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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2012 OWC  ›  The Other Side Of The Fence - OWC
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  Author    The Other Side Of The Fence - OWC  (currently 3569 views)
Don
Posted: March 3rd, 2012, 3:52pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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The Other Side Of The Fence by Max Zbynek - Short - After a breakup with her boyfriend, a church going teen discovers her best friend is into Wicca. - pdf, format


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Grandma Bear
Posted: March 3rd, 2012, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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After having read your story, I'm not sure what is going on. 1st of all, I have no idea what genre this is supposed to be. Right now it seems like drama. If that is not the case, then you have failed to establish the correct genre. I suppose the characters are okay. However, they do not intrigue me. Final thought is that I have no idea what went on on the last page. In my opinion, this script needs to be spiced up a little bit. 2 girls going shopping at the thrift store wasn't very exciting for me. Even the Bible lady was sort of bland. The story just sort of ho-hummed along. If you plan on turning this into a feature-length script, you need to grab us a little bit better with these 1st 10 pages.

Following are page by page comments I made as I read. I hope this can be a help.

Page 1. A description of Elera would have been nice.

I find the slug line, Oak tree to be quite odd. I'm assuming she is still in the backyard so why not just say ” she leans against an oak tree”?

Now we are outside her house. You tell us what she's wearing and what she's carrying with her, but you do not tell us what she is doing. Is she standing on the sidewalk? Is she sitting on the porch?

Page 2. That's not going to make ” me” feel better.

Page 4. "then" Mrs. Vicks...

Page 5. "Elena"

I kind of wish that Mrs. Vicks was a little bit more fanatical in her rants. Right now she is only annoying.

Page 6. There is an extra line between the dialogue and the slug line.

Page 7. Why did you put quotation marks around the word church?

Not sure how to feel about Elera's sudden announcement that she is a witch. It feels like it was just thrown at us. I thought that she and Andie were best friends, therefore, it feels very odd that Andie has no idea that she has not gone to church for 2 years and that she is a witch. Hard to swallow.

Page 10. Typo. You suggest ” I” go out with Mr. geek.


.
SS, is still free...
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grademan
Posted: March 3rd, 2012, 6:12pm Report to Moderator
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First ten needs some heat to get cooking. Logline too. Same thing happened to me three years ago in my first OWC.

The name ANDIE confused me. Girl or boy?
What does this line mean: Boob job and no tits.

Listen to Pia.

Gary
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: March 3rd, 2012, 6:12pm Report to Moderator
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Title - I was curious about this. To me it suggested options, alternatives even temptation

Logline - Not sure the log line really describes or alludes to what is going on. I'm not the best at these myself but there is room for improvement here. What's the hook?

Short - the caption suggests a short but this appears to be the first 10 of soemthing longer. The inciting incident being the meeting with a boy called dave.

Pia comments are well made above, but rather than cop out to someone else I would also say that dialogue need to be crisp and every word move the story along. This doesn't feel like that. Make the words, action spell out character indirectly. They mustn't explain what they think or want to do.

Mrs Vicks - the description confused me as I thought she was just another woman, then actually with the girls, then it appeared not. You could be clearer. I also struggled to determine what she generated, her role. Lots of deep meaning phrases but remember a reader can't stop and pick up a bible.

All the best


My scripts  HERE

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IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
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stevie
Posted: March 3rd, 2012, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
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Hmm, lotta modern speak going on here, with little action.

But I was mildly entertained by some of the dialogue - the line 'a dick' was funny.

Instead of having a lot of dialogue lines in a row down the page, try and put an action line in to break it up. Have one of the girls pick something up or rummage in a bag, then continue the dialogue. Or else you just have pages of talking heads.

Oh and the first three lines of dialogue in this? The word 'alright' is used in each one. Avoid this too as it looks daggy.

Some work to be done but could turn into a feature, if the direction you wanna take it is worked out

Cheers stevie



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Dreamscale
Posted: March 3rd, 2012, 11:00pm Report to Moderator
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Good effort.

What Pia said.

Page 10 - "A 17 year old man..." - who you call a boy in the very next passage.

Sorry, didn't work in any way for me.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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greg
Posted: March 4th, 2012, 2:18am Report to Moderator
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Oh Hi

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Not sure about this one.  Felt very thin, not too much story to start out a potential feature and not much going on.  Didn't get enough differentiation at all between Elera and Andie, so it was pretty much just a couple talking heads though I did appreciate what they were talking about with their love life and religion and such.

Some of the dialogue was entertaining though it could have been tweaked to read much sharper.

Hard to say.  The first 10 pages don't present the most interesting hook.  I think it just needs more content.  More conflict immediately.  More sense of urgency.  The random revealing of Elera being a witch was also oddly timed and placed.

For a week it was a nice easy read.  Work on this one some more.

Greg



Be excellent to each other
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CoopBazinga
Posted: March 4th, 2012, 3:25am Report to Moderator
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I liked the writing here, think you know what you’re doing, spotted a few typos here and there but nothing major that affected the read. You can see that this was put together quick, hence some of the typos and so forth.

This was too dialogue heavy for me, not enough action. If this is the opening 10 pages of a feature, there needs to be more haste, less talking IMO. The scene where Elera tells Andie she’s a witch didn’t ring true, it just comes out the blue and I found it unbelievable.

I didn’t understand what happened at the end? Thought maybe Elera was the other woman but that doesn’t make any sense? Yeah, not sure but would be interested to hear what you had planned for this?

Congrats on completing the OWC

Steve
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rdhay
Posted: March 4th, 2012, 11:14pm Report to Moderator
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Sorry, I wasn't a fan here.

It didn't really feel like the story was going anywhere. And on the last page - was that meant to be a twist that I didn't get? Very possible, but I'd still like it to be clearer.

Good job completing the OWC!
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nawazm11
Posted: March 5th, 2012, 8:38pm Report to Moderator
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Hmmm, Page 7. I really don't like the way you introduced her as a witch, it's just too on the nose. Maybe she should cast a few spells before revealing the secret?

Page 8, same thing. It feels so pushed. There has to be a better way to reveal this, don't you think?

Finished! Your dialogue isn't bad, it's just seems a little forced to me towards the last few pages.

Don't understand the last scene, but I don't think I need to until a few pages later.

Like Gary said though, first ten pages need some heat to get cooking. It felt bland IMO, not a bad story, just not an interesting one. Get more into the witches.

Good effort.
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irish eyes
Posted: March 5th, 2012, 9:33pm Report to Moderator
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Logline so-so, nothing really catchy

Page 1  First sentence..Moonlight. ELERA (17) kneels next to a small dug up hole in the ground. In that space lies a folded white silk cloth that conceals a small object within. Elera holds a stainless steel
trowel. Holds it up towards the night sky. She digs into a loose pile of dirt. Buries the cloth.

No description for Elera.... The action is overcrowded..
For example... Beneath a moonlight sky, ELERA ,17, (description), with trowel in hand, buries a white silk cloth containing a small object.... Just an example

Oak tree is not a location.

Andie`s eyes sad???

a lot of grammar mistakes, but it happens in the OWC

page 3   boob job and no tits ?? Does she a boob job? or she had one and still has no tits?

" A dick" nice line

MRS VICKS(50s) again no physical description.

Why is there a VO on page 10 she is surely in the scene????

Overall easy to read, but sorry, not a very good story, it seemed to jumped all over the place...

Good job on writing a OWC

Mark


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Forgive
Posted: March 6th, 2012, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
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Congrats on getting an entry in.

Unfortunately there seems to be a lot wrong with this, sorry to say.

On the first page, there is:

# Elera, blue jeans, white sweater and an emerald pendant. Cheap purse, a set of car keys, fantasy dragon keychain.
-- I need to know if this level of detail matters.

# Across the street, attractive blonde ANDIE (16) spots her. Looks both ways before crossing. Elera waits for her. Andie’s eyes sad.
-- There is a mis-match here: to much detail on the 'looking both ways...', but then clipping 'Andie's eyes sad'.

P2&3 A pages worth of dialogue - sometimes you can get away with things like this if the dialogue is on the boil - this exchange comes across a little bit aimless, and somewhat bland. It is short and to the point though, so I got through it quite quickly.

JMO - but I think you are in danger of stepping on some dangerous ground on page 5 - this is supposed to be about witches, and we have what appears to be something that is veering toward mocking Christians. I don't know what you are trying to show with this scene. It's odd - misplaced, and I'm unsure that it advances your story other than to say 'I think Christians have outdated and unsophisticated views'. JMO, though.

Doggie scene also a bit superfluous...

Script seems a little superfluous, to be honest.

I don't know -- I don't feel that it has set me up for a story - I've no real sense of 'what's going to happen next'.

I've got a problem regarding who's story it is -- logline suggests it should be Andie's story, but the script suggests that it's Elera's? Elera certainly seems to be the lead character, and she is introduced first.

You ended on Elera seeing Dave, and some people will deduce some romantic element from this. I think this is risky, and we really need to side with the main protagonist (accepting that we are unsure  who it is), yet the main protag has called herself a 'b.itch' ("Who's the b.itch" p2) - and setting up the main protag as a boyfriend-stealing b.itch, isn't doing her any favours.

Overall, okay. Writing was light and breezy, but I think it could benefit from a quick re-think.

Simon
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ReneC
Posted: March 7th, 2012, 12:54pm Report to Moderator
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You know the consensus at this point, I won't bother repeating much. You can write, you just need to work on a few things. I'd say this is actually a pretty decent first draft but nowhere near polished yet.

Your opening and closing scenes don't jive with the rest of the pages. They tie together nicely but it gives the impression we're not getting your A story in the meat of this opening, that maybe Andie is the B story and Elera's the real protag. Either that or you don't know what your story is. Neither option works in your favour, if Elera's the protag then these pages need to shift focus onto her.

Your descriptions are so bland it seems like you just don't care about setting the scenes. It's not an engaging read, and your job is to engage the reader.

The first bit of dialogue is much stronger than everything that came before it. You seem much more comfortable with it. I thought it was snappy and real, a great sign. But all talk and no action is suitable for a stageplay, not a screenplay. I was also hung up on "boob job and no tits", it's a contradiction that took me right out of the story trying to figure out.

The characters all sound the same. Even the woman in the thrift store sounded like the girls, only the content changed. We should be able to cover the character's name and be able to tell who is speaking. She also repeats herself with "Going to church every Sunday", watch out for that.

I don't mind small stories like this one. I think you do a fairly decent job of building some tension and setting expectations. It won't have mass appeal but if there's a good story behind it all I don't have a problem with the way this opening plays out.

With a lot of work this might be worthy. It's not up to par for this OWC, but it got my interest.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 7th, 2012, 1:28pm Report to Moderator
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Congrats on contributing to the OWC!

P. 3
A boob job and no tits?
Doesn’t sound like much of a plastic surgeon to me.

P. 6
Felt the bible thumping scene ran long.

P. 6
Elera’s Car...
Funky slug spacing... as if it were done manually.

P. 10
The dog complaint clunked for me, flat ending to an argument IMO.

Finished. This one feels more like a short...
And that’s fine. It had a pretty decent reveal.
I think this would read better with leaner descriptions.

Regards,
E.D.


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wonkavite
Posted: March 7th, 2012, 10:18pm Report to Moderator
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I'd say this one falls mid-range for me.  Well defined characters with natural dialogue.  A story that did keep me reading, though not riveted.

Negatives?  Just that there wasn't anything striking in this story.  Unless it veers off in a different direction after page 10, it's a very quiet story - with simple teenage characters, and average motivations.  No dynamic plot to be found here, or major defining tension.  Those factors are negatives...at least for a 100+ page feature.  I'd say you need to throw a few sticks of dynamite into this one, at least if you're looking to expand it.

That said, it was an easy read - and solid writing.  So cheers and best...
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