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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2019 One Week Challenge  ›  Diversion Down Elder Tree Lane - OWC Moderators: Zack
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  Author    Diversion Down Elder Tree Lane - OWC  (currently 493 views)
ReneC
Posted: April 23rd, 2019, 1:40pm Report to Moderator
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The phonetic dialogue got in the way for me, probably because it's a bad approximation of the dialect. It also takes longer to read, which slows the pace at some crucial moments. The rhyming was so cliché, I don't know why people feel the need to make every witch sound like Shakespeare but with terrible rhymes.

I like the idea, for the most part. I didn't really buy the creature's change of heart though. It's a call back to a scene where she demonstrated no concern about Helen. Quite the opposite, actually. So why is she suddenly affected by it? Creature Helen doesn't seem all that bothered about being a tree, so what's the big deal?

The characters were hard to keep straight. Develop them a bit more, make them more unique. The descriptions are pretty good, but you do need to be careful when you describe something like a window being smashed in a vehicle with windows on all sides. It wasn't until a line or two later it becomes clear Creature Janet smashed the front window to get to...the kid. Alfie.

Neat story, I like that it's based on something. Good tone throughout. Nicely done.


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: April 24th, 2019, 5:25am Report to Moderator
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Hello Writer

I haven't been reading the log lines until after I have read the script - I'm glad because it would have clued me into the witch becoming the tree. It surprised me a little, which is good.

I like elder - I forage elderflower and elderberry to make soft drinks and wine - anyway, the ones I come across are more like bushes than trees, maybe I just haven't come across one old enough. I know they are steeped in folklore though, something about having to ask the elder spirit before you cut off branches and burning elder summons the devil? I can't really remember - but I do like good old folklore.

The vehicle is fairly safe, but prominent - and comes into the struggle when they have to bust through the center bit.

The rhyming dialogue is terrible - I guess if the voice is scary enough, coupled with the laugh it could be scary - but personally, I would drop it

The Scottish dialogue reminded me of my other half - shes a southerner, and if she listens to anyone from Birmingham up, I have to translate.

This fell flat at the end - the tree burns up, which was good - but then they go to the cemetery and the whole thing felt a little forced. I'm trying to think about what I would do, no idea. Would I call the police and tell them I was attacked by a tree? I doubt it - You could keep the ending location - cemetery - but change up the reaction action there.

Well done for entering the challenge

Matt


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Dustin
Posted: April 24th, 2019, 9:45am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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DIVERSION DOWN ELDER TREE LANE

The title brought me into this story expecting a lot. However, the story didn't do it for me. I've read many of Irvine Welsh's novels, including Trainspotting and Filth, both of which were written mostly in Scottish slang. When done well, any English-speaking person should be able to understand it. Yours falls short of this. The writing is OK, but often reads like a boring shopping list. Rather than telling a story like a list of events, inject some passion into it. Give the writing some sparkle.


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Spqr
Posted: April 26th, 2019, 11:39am Report to Moderator
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Good story. However, Janet's pleading for her life rings hollow. She's a powerful witch. She should regard the men with complete contempt and not to stoop to feign innocence.

When we first meet them, I got the impression that Jeff and Alfie were almost strangers to each other. If Alfie spends little time with his father, then this attitude is understandable; if Jeff has full-time custody of Alfie, then why is he still trying so hard to connect with him? He should be used to Alfie's aloofness.

The battle with the elder tree was well done. Once the tree is burning, maybe Jeff should mention the missing Billy, and that he plans to tell the police about it first thing they get back to civilization.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: May 1st, 2019, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
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What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

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The title is good. The logline is good. Check and check.

The teaser at the beginning is good. Things are going well here. Triple check.  

This is well done overall, but I do have some concerns.

>Smart identical clothes.

Gave me nothing visual. I was straining to imagine.

Although I figured Alfie called his dad Jeff because of a strained relationship, I felt this was going the cheap Hollywood route and I hate it when they make kids act that way to serve a purpose.

The early dialogue pg 3 is too cryptic: I thought his mother chose this place/hotel/area as a father/son vacation.

Billy's accent slowed down the read for me as did the comment: Was that English?

I felt that Jeff's dialogue could use a jolt of something real. A memory. An emotion. As it is it felt empty.

On pg 9 Jeff's dialogue can be cut when he's telling Alfie what to do.

I think this hits all the points of the challenge.

Good job!




A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: May 5th, 2019, 3:59am Report to Moderator
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Hey all

Wow, I did not expect this many people to get hung up on the Scottish dialogue lol It's a small part of the script and the dialogue is not important, I threw it in to try and add a little bit of humour before the horror started - I think It does its job in telling any producer "Hey, hire an actor with a strong Scottish accent that these English guys can't understand"

You guys really annoyed my Scottish uncle who helped me write the dialogue lol he sends this message:
"Ah am feckin' Scottish! cheeky gits tellin' me hoo ah spick."

I jest - I don't have a Scottish uncle - It was a last minute decision so I used the first Scottish translator I found online and shoved in whatever the translator spat out.

Like a lot of entrants - I had no time for rewriting, so the story has suffered.

I did not have an ending in mind - I still don't - which is why the current ending sucks lol

Some people got a little confused - Janet was the tree, Helen was the creature - Helen saved them in the end because she remembered what Janet had done and wanted to stop her - A lot of things were left unclear in my script, sorry about that.

Thanks to all for the read and reviews - Much appreciated

Matt


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