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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2019 -  One Week Challenge  ›  The Proposal - OWC
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  Author    The Proposal - OWC  (currently 817 views)
Matthew Taylor
Posted: February 7th, 2019, 1:19pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Shakespeare's county
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Hello writer - This is my penultimate read, hope it's good!

The starting conversation seems, off - If they are best friends, and she has been seeing this guy for a while, would they have not have talked before about him being boring?

You really took the red theme and shoved it into our faces lol

I don't think you need to tell us they speak in French when the dialogue is written in French.

It took them an hour and a half to order and eat? is it just me, or is that a long time?

I'm not loving the dialogue - needs work.

That big block of action could be broken up

Eh? what the hell just happened lol OK so it's her favourite thing to eat, would that make her suddenly want to marry him? It's a Rom-Com so maybe I'm being too serious, but, reading it I was just like "WTF?" lol

This was a bit of a slow burner for me, then kinda fizzled out.

Well done for completing the challenge


Private Message Reply: 15 - 22
Posted: February 7th, 2019, 3:11pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Vancouver, BC
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It's not much of a stretch to say this is a new writer with a lot to learn. Take the advice, get software to do the formatting for you, and read professional scripts.

The dialogue is on the nose, meaning people are saying exactly what they are thinking, which isn't screen dialogue. It needs subtext. It's also boring and predictable (just like you described Dennis). So is the story, with one exception...

Chocolate-covered roaches. Yikes. As you said, a delicacy in some places, but understand that's a huge turn-off for a lot of people. It's the one surprising thing in all of this, and you didn't set it up very well.

For this story to work, those roaches need to signify that this man isn't as predictable and boring as she thought. In her conversation with the roomate, she should express a desire to see anything adventurous from him, any hint that there's something exciting in him. When those roaches come, it shouldn't be that he hit on one of her true passions, she should be delighted that he showed a willingness to try new things, a willingness to spice things up for her. He should even eat one, the very last thing she ever expected of him.

Maybe her reaction is your attempt at humour, but it just makes her seem crazy, like she would marry anyone who dumped a plateful of chocolate-covered roaches in front of her. Tone it down, make it about them, not about the delicacy, and you have a better story.

As it is, this isn't there. Good effort though.

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Site Private Message Reply: 16 - 22
Posted: February 8th, 2019, 2:39pm Report to Moderator

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I'm not sure I have anything to add.

Definitely take all of the formatting advice. The last thing you want is a reader to be distracted by the look of your script. You want them lost in the story.

Only one reviewer mentioned the numbered scenes, so I'll emphasize that: take them off. That's for shooting scripts.

After formatting, I'd suggest tackling the dialogue. Someone else mentioned subtext... study that. Your characters are saying exactly what they think, and on the nose dialogue makes a script feel elementary.

You have some good ideas, and some ability. Keep working your craft!

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Private Message Reply: 17 - 22
Posted: February 9th, 2019, 1:00am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

A helluva long way from LA
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Not here to pile on.  Your script is a good example of very common mistakes.  It's easier to pick them out when someone else does them, not so much when the mistakes are in your own writing.

You had my interest, but with reservations.

Some thoughts;

--Lots of trimming to be done.  The restaurant scene.  Get in and get out.  Can't spend over six minutes of screen time on Mary arguing with Dennis over why she doesn’t want to make a commitment.  That's insane.  Pick your jokes, and punch the ticket.

Point being, before we even meet Dennis, I felt like me and him were old friends from the opening.  

-- A word of caution -- You have two people in the room and Mary is telling us all the back story about her and Dennis' relationship.  Total exposition.  May I suggest you noodle out alternate ways of opening this tale.

-- The chocolate-covered roaches. It's a bridge too far.  You are asking use to suspend disbelief. It's a bit of a stretch to think that's all it took to tip the scales in Dennis' favor.  It borders on being hokey.  

For something like that to pay-off... methinks you need to go back to the beginning, and set it up.  The concept has comedic possibilities.  There's a lot of potential.  Kudos for finishing...

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

Private Message Reply: 18 - 22
Gary Howell
Posted: February 9th, 2019, 5:50pm Report to Moderator

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Okay, last one!  Let's see if we've saved the best for last!

Ummm...okay, well, I guess not.  But it was different, for sure!  Going back now through the other comments, it looks like you've already been slogged about the formatting and whatnot.  If you have screenwriting software, take a look at your settings and make sure it is set for the feature template.  There's an industry standard and you're currently not using it.

The story is a bit deficient.  Not much to it other than the dinner setting and the dialogue is a bit unnatural for a script.  Put this aside for awhile and read the winning scripts from this challenge, and then come back and compare your script against those.  See what those scripts were doing and learn from them.

Best of luck,

My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Pale Yellow
Posted: February 11th, 2019, 5:39pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Love your title page.

HATE the software you are using. What in the world are you using? Specs should look like a spec... no numbered scenes.. and formatting should be correct...

In the intros you call the two girls 'girlfriends' yet one is going out on a guy 'she could marry' ???

I am confused why she got so excited at eating chocolate roaches??? Will wait on the writer to weigh in on that one but overall this one was cute. Yet a bit confusing.

Good job.
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Private Message Reply: 20 - 22
Posted: February 14th, 2019, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Was kinda hoping they were a lesbian couple, just because it would be a refreshing angle.

Fat, funny friend.  Let’s hit them tropes!

No need to fancy it up with a Dissolve…

Extremely long action block.  Break that up. I can’t picture any of the 3 people you mention.  I imagine most people can’t either for the most part, lose it.

You’re hitting the Red way too hard.  You already accomplished the red, I get it, that’s what the challenge called for, but it wasn’t “whoever gets the most red in their script wins.”

She doesn’t know he speaks French?  He’s about to propose.  Your logline said they’ve been together for 3 years, no chance she wouldn’t know that… and let’s say it was a big surprise for the proposal, her reaction would be that of shock, not “I didn’t know you spoke French.”

They’re not talking like a couple on the verge of marriage.

She also says his name too much.  That never rings authentic to me.  How often do you say a person’s name while having a conversation with them?  Mayyyybe once.

She’s 24 and not ready but earlier made it seem like jumping back into the dating pool at the ripe old age of… 24 would be impossible.

Dennis has read like multiple people – first he’s an intelligent suave Frenchman, then he basically says “your tits are lookin good, girl” now he’s being the insecure accusing boyfriend “you got someone else?!”

This is overwritten.

Another script that gets really weird out of nowhere. She loves chocolate covered roaches to the point she has a seizure? What…

The relationship never rang true, the characters were inconsistent and the out of leftfield resolution was ridiculous.  It’s like you handed it off to someone else midway through, and they just said “I’m gonna fuck around with this.”

I'd list my "work" here, but I don't know how to hyperlink.  

"Career" Highlights
-2, count em, 2 credits on my IMDB page.  
-One time a fairly prominent producer e-mailed me back.  
-I have made more than $1000 with my writing!
-I've won 2 mugs... and a thong.  (polaroids of me in thong available for $10 through PM)

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Private Message Reply: 21 - 22
Posted: February 15th, 2019, 5:11pm Report to Moderator

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Formatting looks off as I'm sure others have mentioned.

Way too dialogue heavy to start. And its very on the nose. Sometimes what charterers don't say is more important than what they do.

Unless the portraits of these french people are relevant to the story no need to identify them one by one.

WTF? I skimmed until the roaches came then had to reread to see what the hell was going on. You made me laugh more than any other script here but not for the reasons you wanted me to. lol. Movie reviews, news, and fun! Write a screenplay. Write. Now. Separate from your competition. Affordable SEO services Because nobody likes receiving gift cards
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