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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    January 2019 -  One Week Challenge  ›  Jurassic Love - OWC
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  Author    Jurassic Love - OWC  (currently 936 views)
Don
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 1:58am Report to Moderator
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Jurassic Love by Michael Crichton - Short, RomCom - A kindergartner's Valentines Day is nearly ruined when the girl he loves has eyes only for Tyrannosaurus Rex - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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henb
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 2:50am Report to Moderator
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I read this one first because dinosaurs rule!

pg. 1 - I would delete “We pan across”, since camera movement in a non-shooting script is often frowned upon.
pg. 1 - 'Thaddeus', cool name!
pg. 1 - Judy’s declaration of loving T-Rexes is very funny.
pg. 1 - The valentine card is funny and cute.
pg. 2 - Very funny dialogue. Judy is hilarious and very well-spoken which adds to the humour.
pg. 3 - ‘cheerfully chatter as clean up’, should be ‘chatter as they clean up’.
pg. 3 - He’s haunted by dinosaurs
pg. 3 - 'orange drops on onto’, delete either ‘on’ or ‘onto’.
pg. 4 - first line made me lol.
pg. 4 - I’m very impressed with the dialogue so far, with Judy having the best and funniest lines.
pg. 5 - ‘Thaddeus with with a’, delete one with.
pg. 5 - Funny dino fight.
pg. 6, 7, 8 - I feel the story begins to lose steam after the middle of page 6, i would end this on the smile from Thaddeus. Everything up until then is golden.

This was really, really well-written! It was funny, clever, and heart-warming. I think this has a very good shot at winning.



Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
henb  -  February 2nd, 2019, 4:10am
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irish eyes
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 12:40pm Report to Moderator
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Heck of a dialogue spoken from 5 year olds especially Judy   you might want the raise the age or tone down the dialogue to make it more believable.

It had cute story Boy wanted girl, girl wanted toy dinosaur, boy defeated bullies to win her heart.
I like the valentine's card he gave her. I know the humor you were going for when kids say the wrong things. But 5 year olds misinterpreting periods as if their parents had this conversation with them just seems wrong.


It's the first script read without needless cursing in it so kudos for that.

Good job on entering



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PKCardinal
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I had mixed feelings on this one.

Judy bounces from super smart for her age (too much so) to standard kids-misunderstand-adult-things young.

The short should have ended right after the fight. Classic example of ending after the end.

The writing was fairly sloppy. First line: "we pan" - leave the directing to the director. And, "pan across a row" paired with "in a row" included in one line together. Definitely needs some cleanup throughout.

That said, I really like the setup. It's a fun little story and I think with just a bit of time spent on a solid rewrite, there's a nice short in here.

Overall, good job.


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RolandJ
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Good childhood story. But TMI (too much information) for a five year old girl who sounds considerably older.
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Warren
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Hi Writer,

Straight off the bat, the dialogue doesn't ring true for kids this young. After reading a bit more I think the dialogue is quite purposely written the way it is, and that is adding your comedic edge, the problem I have is that I'm not sure.

A few typos and awkward writing starting to creep in.

Some good writing on display. Another cutesy 5-year-old story, which as a personal preference I cant say I love.

This was a pretty good effort though.

All the best.


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LC
Posted: February 2nd, 2019, 11:54pm Report to Moderator
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You know some kids of even kindergarten level speak in a precocious way so I tried to bear that in mind while reading, alas, after a while I wasn't buying it. That range of vocabulary? Hmm, don't think so.

Some nice imagery you evoke but a few too many characters in the mix detracted from the burgeoning romance of Judy and Thaddeus Reginald Xaxier.

Is Judy a popular name come back into fashion? Something to think about.

I have no idea what 'on my question mark' meant.

It's not bad, I think I just would have preferred one on one, or with another as a love rival.


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Warren
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Quoted from LC

I have no idea what 'on my question mark' meant.



As opposed to period - comedy.


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LC
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 12:07am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren

As opposed to period - comedy.

Yeah, I'm not that blonde   it just didn't gel for me comedically. I'm glad it did for some.


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Grandma Bear
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 10:01am Report to Moderator
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OK. This has potential to be real cute, but there are several things that keep it from being that right now, IMHO.

For me, the main reason would be the dialogue. These kids don't sound like five year olds at all. They sound at least a few years older.

Would Judy really refer to herself as a woman? Probably more likely girl.

My mom's on her period...

Things like this that just ruins what could've been something cute. The structure of the story works, I would just suggest making the kids a little older or change the dialogue.

Another thing that stood out to me was Thaddeus biting the other kid until it drew blood. That would be a VERY serious thing in school nowadays. The kid that got bit would probably be hauled off for at least one type of shot at an ER or something. Thaddeus parents would be called down there right away and so on. At least here where I live. Biting is considered really serious!

Where were the roses? Did I miss them?

Anyway, not bad, just need some tweaking to get it where it needs to be.  


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eldave1
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 6:06pm Report to Moderator
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Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.

The kids are 5. There dialogue rings somewhere between 16 and 50.

Sorry - couldn't shake that. You got kids in a story you have to write it with a kid's voice.

Roses????


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: February 3rd, 2019, 6:30pm Report to Moderator
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Page three and I'm out.

Kindergarteners acting and speaking like this. No thanks.  

Sandra



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Philostrate
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Hi Writer,

This one was an interesting read.

It has some nice imagery and a solid structure, but the dialogue doesn't ring true for five year olds. That and some lines like "My mom says she is on her period" killed its potential to be a cute kids love story.

On a side note, where are the roses?

Anyway, it's a pretty good effort.

Congratulations on entering.


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Cam Gray
Posted: February 5th, 2019, 5:31am Report to Moderator
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Hey writersaurus rex,

So, it was a unique take on the challenge, written with a real charm to it too. One thing that got me, my god that Judy is a little b**ch!! I can say that about made up characters, can’t I?? Regardless, it worked for me.

Couldn’t spot the flowers but I could be off there, the rest of the parameters were met and it was entertaining.

Nice one,

Cam


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Matthew Taylor
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Hello writer.

Really like the name Thaddeus.

As others have said, the language doesn't fit the age. But haven't a bunch of kids talk like adults, if it's kept consistent could be funny.

The action/descriptions feel a little, rushed. I wonder if you were pressed for time by the deadline.

I like the image of the kid roaring with victory lol

Not sure what the Iron Man line was about - maybe that went over my head.

I think you either need to make the language age appropriate, or go full steam in the other direction and have them talk like adults for comedic affect.

I would have ended on more of a cutesy note - we don;t need words really, just a little kiss on his cheek or something, to show us she accepts him as her valentine

Good job on the challenge

Matt


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DaveTroop
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Kids are falling in love earlier these days, I guess.

Another cutesy tale of Kindergarden love.  
I agree that the dialogue is advanced for children this young.  If they were at least 10
I would have bought it, and you would have had an awesome cutesy script.

I picked up on a few typos here and there and some missed words.
(why do grown writers have problems with it's?)

I would cut the last line.  You don't need it, and it causes the reader to go "Huh?" rather than Ahh."

Not a bad effort.  I can tell by your descriptions you know what you're doing.  
It was just the dialogue that did it in for me.  

Thanks for entering.
Good luck in the contest.
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Dreamscale
Posted: February 6th, 2019, 6:17pm Report to Moderator
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Opening Slug - If "Mrs. K" is not a main character, this is a poorly worded Slug.  Let's see.

"We pan..." - ARGH!  Really?  That's the way you want to start this?

Once again, we have a rose and chocolates in in the first few passages.  Hopefully, this is not all we're going to see of them.

Right away, the kids' dialogue doesn't sound like 5 year olds, but let's see.

Page 2 - And there's our first wrylie!  I knew I'd see at least 1.

You have Mrs. K speaking OS, but she hasn't even been intro'd yet, which is an issue.

Page 3 - "They cheerfully chatter as clean up their lunch trays to leave." - Something's wrong here.

Not only is the dialogue off for Kindergartners, but I highly doubt 5 year olds are eating lunch in a cafe, where lunch is being served.  They're just too young for this.

"A large orange drops on onto and crushes the dino nuggets." - Something wrong here, too.

Like I commented above, this doesn't sound like and Kindergarten I've ever heard of, in terms of "lunch recess".  Maybe things have changed...alot?

The dialogue about the period and question mark doesn't work for me.  Again, just way too old sounding.

"surveils" - ?  HUH?

All this action in "the school playground" needs to be broken up.  If this is a real playground, it's quite large and action is taking place quite a ways away from each other.

You have a 5 line passage...you shouldn't.

Page 7 - "Across the circle, Judy turns to look and Thaddeus. A small  smile across her face." - Several issues here.  "and" should be "at".  Instead of making this 2 sentences, it should be 1, with a comma where the first period is.  You also have an extra space after "small".

Hold on...so we have multiple classrooms of Kindergartners?  And they're being bused in and out?  I don't think so...

No reason to go onto Page 8.

Well, I want to like this...I really do.  Writing isn't too bad and there are some funny moments, but so much is just off here.  I don't buy basically any of it.  Ages are off, the kind of school for Kindergarten aged kids is way off, dialogue way off.

It's cute and I give you credit for that.

**1/2



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khamanna
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I'm sorry I reached "sensual harassment" on p 4 and stopped. I won' t take it, not from a five-year-old I mean. I'm sorry to be harsh.
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Gary Howell
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Boy, I was really hopeful for this one, but it was like reading a script for “Young Sheldon” rather than a story about two 5 year olds. I think if you had stuck with that premise, and made them more child-like, this would have been much more entertaining.

The fight scene with the boys was good (the kids fighting like dinosaurs), but other than that, it just fell flat for me with the kids sounding and acting like adults.  Good effort, though.

Gary


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ReneC
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This has SO much potential! You just have to change...almost everything.

Right off the bat, you don't know what kids sound like or how they act. These are not 5 year olds. This is not kindergarten. But you should definitely try to get it there because it works for the story.

I don't know what weird setup you have with the girls decorating Valentine's boxes for the boys to stuff (not just sexist but a sexual innuendo, with five year olds), but it goes way over the top with Judy's reactions. Yes, she likes T-Rexes, you established that. Let her disinterest show without her going bananas about it and leave it at that.

Thaddeus's reaction to rejection is okay. Changing the card works. I don't know why everything is suddenly about dinosaurs except to fit your title (chicken nuggets that look like dinosaurs?) and I don't know why Judy is being left alone surrounded by other girls. There's a hint it's because she's so weird, but you missed an opportunity to demonstrate that. Maybe with a couple of the girls passing Thaddeus talking about her, or something she does.

The schoolyard bullying is also unrealistic. But it leads to the one shining moment in all of this, the one thing that makes this worth rewriting:

Thaddeus-Rex.

I love that idea! But not the execution. It falls well short of its potential. But I'll get to that.

When did Thaddeus write over the card again with hearts? Why? It would have worked without that confusing detail. Also, the scene in the principal's office is pointless. Cut it and you lose nothing.

And finally...why is the last line about Iron Man? You undermined your own story! It doesn't make sense.

As written, this isn't good. I suspect your attempt at comedy is where the dialogue comes from, but it's completely incongruous with the characters and the setting.

My pitch to you for the rewrite: Switch protagonists. Make Judy the protag. Write it from her point of view. She freakin' loves T-Rexes. All the cards she gets are traditional Valentine's cards. Thaddeus at least had a dinosaur reference, she can take note of that, but it's all disappointment for her.

In the lunchroom, maybe she likes that nobody talks with her. She's content talking to her T-Rex backpack or something. She's really into T-Rexes. There's Thaddeus over there, looking glum, scribbling on the card.

In the schoolyard, the bullies come and harass her. She's on the verge of tears, but here comes Thaddeus to her rescue...and cue the slo-mo, with his arms pinned back and his face a snarl, and Judy's transfixed as the music swells, his arms thrash like a T-Rex, he chomps down on an arm (forget the blood) and she hears a T-Rex growl, and then he roars and she hears a T-Rex roar...

The Valentine card drops out of his pocket as he's led away. She sees what he's done to it. She finds him later, either in the hallway or outside the office or getting picked up by his parents, and she gives him his card back, only she has replaced the new scribbles with hearts. She'll be his Valentine, and he's delighted. The end.

This is just my take on it to make that scene work, not me telling you this is how it has to go. Do what you want with it.


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I make no apologies for being blunt, notwithstanding the blaring technique deficiencies...  this is a mess.  It doesn't feel natural, or romantic, or interesting, or funny.

I don't know what's going on here.  I'm not sure who you're setting up, or why.   If you ask me... "jerk" is unisex, and I'm not trying to be one, but you're not really telling a story or engaging me in any way.  You also need to work on your dialogue.  The stuff suffers from no-one-talks-like-that syndrome.  Quoting myself here...

I think believability counts in everything we write, even if it's ultimately a silly popcorn flick. I guess it's our job to sell the unbelievable aspects in such a way that they DO seem believable.

I wish I could be more helpful, but I think you need to tear this down and start over. Figure out what you're trying to do, then figure out a more interesting way to do it.  Kudos for finishing...


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Sorry, but, what kind of kids speak like this? Not 5 year olds, that's for sure. Even for a rom-com, this is unbelievable at the start. Make the kids more like 10 or so if you're gonna have them even speak remotely like this. It reminds me of Calvin & Hobbes the way that Judy talks, much like Calvin, using words that are too big for their vocabulary. Unless she's a kid genius, this is just bizarre to hear kids talk like adults. I don't know if you're going for a "Little Rascals" feel, but it ain't workin for me.


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Conz
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Title, logline and writer are all encouraging.  It sounds “adorable” for lack of a better word, and who doesn’t like kids and dinosaurs?

Cute to start… dialogue nottttt exactly how I thought it would be.  Already not buying it as authentic to 5 year olds.

Dialogue might be the script’s downfall.  Sure, I can lighten up and just accept these kids talk this way. Stewie Griffin talks like a British intellectual, but it’s just not working here.  I don’t find Judy’s dinosaur knowledge endearing enough to excuse it.

See, Judy is calling people herbivores and vegans one second, but then makes a cutesy kiddy mistake with “sensual harassment.”  It’s cliché to have kids talk that way, but it’s way funnier.  She’s 5.  She should talk about dinosaurs like a 5 year old would and call it “Valen-times” day, etc.

Weird name, but I like how Thad is basically T Rex.

There’s too much action, it’s a bit tedious.

Weird final line.  I guess it’s supposed to show kid’s change their mind on what they’re into on a dime, but it just ends abruptly.

I wanted to love the character of Judy, but she was inconsistent to me.

Decent job overall.


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Spqr
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All I know about kids is that they're loud and generally out of control. But for some reason people keep having them. If I'm to believe this script, kids can be funny and lovable. I choose to believe.

The only thing I'd reconsider is Thaddeus biting Roy and drawing blood. This would call for medical intervention, a possible tetanus shot, and put Thaddeus in more trouble than is shown in this script.

Good job.
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AnthonyCawood
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Five year olds don't talk like this.

So the funny lines don't really land at all for me.

Sorry


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FrankM
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I like the concept, and peeking up-thread I can see that just about everything I was going to suggest has been suggested.

I will elaborate on the 5-year-old issue. The suggestion to advance the kids to about ten won't work, because by that age they aren't exchanging Valentines anymore... and a 10-year-old girl discussing periods would make the script even weirder than it already is. Exchanging Valentines at school at any age seems to be going out of fashion in my neck of the woods, but I'm sure it's still done in plenty of places. When little kids do exchange them, they are supposed to give a card to everyone else in the class.

So making the kids as old as their words won't work, which leaves dialing the dialogue down to their age. Do I hear my kids sound older than they are sometimes? Yes, but that's because my kids are special

The important part is sometimes. Most 5-year-olds can't get through a story without at least one use of what I call the "pile of words." That's when the brain gets ahead of the tongue, mostly the right words come out but in the wrong order, and they stammer on the one or two words of which they're unsure.

KINDERGARTENER
And then we... and then we got in
and I pushed the button. I pushed
the button in the...  we went in
the, the, ele-- ele--. And I pushed
the button in the ele-- elevator.


I've waited patiently through the "pile of words" many times from my kids or their classmates, but I can't say I ever recall hearing it in a film. Kids seem to be written with a simple vocabulary but unrealistically advanced control of their syntax. Either writers and directors collectively think it takes too long to say anything (might as well be in Old Entish...), or child actors simply can't deliver these lines believably. In any case, if you want to write lines for kids the proper place to study would be films/shows with kids in them, heavily discounting "kids shows" themselves due to their tendency to be educational.

I hope that made sense.


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CameronD
Posted: February 18th, 2019, 1:40pm Report to Moderator
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Now that the voting is over, I've been jumping at the bit to come in and hear address the #1 complaint from my script.

Kindergartners don't talk like that. Specifically Judy.

As a matter of fact they do. My daughter is 6 and she was talking with a huge vocabulary by the time she was in preschool. Little kids are like sponges and she loved animals. Anything with animals she ate it up and as a result she knew about herbivores, carnivores, nocturnal animals, hibernation and I remember being taken aback when she accurately described the phases of the moon and why.

Maybe my daughter has a high vocab, or maybe I let her watch too much TV, regardless, if you are around little kids, you'll hear them say the darnedest things. And that was kinda my take on Judy, she knows a lot words but not exactly what they all mean. Everybody can say it's unrealistic and that's fine. I will just say I don't think many SimpleScripters have kids is all, lol.

Salty rant over, thanks for the feedback. Some of the adult jokes fell flat I agree, but they seemed funny at the time. And I think those are the only two big complaints. I kinda liked this little script and think I'll give it a solid rework then resubmit it as I felt it was a fun little story but with a better title.

Thanks for taking the time to read it everybody. I appreciate all the feedback! Gracias!


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CameronD  -  February 18th, 2019, 2:03pm
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: February 18th, 2019, 1:51pm Report to Moderator
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For me it wasn't the vocab that was the problem, it was the sentence structure (mainly in the first 2 pages). Seemed too formal and well structured for kids talking to each other. But then again, I'm a Brummie, we are not known for speaking that well lol.

My kid is two, he can't get his colours right but he can tell me the names of at least 9 different dinosaurs - Kids do pick up strange things.



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CameronD
Posted: February 18th, 2019, 2:02pm Report to Moderator
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Sounds like a smart kid.


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PKCardinal
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Quoted from CameronD
Now that the voting is over, I've been jumping at the bit to come in and hear address the #1 complaint from my script.

Kindergartners don't talk like that. Specifically Judy.

As a matter of fact they do. My daughter is 6 and she was talking with a huge vocabulary by the time she was in oreschool. Little kids are like sponges and she loved animals. Anything with animals she ate it up and as a result she knew about herbivores, carnivores, nocturnal animals, hibernation and I remember being taken aback when she accurately described the phases of the moon and why.

Maybe my daughter has a high vocab, or maybe I let her watch too much TV, regardless, if you are around little kids, you'll hear them say the darnedest things. And that was kinda my take on Judy, she knows a lot words but not exactly what they all mean. Everybody can say it's unrealistic and that's fine. I will just say I don't think many SimpleScripters have kids is all, lol.

Salty rant over, thanks for the feedback. Some of the adult jokes fell flat I agree, but they seemed funny at the time. And I think those are the only two big complaints. I kinda liked this little script and think I'll give it a solid rework then resubmit it as I felt it was a fun little story but with a better title.

Thanks for taking the time to read it everybody. I appreciate all the feedback! Gracias!


Hey Cameron, definitely keep working this one up. You've got a fun core to work with, and it's worth putting in more time.

I was one of those that was thrown by the dialogue. Here's what I've learned about notes: you (the writer) can be right and wrong at the same time. That is, kids definitely can/do talk like that, AND it can not be working for this particular script. And, that's what you should take away from the reviews. When a bunch of people say the same thing, it's generally (though, not always) a red flag that something isn't working.

Point is, you may not have to dump the idea that Judy talks above her level. The problem may actually be that her dialogue is inconsistent (shorts don't leave much room for nuanced characters). Or, you've got her talking just a bit TOO far above her level. Or, you may find that just cutting the "adult" humor fixes the problem entirely.

Experiment with it. See what works and what doesn't. I'll be happy to give future versions a read, and others will too. But, don't ignore the notes just because you think they're wrong. (Not saying that's what you're doing.) Consistent notes indicate a problem, you just need to find out what the real one is. (You've probably heard the phrase: look for the note within the note.)

Anyway, thanks for sharing a fun short. Good luck with the rewrite, and hit me up if you need another set of eyes on a new version!

Best,
Paul


PaulKWrites.com

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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