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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2019 -  One Week Challenge  ›  Rough Love - OWC
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  Author    Rough Love - OWC  (currently 857 views)
Spqr
Posted: February 7th, 2019, 1:05pm Report to Moderator
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Very nice. The only question I have is what does the Woman see in Frank? Is it his piercing blue eyes?  He reminds her of someone? Or is she psychic and "knows" he's a great guy? Unless Frank is totally disconnected from reality, this should be the question uppermost in his mind as well.
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manxman
Posted: February 8th, 2019, 12:30am Report to Moderator
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What was the point? A tramp cleans up to impress a girl sitting at a bus stop. He showers in a luxurious apartment bathroom. How did he get there? Who are the people who chase him out? He kidnaps a guy in a nice suit and strips him of it. How did he kidnap him? Where did he take him? Passersby throw coins in a hat and the tramp gets a haircut. He sits by the girl, she misses her bus and they walk off together arm in arm. Then he drags her into a back alley, rapes her and cuts her throat. No, he didn't. I made the last part up so the story would have a point.
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PKCardinal
Posted: February 8th, 2019, 4:40pm Report to Moderator
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This was one of the better ideas in the OWC, in my book.

I would have preferred ReneC's ending to what you wrote, but it's not my story to tell, it's yours.

I also agree that softening some of Frank's actions would help him be a more likable protagonist, but, then, I can see his motivation in stealing the shower. (Breaking and entering?) The kidnapping was a bit too much, though.

With a bit of massaging, I think I'd really enjoy this short.

Well done.


PaulKWrites.com

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AnthonyCawood
Posted: February 8th, 2019, 6:35pm Report to Moderator
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So... well written and moves along at a decent pace, a few niggles from me

- I don't like #1 and #2 for characters who have dialogue and some importance.
- The suits seem to waltz a lot, which is a fairly specific action that seems out of place
- A man, homeless or not, breaks into your house and the police aren't called?
- Some of Frank's actions seemed a stretch.

Of course, these are just my opinions and they didn't stop me enjoying the story overall.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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jayrex
Posted: February 9th, 2019, 6:41am Report to Moderator
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Haven't read any comments.

There's a mixture of British & American words.  Using mom & colour for example.  I'd stick to one or the other.

As for the story.  It was too slow for me.  More drama than comedy.  It's a nice idea I feel could have been executed in five pages.

I also didn't like the ending.  Just wasn't believable to me.

Also, the Suit 1 guy recognising that suit.  Seriously, who the hell recognises suits?


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khamanna
Posted: February 11th, 2019, 12:21pm Report to Moderator
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Hi.

The story is straightforward and easy to understand.

My attention was there, which is always good.
Watch out for the verb tense agreements on that first page. like "the pair laughs" you have "laugh". At the very beginning, you talk about "homeless man" but then say "their body".

I didn't like the start - I think you have to establish your main character in the first few pages and it was mainly about suits on the first page and then you switched to description of action which was pointless to me as you didn't get me invested in your main character yet.

But good work!
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LC
Posted: February 11th, 2019, 6:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from khamanna
... Watch out for the verb tense agreements on that first page. like "the pair laughs" you have "laugh". At the very beginning, you talk about "homeless man" but then say "their body"

I hate to be a pedant but this is a writing forum, so I will.

What you say about 'their body', Kham - I agree absolutely. Just remove 'their'.

As for 'the pair laughs' or 'laugh' - I think it's correct as written.

Collective nouns, in this case the (pair) usually take a singular verb. The pair laugh.
For anyone interested.



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pale yellow
Posted: February 11th, 2019, 7:17pm Report to Moderator
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I love the character building I am seeing even in just the first two pages. Great set up and great character work here.

LOVE the Les Miserables act. LOVE this guy... is he still single??

Red mist descends over Frank, he gives chase. -- what does that mean ... red mist???

Ok for some reason after reading past half way this one fell apart for me a bit. Two suits bullying a homeless man just doesn't seem very likely to happen. And then the bit with the woman running out .. it just gets too busy and I lost interest and found myself skimming towards the end.

Good job.


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Zack
Posted: February 12th, 2019, 8:04pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Another great one here. Man, I've got my work cut out for me when it comes voting time.

Like the last one I read, The Go-To Girl, I've got almost no complaints here.

Quick pace, easy to read and visualize. Nothing that took me out of the read.

I really liked Frank. I wanted him to succeed, and liked that it took him a few tries.

Some really funny stuff here. The shower sequence really got me. Also thought the scene with Frank badly singing was pretty humorous.

Only thing close to a complaint that I have is that I would have liked to see Fin get his comeuppance at the end. Something small, like maybe after he stole Franks rose and was running away, he runs across the street and gets arrested for J-walking.

Great work.

Zack


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Matthew Taylor
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Thank you all for taking the time to read and review.

I don't have time right now to go through everyone's points individually - But all the comments are much appreciated and will go into my re-write, so you haven't left a review in vain.

This story came from a news article I read just before the OWC - In Sweden (I think) a homeless man approached a woman sitting at a bus stop and asked her for the time, fast forward a few years and they got married - I tried to capture the romance of it, but I don't think I did.

Through all the reviews, there were some comments that kept coming up:
- Suit 1 and 2. Sorry I didn't name them - they started off with a much smaller role, then I kept bringing them back. So yeah, I should have named them.
- Convoluted - In the re-write, the suits are going so the story can focus more on Frank and Mary.
- Frank. Some people didn't like him. I tried to make him flawed at the beginning, he's homeless and down on his luck, steals just to get by, but then I wanted him to be redeemed towards the end (giving things away). I think I now need to soften Frank up a bit.
- Writing. My writing isn't great, sorry about that - I'm working on it.
- Mary. I need to give Mary more chance to come to the foreground, make the audience like her and show her feelings towards Frank.
- Swearing. No idea why I had characters swearing, Frank I guess I wanted to show that he is rough in the beginning, but softens later. Anyway, sorry if you were offended by it.

Anyway - Thank you all for your comments. Hopefully some of you will be able to read the rewrite and see if I have improved it any

Regards

Matt



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colkurtz8
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Ha, I like Frank’s sign. Funny. Keys us into the tragicomic tone of the script straight away. Plus, it portrays an already down and out character in a further unflattering light. My interest is always piqued when I see protagonists who are not bending over backwards trying to get you to like them.

“Frank looks down, horrified he is still wearing bin liners.
An abrupt 180 turn, he rounds the corner into”

- I was wondering about his bin liner outfit and if he was still wearing it. I know you are setting this up for laughs but it does seem odd that he would prioritise a partial haircut and a beard trim over getting some clothes.

I like the repeated motif of the ding-donging bus stop clock but are they even a thing? I’ve never been at a bus stop that had a big clock over it or a big clock on the street in general.

“slumbers” means to sleep, right? Maybe change this to “shuffles” or something similar to indicate a defeated gait.

“A full clothes line hangs above a lush rose garden. Bustling with blooms of all colours.”

- Yeah, the acquisition of clothes should definitely take precedence over a haircut. It might not stick out so much on the page but if this were filmed it would be question no.1 on ever viewer’s mind.

“He pulls a pen from his pocket, looks around for something to write on - Aha - A pair of white pants.”

- Nitpicky I know but where did he get the pen from? Why would it be in his pocket? Wouldn’t he have lost that with his clothes in the house in which he showered? I’m sure there is a way to write around it. Maybe show it perched on his ear as if that’s where he always keeps it. It will be a distinguishing feature of his attire because it’s one of his only possessions...that and the cardboard of course

“He rummages in his pocket, pulls out a nail file.”

- Jesus, this guy is resourceful. Again, where did he get the nail file? It’s not a big deal anyway, I’m sure he can pick the rose without it. Actually, having him go through the pain barrier to obtain the rose will be comedy in itself. Showing the sacrifices he’s making for love. He’s literally bleeding for this woman!

“He hands Frank the box of chocolates.”

- So far, I’ve enjoyed the trajectory of Frank’s journey (choosing a hair cut over clothes notwithstanding) but this just feel a little too convenient, narrative-wise. Particularly getting revenge on the sneering Fin too...but it’s a film so I guess its par for the course, coincidences are the bread and butter of drama. I can let it slide.

FIN
Those chocolates were for a girl I
fancy. I wanted to give them to her
for valentine's day, so she would
notice me.

-Too much explaining here. He should say: ”Those chocolate were for a girl” and leave it at that. Why would he reveal so much about himself to a stranger?

So even though the contrivance of Frank getting the chocolates made me roll my eyes a bit at least it is having a knock on effect and not just an individual moment of implausible coincidence.

“Frank looks between the chocolates and Fin. Smiles, hands them over.”

- I appreciate that you’re trying to show Frank in a positive light but he’s essentially aiding and abetting a thief. I shouldn’t be surprised though since Frank has partook is some pilfering of his own. I’m just not sure the action is as morally upstanding as you perhaps want us to believe.

“--SNATCH. Fin swipes the roses from Frank, legs it up the street, his middle finger pointing to Frank.”

- Ha, good twist, I didn’t see this coming. I thought the script was heading into warm and fuzzy schmaltzy territory but this Fin is a real wanker. Plus, it explains a little as to why he revealed so much of himself to Frank moments ago. He was angling for sympathy.

Whoa, this was really heading in a tragic direction when the cop shows up but the looming dark cloud gets a considerable silver lining when Mary gives him her number. It’s a sweet ending. It sort of works. I wondered how you were going to resolve this. Having Frank get the girl in a straightforward A+B+C manner was never going to be satisfactory but there are enough twists and turns here to make it somewhat believable in a movie type way.

I do wonder about the Mary character though. Given she is the object of Frank’s mission we know nothing about her. What does she see in him? Is it driven merely by pity or a genuine attraction for him? Maybe she has a thing for homeless guys I don’t know. Yes, she sees that Frank was wronged by Fin but isn’t she concerned about the officer’s accusations against Frank? Because, you know, they are mostly true. Sure, she mightn’t have heard them but she must curious why this cop is arresting him nonetheless.

Even her being pleased at Frank’s approach before Fin intervened had me raising my eyebrows. She should’ve been a little freaked out at that moment or somewhere between intrigued anticipation (at a spruced up Frank) and nervousness.

Anyway, who carries their number around on a piece of paper? Is the suggestion that she was waiting for an opportunity to give it to Frank? But he’s homeless, how is going to ring her? Aren’t’ pay phones pretty much obsolete? Ok, I’m officially over thinking this now.

What might be a funny last wrinkle is that it’s a business card with her name on it. She’s in fact a lawyer who ostensibly wants to help Frank but its really to boost her own reputation. It lessens the romantic implications but certainly fits with the tragicomic tone of the script.

Or perhaps I’m just too cynical. Homeless people simply don’t get this type of friendly treatment by most people, particularly a female toward a male...and for understandable reasons. Also it’s not like Frank’s sign at the beginning is going to garner much sympathy either.

Anyway, contrivances and questionable character choices aside, this was an amusing piece, solidly written and definitely shows potential for you going forward as I gather you are a new-ish writer.

Decent effort.

Col.


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Matthew Taylor
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Hey Col

Thank you very much for this review - Much appreciated.

Oh lord am I bad at re-writing lol In the original version, he didn't lose his clothes, so he pulled the pen and nail file from his jacket - I forgot this time around he had no clothes lol Will fix this to show the presence of the pen earlier and lose the nail file.

Completely agree on the order of the clothes/haircut as well - another thing I didn't pick up on in the rewrite.

Yea I was trying to show Frank in a good light with the chocolates - In the original, he also gave away some of the roses to a bloke who had forgotten it was Valentine's day (Fin then snatched the remainder Frank had left) - I removed it because it introduced an out of the blue stranger character - I might see about putting it back in. Maybe if Frank also makes a deal with Fin for Fin to pay the shop owner for them?  (obviously, he won't, as you say, Fin is a wanker)
Basically, I want Frank to be rough and questionable to begin with, but be redeemed towards the end - don't think I've quite got it.

Yea, Mary - I have no idea how to make it plausible for the audience to think "Yea, she could like him" - People already have a preconception of the homeless. Need to put my creative hat on for this.

I guess that now I am no longer bound by the constraints of the OWC - I can lose the romance ending and have a tragic ending for Frank. I like your idea of her approaching, Frank beams thinking he has a chance, she hands over the card to reveal she is a lawyer - a married lawyer - all hope is dashed for Frank.

Thank you very much for your input and advice - Much appreciated

Matt

P.S thanks for the compliment - I am a new writer - Many years ago I wrote 2 features in a young, naive "I don't need to learn the craft, I can just do it" kind of way - Both features sucked and I didn;t write for a long time - Last October I finally decided to do things properly lol


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LC
Posted: April 3rd, 2019, 8:41am Report to Moderator
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Matt,

I think your premise is sound. Homeless guy finds love and redemption.
I do think however the various threads of the story need to be tightened up.

There are a lot of reasons people become homeless, - not just the stereotype of drugs, alcohol etc. I saw a doco last year featuring examples of people who were one minute doing very nicely thankyou, and then circumstances led to them being on the streets trying to fight their way out of the cycle of poverty.

If you want to stay within the bounds of a RomCom I think you're missing some essentials:

The 'meet-cute' doesn't work for me.

Why? Cause 'lazy and bitter' don't exactly equate to leading man qualities.
Give us some quick flashes into Frank's previous life to elicit audience sympathy.
Frank's an anti-hero at the moment, but he has to do something heroic for Mary to fancy him. I'd open with that. Perhaps he saves her from some perilous situation while the 'sheep' at the bus station are all engrossed in their mobile phones. Or perhaps she witnesses him saving someone else in a life or death situation - a child perhaps running out onto the road. He doesn't hang around for the plaudits, the other witnesses (except maybe Fin) just saw 'some homeless guy' etc. Being homeless, he's invisible, of course.

One scenario:
He (ashamed of looking like he does) takes off - to clean up his act.
She also sets out to find the one guy who did something.

Frank's 'homeless' but he' also needs a core of proud, honourable, and crafty, the latter with regard to cleaning himself up - because now he has something/someone worth fighting for.

Btw, if you want the 'breaking and entering' and showering' scene to be funny and not threatening I suggest you have him get out of that shower, run half naked across the lawn (covering his bits), and jump the fence, without that woman ever realising what hit her.

Finally, misunderstanding leads to Frank being arrested (as you have written) and you still finish on Mary managing to give him her number. Optimistic ending.

All jmho.

P.S. A few typos remain, missing apostrophes etc.
P.P.S. If you're thinking you need to return the read, raincheck when I've something new up.


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colkurtz8
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Quoted from Matthew Taylor
Yea I was trying to show Frank in a good light with the chocolates - In the original, he also gave away some of the roses to a bloke who had forgotten it was Valentine's day (Fin then snatched the remainder Frank had left) - I removed it because it introduced an out of the blue stranger character - I might see about putting it back in. Maybe if Frank also makes a deal with Fin for Fin to pay the shop owner for them?  (obviously, he won't, as you say, Fin is a wanker)l


I think you judged it right in relation to not introducing an out of the blue character just to serve a plot device. It works better with Fin since he was introduced earlier. It sets up an antagonism between them. I just questioned the moral compass of it...but that resolves itself in the subsequent action because Frank gets punished for appeasing Fin. So I don't think it requires too much tampering with. Yeah, striking a deal with Fin seems like wishful thinking haha


Quoted from Matthew Taylor
Basically, I want Frank to be rough and questionable to begin with, but be redeemed towards the end - don't think I've quite got it.


Ah, he means well. I think you get that across. The guy has hit hard times and is looking to cling to any glimmer of hope. He's apologetic about taking the clothes, performs for his haircut and..."borrows" the use of a stranger's shower What harm! of course, Mary isn't privy to any of this. She just sees a homeless guy who has cleaned himself up (in appearance at least) so that gnawing issue is still there.


Quoted from Matthew Taylor
Yea, Mary - I have no idea how to make it plausible for the audience to think "Yea, she could like him" - People already have a preconception of the homeless. Need to put my creative hat on for this.


Right, it will require some thinking. Basically, you want Frank to do something admirable or worthy in front of her that confounds expectation or as you say, our preconceptions of homeless people. It's a fine line to straddle because it can very easily come off seeming like a cheap plot mechanic to garner sympathy so you will have to thread carefully.

I think you have the right idea with what you've written already, in that Frank does something nice (giving the chocolates to Fin) which is immediately undercut by Fin snatching the rose and the cop arresting Frank. That gives it a more than bittersweet taste which is required here to prevent it from falling into complete mawkishness.

The fact that this is inspired by a real story reinforces the "truth is stranger than fiction" adage and maybe reminds us to not be so cynical. Why can't Mary see something in Frank? Nonetheless in your fictitious script, you play God so, paradoxically, you need to make it believable. It needs to feel earned.


Quoted from Matthew Taylor
I guess that now I am no longer bound by the constraints of the OWC - I can lose the romance ending and have a tragic ending for Frank. I like your idea of her approaching, Frank beams thinking he has a chance, she hands over the card to reveal she is a lawyer - a married lawyer - all hope is dashed for Frank.


Oh, don't listen to me, I'm a miserable cu?t! I'll always go for the tragic ending I think if you take away the romantic element the script will lose something and otherwise just be depressing. A one note affirmation of how pathetic homeless people are.

My lawyer suggestion was me being snide and going for a sneery type punchline at the end. Perhaps that could work in another context but thinking again, I'm unsure if it would chime well with the underlying tenderness already present in the script, it might jar a bit. It's up to you anyway. I think you are on the right track with this. It's really the Mary character that needs fleshing out.

As you say, you no longer have the OWC theme or page count to worry about so have a ponder about it.


Quoted from Matthew Taylor
P.S thanks for the compliment - I am a new writer - Many years ago I wrote 2 features in a young, naive "I don't need to learn the craft, I can just do it" kind of way - Both features sucked and I didn;t write for a long time - Last October I finally decided to do things properly lol


Ha, that sounds familiar. My first script was a 232 page feature, unformatted! I wrote it over 2 years. When I did convert it to format it was 312 pages. Thankfully, I never showed it to anyone.

Col.


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Matthew Taylor
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Both you an LC have the same issue - show something that creates a fondness between Mary and Frank - I've thought about it so much now I am in the realm of overthinking.

I think it needs to be subtle, but meaningful - Right now all I have is - Mary gets her purse snatched at the bus stop (Probably by a drive-by moped which is a big problem in London and the Uk right now) - The thief gets away, leaving Mary stranded as she has no money for the bus - The other bystanders at the bus stop refuse to give her money - Frank, however, sees this and gives Mary the last of his change - the bus is about to leave so Mary has to rush off without thanking him properly.

If I go with the above, I am tempted to introduce the Fin character here - Frank wants to give Mary the money, but he lacks self-confidence, so gives some of the money to Fin to give Mary - Fin being a little prick, runs off with it - Forcing Frank to approach Mary and give her the last of his change. (I really like this Fin character - I might give him his own short lol)

After that - Frank is no longer in his usual spot for Mary to find, as he is off sprucing himself up - Mary sees Frank at the end of the street trying to build up the courage to speak to her, and she wants him to - but he doesn't - then the ending can play out pretty much the way it is, but along with giving him her number, she gives him his money back.


Quoted from LC

Btw, if you want the 'breaking and entering' and showering' scene to be funny and not threatening I suggest you have him get out of that shower, run half naked across the lawn (covering his bits), and jump the fence, without that woman ever realising what hit her.

P.P.S. If you're thinking you need to return the read, raincheck when I've something new up.


It never occurred to me that this scene could be threatening - would it be less threatening if it was a man (bigger, stronger than Frank) that finds him and chases him out of the house? feels a bit sexist - Maybe if the woman wasn't scared by his presence but instead kicks Franks ass and chases him out. Or the location could change completely - he showers in a public fountain. Would still warrant an arrest at the end.

Yes, please let me know when you have something up for me to read

Franks past - I toyed with the idea of having a conversation with the barber - barber spots an army tattoo or something, reveals he's a vet who suffers from PTSD - A bit cliche to have the homeless man as a vet, but that's all I got.

Again - thank you both so much for the help - On to the rewriting. A writers work is never done eh lol

Matt


Quoted from colkurtz8

Ha, that sounds familiar. My first script was a 232 page feature, unformatted! I wrote it over 2 years. When I did convert it to format it was 312 pages. Thankfully, I never showed it to anyone.
.


312? - sounds like a trilogy waiting to happen



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Matthew Taylor  -  April 4th, 2019, 9:21am
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