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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    May, 2020 Challenge  ›  Short Fuse - May OWC Moderators: Administrator
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  Author    Short Fuse - May OWC  (currently 539 views)
Don
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 10:40am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Short Fuse by L. Chambers (LC) writing as Pandemically Motivated - Short, Dramedy - A young man believing himself to be on the brink of greatness has his dreams crushed when Covid-19 strikes. 6 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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-------------
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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  June 26th, 2020, 8:21am
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Grandma Bear
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 3:38pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this one. Liked the writing. Loved the characters and the story was great too. I have nothing to add. It works as is.  


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_ghostwriters
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 3:41pm Report to Moderator
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A couple of thoughts, for whatever they're worth:

Overall, I think this is pretty strong. Good dialogue.. I was able to follow this without any problems.  If it's dramedy - sometimes I'm not even sure what dramedy means but it often seems to be a confusion between black humor and satire or an action comedy with not enough action and not enough comedy.   Some of the funnier moments were with Judy.

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spesh2k
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This was really good. I enjoyed the characters and especially enjoyed Toby's unique arch. When you flash to certain clues of what Toby's aspirations were, it was genuinely surprising. And I did become worried... even at the end, I was like "uh-oh"... but then I was hit with another, more satisfying surprise. Very nice work.

-- Michael


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eldave1
Posted: May 16th, 2020, 7:08pm Report to Moderator
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Nice work.

For me, the therapist needs to be throttled down just a notch. There were times where she came off cartoonish - you don't need that and I think it is a hiccup to the genuine thread of your story.

I'd also lose the cigarette - that ain't happening in 2020 (indoor office smoking)


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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MarkRenshaw
Posted: May 17th, 2020, 5:25am Report to Moderator
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Fantastic - A great message to the world about change told in a simple, yet effective manner.

Well done! I'd like to see this one made and sent out to the world.


For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
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ajr
Posted: May 17th, 2020, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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I thought the psychotherapist was over-the-top but other than that I liked the idea, the messaging, the tension, and I laughed when Toby fell over trying to do yoga. Nice job!

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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khamanna
Posted: May 17th, 2020, 1:17pm Report to Moderator
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haha, nice. It was very entertaining.
I don't know if he's planning to invent a vaccine now but that was very very good.
I laughed actually.
It should go under a comedy I think.
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Arundel
Posted: May 17th, 2020, 1:53pm Report to Moderator
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Thought it had more of a serious tone, aside from the psychiatrist. It had me generally worried at the end. The buildup was good and I suppose some of the conversation implying his terrorist leanings were done in a humorous way. Title fit.
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Fais85
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 4:03am Report to Moderator
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I liked this one a lot. The dialogues were nice. Loved Toby's character arc. The ending was very satisfying.  

Pretty well-written.
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Yuvraj
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 5:35am Report to Moderator
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Just a few suggestions,

On the title page, no need to write the copyright statement. It leaves an impression on the reader that the writer is possessive and sorta boasting in a sense. Especially, writing for a contest/challenge, it is good practice.

And even if you were to write it, you should write it at the extreme bottom of the title page.


Quoted Text
SERIES OF SHOTS:

- In the KITCHEN, Toby takes batches of banana muffins from the oven. Breathes in their fresh-baked scent.

- In the LOUNGE ROOM, a Youtubeepisode of Yoga with Adrieneplays on a big-screen TV - Toby tries awkwardly to adopt a downward-dog pose, falls over.

- IN THE BEDROOM, Toby, pen poised over a notepad.A blank page below the heading reads: GRATEFULNESS JOURNAL.


Instead of 'series of shots', write 'quick montage' or simply 'montage'.

Quoted Text

JUDY
But that’d be BS. Lemme guess... You was always a high achiever. Before all this you was at the top of your game. You were going to set the world on fire, am I right?


I think it should be you were always a high achiever.

Overall a nice story.

Good luck.


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Gary Howell
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 7:49am Report to Moderator
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Okay, damn you for making me like a story about an ISIS devotee! This is really a nicely done tale of a potential terrorist with no one to terrorize, and how he copes with the situation.  A lot of  humor to be mined (ha!) from that and you did a good job with it.

I'm was on the fence about the therapist.  I think she was almost too over the top for the tone you were originally going for in the story, but I think it worked out okay.  And the ending was especially a great turn, although mortar rounds as fireworks? Not sure that they would explode in the air since that's not their purpose, but that's just nitpicking.  Overall, great job.  Best of luck.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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PKCardinal
Posted: May 18th, 2020, 1:34pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this was excellent.

The therapist character was definitely riding the edge. But, you're writing a dramedy, so you needed the comedy to come from somewhere. And, I'm not sure this works if the therapist is played straight. So, in the end, I think that was probably a good call.

Well done.


PaulKWrites.com

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Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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JEStaats
Posted: May 19th, 2020, 11:20am Report to Moderator
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Thank you for not going down the path I thought you were going to take. Loved this - great job. Loved the L.I. accent and making this feel real. Jersey-born, here.

Nothing much else to say. Nicely done and thanks for entering!

EDIT: So I just went back and read the reviews of others and was surprised to see that peeps thought the therapist was a little over the top. Come on, people, she's an online/internet psychoanalyst doing skype therapy from Long Island! Spot on. Don't change a thing. And this is not my entry, either.
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Rob
Posted: May 19th, 2020, 10:57pm Report to Moderator
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I'm a big fan of Judy. "Snaffle" and "piffle" are excellent words to add to my vocabulary. A nice contrast between characters in this one.
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Spqr
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Good characters and dialogue. The story is fun and the ending fitting. Even the name "Toby" fits the neutered would-be terrorist. You get the feeling Judy's great spiel is the same one she gives to everyone. You'd have a hard time getting anyone to buy into this feel-good fantasy, but it was well done, nonetheless.

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Dreamscale
Posted: May 20th, 2020, 10:30am Report to Moderator
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I am not a fan of the opening Slug.  So dull and generic.

"A fifth-floor walk up on the West Side of NYC." - Thank you for telling us this, as no one would know it, considering we're inside this apartment.

Need a comma between "quick" and guide".

So, when Judy appears onscreen, which you do state, you really should have "ON SCREEN" or the like, but I guess I'm being overly picky.

"Heavy make-up, bouffant hair, matching red lips and nails and dripping in gold bling she hurriedly extinguishes a cigarette, waving away a haze of smoke." - Get rid of "she' and replace it with a comma.

Cap all nicknames used in dialogue - "darling" - You're using it as a name, so Cap it - "Darling".

The end.  I can't help but like what you've done here.  Personally, it's hard for me to say that, as I don't find humor in ISIS, but somehow, you've managed to not only make this funny, but in the end, touching even, which is very rare.

On screen, I don't know how well this would play out...or be received, as it's mostly talking heads, but on paper, it's well conceived and delivered.

I give you credit, as this will be remembered.  Good job.

****


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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The Moviegoer
Posted: May 20th, 2020, 12:20pm Report to Moderator
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This is very black humour. Reminds me of ‘Four Lions’ a bit. It definitely demands suspension of disbelief that this guy’s worldview would be changed by this quack psychotherapist but some of the moments, e.g. the gratefulness journal, bring a wry smile. The psychotherapist’s patois was amusing but maybe a little overcooked. The story was strangely optimistic which brought an interesting light touch to such a dark theme. Well-written and definitely a memorable story.  


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: May 21st, 2020, 7:11am Report to Moderator
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An ISIS bomber in an existential crisis due to empty roads - cool idea.

The slapstick nature of this allows the ending, otherwise it’s too much to buy. But we can.

The psychotherapist is both over the top, and seriously unlikely, but actually key to this working. At first I though she was too much and step too far, but then again the whole thing is really, so we suspend our disbelief.

And in his change he finds a new belief.

Good effort.


My scripts  HERE

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eldave1
Posted: May 21st, 2020, 3:43pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JEStaats
Thank you for not going down the path I thought you were going to take. Loved this - great job. Loved the L.I. accent and making this feel real. Jersey-born, here.

Nothing much else to say. Nicely done and thanks for entering!

EDIT: So I just went back and read the reviews of others and was surprised to see that peeps thought the therapist was a little over the top. Come on, people, she's an online/internet psychoanalyst doing skype therapy from Long Island! Spot on. Don't change a thing. And this is not my entry, either.


I re-read = and you swayed me to your side on the over the top thing. I would perhaps go for a just a little bit more modernization - parts of her dialogue and behavior had the vibe of a 1950s  diner waitress rather than someone who was 20 years old in 1980.  Just a couple of places here and there - but, I still your main point is correct. My mind has been changed


My Scripts can all be seen here:

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LC
Posted: May 24th, 2020, 11:11pm Report to Moderator
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Just wanna say thanks to you all and add a few comments, now that I can.

The idea for this came about cause I was recalling in the early days of lockdown how everything looked like a ghost town. Eerie and surreal. I got to thinking about a character with a nefarious plan and what it would be like if nobody actually turned up.

Pia, thanks for kicking things off. So pleased you liked it.

Ghostie, I hear you re the genre of dramedy.  The thing in my mind was balancing serious subject matter with comedy. If I called it a comedy it probably wouldn't meet expectations.

Dave, AJR, and the rest of you who were on the fence regarding Judy being a bit over the top... Yep, she intentionally is. I knew I was walking a fine line here in pulling it off but I needed Judy to act as the comedic, somewhat oblivious foil to Toby, or else it would be too grim.

Thank you, JE! I was so close to commenting on my own entry but knew I'd blow my cover. You said exactly what I was going for. I envisaged Judy as quintessentially Long Island. She works from home, hence the ciggy and sly drink. I'm very happy that Judy read authentically to you. Estelle from Friends (Joey's Agent) was the inspiration for Judy.

Mark, wow. What a comment.

Yuvraj, thanks for weighing in. The Series of Shots is a stylistic choice. They're quick shots. I tend to save Montage for longer scenes like RomComs overlaid with music.

Regarding your comment on fixing Judy's grammar in dialogue -  it's written that way intentionally. If all of our characters spoke with perfect grammar we'd have no distinctive characters imho.

Jeff,Cap all nicknames used in dialogue - "darling" - You're using it as a name, so Cap it - "Darling".
... For a moment there I actually thought you were calling me darling.  
I gave this proper consideration and you got me thinking cause I like to get this stuff right. Turns out terms of endearment fall under a different category to nicknames:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/are-nicknames-capitalized

Anyway, I won't thank everyone individually, it's not a bloody Oscar speech. I'm just happy most of you enjoyed this and appreciated the humour, and the ending.

Soon to be the proud owner of a mug, and thrilled.


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eldave1
Posted: May 25th, 2020, 10:46am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Just wanna say thanks to you all and add a few comments, now that I can.

The idea for this came about cause I was recalling in the early days of lockdown how everything looked like a ghost town. Eerie and surreal. I got to thinking about a character with a nefarious plan and what it would be like if nobody actually turned up.

Pia, thanks for kicking things off. So pleased you liked it.

Ghostie, I hear you re the genre of dramedy.  The thing in my mind was balancing serious subject matter with comedy. If I called it a comedy it probably wouldn't meet expectations.

Dave, AJR, and the rest of you who were on the fence regarding Judy being a bit over the top... Yep, she intentionally is. I knew I was walking a fine line here in pulling it off but I needed Judy to act as the comedic, somewhat oblivious foil to Toby, or else it would be too grim.

Thank you, JE! I was so close to commenting on my own entry but knew I'd blow my cover. You said exactly what I was going for. I envisaged Judy as quintessentially Long Island. She works from home, hence the ciggy and sly drink. I'm very happy that Judy read authentically to you. Estelle from Friends (Joey's Agent) was the inspiration for Judy.

Mark, wow. What a comment.

Yuvraj, thanks for weighing in. The Series of Shots is a stylistic choice. They're quick shots. I tend to save Montage for longer scenes like RomComs overlaid with music.

Regarding your comment on fixing Judy's grammar in dialogue -  it's written that way intentionally. If all of our characters spoke with perfect grammar we'd have no distinctive characters imho.

Jeff,Cap all nicknames used in dialogue - "darling" - You're using it as a name, so Cap it - "Darling".
... For a moment there I actually thought you were calling me darling.  
I gave this proper consideration and you got me thinking cause I like to get this stuff right. Turns out terms of endearment fall under a different category to nicknames:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/are-nicknames-capitalized

Anyway, I won't thank everyone individually, it's not a bloody Oscar speech. I'm just happy most of you enjoyed this and appreciated the humour, and the ending.

Soon to be the proud owner of a mug, and thrilled.


Twas a really good script Libby  - make sure you post a pic of that mug!

PS - I reversed course on your therapist - JE showed me the error of my ways


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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ajr
Posted: May 25th, 2020, 11:06am Report to Moderator
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Hi Libby,

Great idea and great script.

So yeah she is over the top, however I guess it's possible that he came upon some dime store 1-800 quack of a fortune teller posing as a psychotherapist, and at that point she's already ringing up his credit card, so the advice may as well be entertaining.

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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LC
Posted: May 25th, 2020, 6:18pm Report to Moderator
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AJR, yes, a likely route.  

And Dave, yep, I did notice that swing around and was very happy to see your comment.

Mug photo, hmm...
Let's hope the post gets it here sometime this year. Everyone shopping online during Covid has meant here it's been at a slower than snail pace lately.

Thanks for your further comments, guys.
Suffice to say I had a good time this round.


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Dreamscale
Posted: May 26th, 2020, 11:11am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from LC


Jeff,Cap all nicknames used in dialogue - "darling" - You're using it as a name, so Cap it - "Darling".
... For a moment there I actually thought you were calling me darling.  
I gave this proper consideration and you got me thinking cause I like to get this stuff right. Turns out terms of endearment fall under a different category to nicknames:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/are-nicknames-capitalized



I read the article.  I do not agree, but then again, the example it shows, is not like what we're talking about here, using a nickname/term of endearment, as substitution of an actual name, in talking to that person.

The example shows something that I don't think many peeps would say, as the term of endearment is usually intended for that person, who is endeared.

BUT...I did like your script!



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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LC
Posted: May 26th, 2020, 7:32pm Report to Moderator
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Jeff, forget the nickname thing. There's two articles here and they talk about not getting the two confused.

This example is what we're talking about:

Don’t Capitalize Terms of Endearment
...Terms of endearment aren’t capitalized. For example, let’s say you call your husband "honey." You might walk in the door and say “Honey, I’m home,” but you wouldn’t call your sister and say, “When I got home, honey was already making dinner. What a guy!”

A term of endearment isn’t interchangeable with a name (the same way a nickname is), and terms of endearment aren’t capitalized
.

That said,

Chicago’s preferred style has always been to lowercase pet names... but (then they concede) you can’t go wrong unless you’re inconsistent, since the issue is guided by preference rather than rule.

So, they seem to be having it both ways by saying it's also about preference/consistency.

I was going to say we'll have to beg to differ but we can both be correct it seems.  

Very pleased you liked the script btw.


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Dreamscale
Posted: May 26th, 2020, 10:14pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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[quote=LC]

[i]Don’t Capitalize Terms of Endearment
...Terms of endearment aren’t capitalized. For example, let’s say you call your husband "honey." You might walk in the door and say “Honey, I’m home,” but you wouldn’t call your sister and say, “When I got home, honey was already making dinner. What a guy!”

/quote]

But, Libby, look at the example your quoting - it is not what we're talking about, as it is not someone using the petname, nickname, term of endearment, to who they are placing it on, in conversation.

Just saying...



To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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LC
Posted: May 26th, 2020, 10:25pm Report to Moderator
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Huh? Not to beat a dead horse, but...

There's three examples:

Darling, good morning.
Save the snaffle, darling.
I think you have a very bright
future ahead of you, darling

All used by Judy as an endearment.
What am I missing?



Revision History (1 edits)
LC  -  May 26th, 2020, 10:42pm
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Dreamscale
Posted: May 27th, 2020, 9:51am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Quoted from LC
What am I missing?


Not sure, but we are not in agreement.

There is absolutely no reason to Cap a nickname, but not a term of endearment, which is rally just a nickname.

No big deal, though.



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