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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2008 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - The Spirit Men
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  Author    OWC - The Spirit Men  (currently 4375 views)
Posted: October 19th, 2008, 6:09pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Spirit Men, The by Morgan Cooper (MBCgirl) - Short, Young Adult, Horror - Identical twins, living in a small northwestern town are drawn into a story about thirteen indian braves who were slaughtered over 200 years ago. They promised to return and take revenge on those who took their souls. - pdf, format

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 31st, 2008, 11:06am
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 6:54pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Good story here that falls into what I think the YA genre is.

A few mistakes here and there, but cleaner than most.  Fairly tame and even "cute" most of the way, but then gets into the actual "horror" at the very end.  Would have liked some more horror, but in a way I think it works, cause we know what's about to go down, and the scalping is a rather cool way to end things.

Good effort here with good descriptions and a story that actually makes sense.  My favorite so far!

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

British Columbia, Canada
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This had a nicely effective slow build.  The ending - very last scene anyway - sort of contradicts the tone you had established up until that point.  From strictly a marketability standpoint this could make it a tough sell since it's difficult to define what age-range this would be geared towards.  That aside, I think drawing on ancient myths is a good idea and you made good use of the wilderness setting.  I'm sure a cinematographer would have fun with this.  There are a number of scenes, in particular of the indians emerging from the mist in their canoes, that could be quite effective on screen.

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

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mgj  -  October 19th, 2008, 8:47pm
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 8:13pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Some things are better left to the imagination!

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Quoted from mgj
This had a nicely effective slow build.  

I agree with mgj's comment on this one....finally a story that is complete and makes sense.  I liked the ending, but I guess that's up to interpretation...individual taste.  I like that it doesn't give so much away.

There are a few minor mis spells, but over all the writing style was better than most.  I think it's a little like "Goonies" in nature...

Good job over all.


I love words and the fact that when the page is blank...there's nothing there until words are formulated in my brain. Those thoughts...rushing through my viens and out my finger tips, find "life" on the page.  

When people and places come to life...that to me is exciting.

MBCgirl =)
My finger nails should look nice while I type - Red works!
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Posted: October 19th, 2008, 11:44pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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I like the concept and the setting and atmosphere are well drawn. Overall though this feels like the beginning of a longer story. As a result the set up in this is too long for a short of this length.

“A small island, sits inside a larger one, just below Mt. Erie.” – I don’t understand this description. I can’t think what this is supposed to look like.

“are identical twins. Ashton puts out his foot, tripping Ashley as she tries to sit down.” – How can identical twins be a boy and a girl?

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Posted: October 20th, 2008, 12:39am Report to Moderator
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OK, formatting wise, this is fine.  

The constant use of "continuous" isn't really needed.  We know that everything is happening continuously already.

Now I forget what the word is, but you have incomplete sentences, or is it called fragmented (I know there's another word for it, but I forget at the moment)?  For example,

"Kevin and Ashton throw logs on the fire, scramble back into position."

"Ashley turns on her flashlight, shines it into Kevin's face."

To others, this might not be a big deal but I prefer putting the "and" in there just to make it look clean and not distracting.

Dialouge is fine, but it felt off for me at one point on page 9 when Ashton said "we have to devise a plan!"  Do 13 year olds talk like that?  I don't think I knew what devised meant when I was little.  Maybe "we have to come up with a plan... and quick!"

I'm thinking the spooky scene you have here is the Indians on their canoes appearing
through the mist.  I could picture that being filmed and being very creepy.  Maybe have one of the Indians slowly turn their head in the direction of the kids?  That would be a real shit-a-brick scene.

Perfect ending.  Seems a little too gooey with blood, but it's just enough to show us what the rest of the town has to go through since the twins' father was a skeptical moron. lol cops never believe anything in horror related stories until the shit hits the fan.

Good work here....only thing I was clueless about was "rhododendrons."  Sounds like a
prehistoric dinosaur to me.  I'm assuming it's something in the woods.
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Posted: October 20th, 2008, 2:53am Report to Moderator

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More of an historical adventure rather than a horror type of story.
Old Indian stories tend to be just that, old Indian stories. It didn’t capture my imagination. I didn’t even care if Mr Higgins got the chop, in fact the twins should have got the chop, they were just too nice and clean. Maybe if Mr Soli had suffered some racism, or even the twins had at school. Where was the character insights that make them different make them interesting to the age group young adult. Seven or eight year olds might have liked this but anybody older would demand more.  Bit like the Famous Five, lots of brownies, but without the lashings of lemonade. Cheers Walford
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Posted: October 21st, 2008, 12:04am Report to Moderator

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I think you have developed well-drawn, engaging characters and successfully created a particular world.

I wonder if the climax and resolution is completely out of sync with the rest of the story? For most of the story we have a Norman Rockwell view of the world, charming and innocent, then very abruptly, it changes into blood-lust mode. Do you think it might work better if you either:
(a)     introduced some level of violence/horror incrementally, or
(b)     change the ending to finish off on a implied violent act rather than an overt one?

That’s my main observation: the ending seems to belong to a different story.

A few minor points as well:

•  Punctuation needs to be looked at: its/it’s; your/you’re.
•  You might want to break up descriptions that exceed three lines.
•  Ashton calls his dad to tell him about the sighting – wouldn’t Mr Soli say something
   about them not being in school? Or does this call happen after school hours?
•  “Grabbed old Mr Hollister coming out of the store” – we know nothing about what happens to him. Perhaps drop Mr Hollister?
• Spirit Man says to Higgins: “you have a black soul and are full of hate” – is there a way of showing us these traits in Mr Higgins well before this point to set up Higgins. Mumbling about trick ‘o’ treaters isn’t enough to make us sufficiently dislike him badly enough to want him killed.
• I’m not in the US, so please excuse my ignorance: Is it okay to refer to Native Americans as Indians, without upsetting people? In a similar vein, you might want to reconsider Ashton’s stereotypical “whaa.. whaa… whaa” or is this acceptable because of his Native American heritage?

Anyway, take on board only what works for you.

A well written piece!

The journey is the reward.

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
mythos  -  October 21st, 2008, 7:38pm
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 21st, 2008, 10:27pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
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I think you've got a good logline and for the most part, this story fit the challenge well.

Some notes I made: The use of the word "laugh"  or "giggle" came a little too often in the sense that it seemed to happen by default.

The premise is really good, but it needs a little bit more to sustain it and also to twist the cliche into a bit of a new form. Even still, this kind of story never grows old and I think kids will always enjoy this kind of thing. What kid doesn't dream about solving some kind of mystery and running around with walkie talkies? So this is good. There just needs to be some more suspense.

You should have used intercut for the conversation between Ashton and his father.

I liked the dialogue on page 11 where Ashley says she's the CB Queen and that she's eaten too much pizza and then Ashton calls her a goof. This felt real to me. Like two kids really talking.

The end dissapointed me. I think what was throughout- hitting the young adult genre well, finally came crashing down in one of those endings that happen because the writer needs to end it.

Sadly, the genre changed completely at the end: Mr. Higgins, snarky as he may be, gets scalped and that's the end of the ball game.

The kids' role in this now is uncertain. We can ask ourselves: What will they do? Will they be heroes and save the town somehow?

I think that this is a good first draft.


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Posted: October 24th, 2008, 5:29pm Report to Moderator

Writing my story...

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Nice work. I liked it better than many of the others- the ending was confusing to me but effective in any case. I look forward to seeing more from you.

Very good effort!

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The boy who could fly
Posted: October 24th, 2008, 6:49pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

British Columbia, Canada
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I thought this one was pretty k0ol.  The beginning reminded me of the fog when that old guy tells the story to the boy scouts around the campfire, also the Indians coming back for 13, kinda like the pirates who come back for 7.   I think this fit the theme and genre perfectly so high marks for that.  I liked the build up and I thought the ending was pretty cool as well, I like how it just ends.  Anyway this is a good entry for this challenge, it worked very well.

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Posted: October 27th, 2008, 1:48pm Report to Moderator

Memphis, TN
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The ending of this seems to happen just as the action really jumps up and takes off.  I was expecting more.  However, I really like this script.  You've got a good set of characters and an interesting idea.  The scalping was really cool.  Some of the Indian's dialoge doesn't sounded awkward for someone who died in the 1800s.  Espcially the "No, it's time for you to pay".  That phrase just didn't sound right to me coming out of an 1800s Indian man.    


"Life is short, Art is long"
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slap shot
Posted: October 27th, 2008, 4:36pm Report to Moderator

what's the most resilient parasite?

los angeles
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i liked the "out of the box" approach to the assignment...the use of "incomplete" sentences is, not only accepted, but expected in spec-script long as they move the story forward...the story seemed to be weighted more towards the front end which took away from the conclusion, but was still a good two biggest gripes would be the large blocks of action that might be better told through dialogue and the over-use of !!!!!!!!!!!!!...let the dialogue flow and the reader will know when you scene is at a fever pitch...thanks for a good read...keep going (!)


Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
slap shot  -  October 27th, 2008, 4:51pm
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Posted: October 29th, 2008, 4:27am Report to Moderator

Continuity Is For Pussies...

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I liked this script. I would have liked to see more of a build up, more of a 'race' to try and save Mr whatshis name. Also, the end would have been cool to see other Indians attacking people.

Really great descriptive info, and it flows well.

The dialogue doesn't seem as natural as it could be. Some of the lines are a bit forced I think. I would chuck more words like, "man" or "cool" or "sweet".

Up to the last scene it sounds like a book by Enid Blyton. Well her style of dialogue and storytelling. Like the Famous Five, or the Secret Seven.

Overall it was a very good script, better than lots of the ones for this months challenge. It also followed the guidelines, which is always a plus

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Posted: October 29th, 2008, 10:42am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

My UZI Weighs A Ton

Northern Hemisphere
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The opening scene - the tale by the campfire - reminded me a lot the opening scene from The Fog (Carpenter's version), also the Indians coming out of the fog in their canoes. Other than that I thought the script worked pretty well, sorta like a cross between The Fog and The Goonies. I didn't understand why there needed to be such a big time lapse between when the kids first see the Indians and til they get home. I read it as the went up there in the morning and in the next scene in Solis kitchen it's evening.

Unfortunately the story is over pretty much before it begins - like it's part of something bigger. Too bad, it was pretty good while it lasted.


Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
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