway  - again, a fab script. Just thought I would throw my two cents in on the obstacle since your comments triggered thoughts I had earlier.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Iancou
Posted: May 31st, 2015, 9:15pm Report to Moderator
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Not much to say other than I enjoyed it. The end was predictable, but in a satisfying way. I was hoping Marcus would avenge Sophie's murder. THAT is a sign of getting the audience emotionally involved in the story. I daresay this is among my top three choices. Good work.


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JSimon
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Blind, yes, great idea!
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PrussianMosby
Posted: June 5th, 2015, 7:55pm Report to Moderator
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Feels Like Falling

P6  He called her Sophie before. I think they should be consistent in this case.

"SOPHIE
I’m not on Facebook.

MARCUS
You should start.
She thinks about it.

SOPHIE
Okay, I will."

There's a lot of dialogue like that. We really understand they like each other, and it's all good. I suggest you to go forward with your story. Sure, it's an OWC – just saying for the future, try to find the context (for what it's there) of every dialogue line and at least cut some of it or there's too much soap opera going on without anything moving.

It's a neat story to read. You got some fine skills. Don't know if the audience wants to keep attention on the DATE and TIME references. Maybe there's a different possibility. Don't get my critique from above wrong, things can really go slow; still I always step in to even cut down a slow story if it's overwritten like that. Good entry. Nice mood.



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EWall433
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Hello all. First, thank you to everyone who read and reviewed. I'm glad to see it went over well for the most part. Truth is I wasn't sure how well it would go over. I came up with the story in a rage and wasn't sure how much would actually translate. If you would like to experience said rage yourself, watch Frontline’s A Death in St. Augustine. In can be streamed on Netflix, found here…

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365128108/

or read here…

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/two-gunshots/

It's the story of Michelle O'Connell (my pseudonym) and basically, I had just watched this when the challenge theme came down. I couldn't get it out of my mind so I relented and simply retold the story in an elevator. A lot of changes were made to streamline, and to provide closure, but the gist of it is there. Some of the critiques of David and the cover up actually boil down to details I carried over. Those details include, but are not limited to...


- The girlfriend's "suicide" by being shot in the mouth with the boyfriend's service pistol.

- A shot being fired in the floor because that's exactly what you do before you kill yourself, you fire a warning shot.

- The boyfriend being drunk and belligerent when the cops arrived. In real life he growled at his fellow officers and hit a squad car so hard it dented the hood. Another fellow officer said he had general temper issues and described them as, “he’d drink and just get pissed.”

- The investigating officers’ flat refusal to take statements from the family that involved stories of domestic abuse, her plan to break up with him that night and her stated fear of what would happen.

- An eyewitness who saw the boyfriend (drunk again) at a bar the next day and overheard him say, "I won't let that bitch ruin me. She got what she deserved."

- And finally a ruling of suicide and the boyfriend's reinstatement as an officer, a position he enjoys to this day.


If this sounds incredible, well it's just what I could fit in. And if it sounds like a miscarriage of justice that's almost too ridiculous to believe, well that was the motivation for writing.

David is one note, I agree. But fuck him. I have no desire to humanize him. He works better as a walking manifestation of injustice than he would as a real human being.

I take some exception to the idea that Sophie is a damsel in distress. I guess in the sense that she’s a young woman in a bad situation, but in the sense that she requires Marcus to extricate her from her situation, I wrote specifically against that. Marcus, for all his efforts, is mostly a bystander in her life. He makes a nice speech and she rejects it. Fear of course is a factor, but her stated reason references her job and a feeling of responsibility to the children in her care. Her mind is not changed by anything Marcus says or does. Her mind is changed by her own pregnancy, and even then she chooses, for various reasons, to stay until the last day of school is over. That she is portrayed in an emotionally vulnerable state, or that things don’t work out for her, should not diminish her agency.

Actually, I considered Marcus’ powerlessness to be a big motivating factor in the final scene. He pushes David down an elevator because that’s all he can do. Like any other day of his life he’s only got two options. Up or Down. Do nothing or Murder. I did toy with the idea of giving Marcus an arc, but I struggled and ultimately rejected it because I didn’t see being pushed to murder as something I would define as character growth. The murder at the end felt needed in terms of wrapping up the story, but I wanted it to be closure without catharsis. A death to balance a death can’t equal a life, and I never wanted the story’s actual end to feel better than when we thought Sophie might make it.

This was my biggest misstep, as gleaned from both positive and negative feedback. The end wasn’t meant to feel so damn good. I suppose my feelings about David got the better of me. I also struggled with the final beat. Having Marcus walk into the stairwell while seeding his alibi never felt like the best note to play.

I’m actually thinking of tweaking the final scene to have a bystander come into the hall while David and Marcus are at the elevator. This would force Marcus to decide whether to abandon his plan or do it anyway knowing he can’t cover it up. Of course he would do it anyway and I’d get a more mixed ending. Justice is served… for everyone.

And as a side note, I was intrigued by Dave’s idea to make Marcus blind, it could even work thematically (justice is blind), but I think there are too many changes I’d have to make. First, I’d need to rethink how Marcus becomes aware of the abuse (he’d have to hear it rather than see a bruise), but mostly I’m held up wondering how a blind man would get the job of manual elevator operator. It requires a fair amount of precision to match the lift floor to the main floor. I’m sure a blind person could do it eventually, but who would give him the time to practice?

Anyway thanks again to all who commented. It was nice to see a debate spring up and keep, more or less, to the issues and their relevance to the script. Especially since that debate appears to have devolved on other threads.

Oh and I almost forgot the DATE/TIME issue. I may cut that back some, but likely not all. At the time I really wanted to have a familiar rhythm to each sequence (LOBBY - ELEVATOR - 9th FLOOR - repeat…). I feared it would be confusing and feel structurally ‘loose’ otherwise. The phone was part of that.

Cheers all!
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JSimon
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 1:51pm Report to Moderator
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He might suffer macular degeneration where his blindness came on later in life and he learned to adapt in his work.

There might be other ways to show time progression now that you are freed from OWC constraints.
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EWall433
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I'll keep the blind thing in my back pocket. If I can think of a way to integrate it so that it feels seamless I'll give it a go.

Funny thing with the phone is it originated as a way to give the "Cop Reinstated Headline" and I just used it for time passage too. I remember I was about to write in a newspaper but thought a fake internet article has got to be cheaper to make than a fake newspaper.

Thinking now I wonder if even SUPERIMPOSING the dates wouldn't feel less intrusive than constantly inserting a shot of the phone. I think what's tripping me up is that most of the sequences are separated by a month, but a couple are separated by just hours. I don't want to trick people into thinking we've skipped a month when it's really two hours later.

Maybe I could have him painting something... cause he's blind-

Dang it!
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: June 8th, 2015, 4:37pm Report to Moderator
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blind - hadn't spotted that.

that could be a challenge to write but i could picture some cool images

For example, a scene where the wife and husband are talking to another person. Like a typically abused person, she puts on a happy expression trying to persuade the world, but the blind man hears the meaning in the words etc

Tough task to pull off.


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... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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DanC
Posted: June 9th, 2015, 12:03am Report to Moderator
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I wanted to take the time and say what a great little story you crafted.  I think I had this in my top 3.  I really enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks for creating this.  

Dan


Please read my scripts:
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-series/m-1427564706/

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!

Thanks
Dan
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Max
Posted: June 9th, 2015, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
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What I liked most about this, on seconds thoughts, is the phone being used as a device to show the passing of time.

I liked that, it was really well handled without creating too much confusion, you eliminated the use of supers there as well.


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EWall433
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Thanks Dan and Max.

It's funny that you mention liking the phone bit, as I just spent all day at work thinking about how I could do it without the phone or superimposing. I actually came up with something that not only feels natural, but adds a subplot and extra dimension to Marcus' character (dare I say an arc?). It'll be an interesting rewrite.

The blind thing doesn't seem to be working though. It was actually easier to write a girl who can't talk than it's been to write a guy who can't see. I'm still interested in the challenge, but I think I need a story that's more tailored to that quality and to start a character from scratch with the blindness in mind.
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Max
Posted: June 9th, 2015, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
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Either way, I think you've inspired me to try a little harder on the next OWC.

This was heavyweight material right here, and that mug is well deserved.


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