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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  The Truth - OWC
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  Author    The Truth - OWC  (currently 3492 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:00am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Truth by Zane Steves (zanej) - Short, Gothic Horror - A young girl moves to a new town. A house haunted by it's past brings up old news that was buried. 10 pages, 5 characters, PG-13 rating - pdf, format

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

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Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 4:57pm
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 10:06am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


New York
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Too much directions and not much believability. Everything happens too quickly like how Becky and Peter are instantly partners or how Becky finds the Ghost. Also, introduce the characters in the beginning. Granted it's an OWC so I think this can be good once you have time to rewrite it and expand this a bit more.  

Hope this helps,
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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I can see a lot of effort went into this but far too many directions that kept taking me out of the story.  They are heavilly frowned upon in a spec script.
The use of "we see" is also generally a no no, you see this a lot in established writer directors scripts from cameron, darabont, wachowskis, cohens etc but they can get away with writing in crayon on toilet paper cos they are cameron, darabont, wachowskis, cohens etc.
I can tell that you are eager and ambitious and that is good, keep writing and get your story tighter before worrying about transitions.

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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 6:09pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Right out of the gate, I am slammed with camera directions, we sees, (never needed because we see it anyway) past tense action, padding with armies of CUT TOs. Worse, most of these things are flush right and almot never align with each other.

Turn off the continueds, especially those flush right at bottom and flush left at the top of the page.

You lost me at FLASHBACK, and for what I could gather, the FLASHBACK never ends. Just like what I see and am supposed to follow.

Too serious to be a p-take, it could only be written by someone who is cherry to writing. At least thats what this reads like. Time to visit your local Barnes & Noble, hunt for some of Syd Field's books.

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 6:42pm Report to Moderator
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Everyone has touched on the obvious issues so I wont adress them.

The story itself is not too bad.

If this is one of your first efforts, you did very well. I'm actually a bit impressed if it is. If you were to go back to my first script, you would have as much fun with it as everyone else did and for good reason. IT WAS AWFUL!

You have the basic down and you know how to tell a good story. Now work on the finer details and polish your craft.

Good job! Keep writing and I hope to see more of your work here.

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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 8:34pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

Hey -

Congrats on finishing the OWC.  I get the feeling that you're a relatively new writer.  Good work, given the short time frame that we have to work with.  

A few pointers for future stories:

* You only need to capitalize a character's name once.  After that, it's just written like in everyday use.

* The dashes in your dialog are awkward, and not needed.  Just let it flow.  If you want to have a sentence trail off, use ...  That's easier on the eyes.

* A few of your characters actions were a little un-motivated.  Like why did Becky go into the abandoned house and start playing with her phone?  

* With Peter, you switch from GEEKY KID to PETER.  Better to describe him as Peter from the beginning, rather than switch in mid-story, which could be confusing.

* Honestly, the story was rather complex, everything considered.  (Which is a good thing.)  But the characters are pretty one-dimensional.  Better to cover less ground in a story, but dig deeper into your character's personalities.  How do Peter and Becky cope with losing their parents?  How has it really hit them emotionally?  Stuff like that.

But it's a good start - congrats on the OWC!
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:35am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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This one feels like a transplant from last year’s OWC.
Leave the abandoned house, bring in a ghost and remove the rain.
I could be wrong, but that’s just how felt.
Lots of format and structure issues, but an ambitious effort.
Do a lot more showing and a lot less telling.
Find something small and explore that idea to its fullest.
Thanks for playing OWC.



CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

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The opening page suggests this is going to be packed full of errors so I'm going to try and let them fly and stick to what I feel about the story.
You've got a ghost that's misunderstood. Not much gothic.

I had to pop my head up and read what others have said about this because I was a bit lost for words. I'll agree that you appear new to writing and if so, this is a half decent attempt. Keep working, writing and reading.
All the best,

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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 4:20pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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What kind of location is “moving”?

Obviously Goth? You can drop the obviously. Obviously, we’ll see that.

Way too many directions. This really makes you look like a beginner. There are so many, it almost feels like it’s a transcript of storyboards.

Obviously ignoring - there you go again with the obviously.

Yeah, you really need a format reference. I recommend The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier.

Descriptions are too vague and they read like a shopping list. You need to work on punching them up.

Characters need to be more distinguishable. They often use the same phraseology. And a lot of the dialogue is on the nose.

Did I miss something? Do they know the guy driving the sports car? You should show somehow that that’s Peter’s uncle.

Okay, maybe I missed it but who the heck is the ghost? Just someone completely unrelated to the rest of the story?

Hmm. Yeah, read up on format. I’m presuming you’re new. Not a bad early effort.

Keep writing.


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The boy who could fly
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 6:18pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

British Columbia, Canada
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Well this kinda fit the challenge, didn't realy feel that gothic, but at least it had elements of it. I could have done without all the camera direction, really takes the reader out. The dialog is a bit clunky, sometimes a bit cringeworthy. The story itself isn't bad, and you were able to push one of these out in a week which is an accomplishment of its own. Good job on finishing the OWC.

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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 6:31pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

What if the Hokey Pokey, IS what it's all about?

Bowden, Alberta
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I'm really sorry that I couldn't read this one. I'm in between a lot of work right now and I was going to step in and do another read.

Generally speaking, don't use a lot of directions unless you're going to direct it yourself. What I need to see is creativity on the page, some theme and story and just juicy stuff. With all those directions, I feel like some military dude or dudette is shouting at me.

If you rewrite this and want a read. Don't hesitate to P.M. me.


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 6:43am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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Hello Cindy,

Yeah there is a long list of format issues as a starter most of which have been covered by others.

Two fish out of water kids, disturbed pasts, a hidden mystery and a solved crime. Not a bad portfolio for a script.

I would recommend you keep going with this script and use it as a training exercise to get format, characters, dialogue etc all in order.

It has potential.

All the best.

My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...
Private Message Reply: 11 - 23
c m hall
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 1:14pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

peninsula of Jersey
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Because this story is told from the teen characters' perspective a feature version of the script could have a good reception from a young audience.  I think the basic elements of an exciting story are here but I suggest  that Becky and Peter bond a little too quickly and they follow that ghost pretty trustingly, too.
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Posted: October 19th, 2011, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

For starters, Cindy (if that is your real name), never include camera angles and director's shots in a spec script.  Your job, as the writer, is to tell the story.  By taking out all this stuff--and the we see's this script would be about five pages long.

As I mentioned in another thread, don't describe anything with the word obviously.

Quoted Text
We see a fifteen year old female. She is dressed in all black and is obviously GOTH.

Based on the fact that she's wearing all black, she is not necessary goth.  She could be in mourning.  She could be Amish.  She could be considering convent life (a la Winona Ryder in Mermaids).  Don't tell us she's goth; show us!  Make up?  Jewelry?  Fucked-up hair colored with India ink?

The story had no flow to it.  It was all these choppy little scenes, most of which aren't needed.  You need to develop a flow between scenes.  Transition points.

The story was unbelievable.  Girl moves into a new town.  While walking at night, she finds an abandoned but fully furnished house that she casually enters.  She finds a ghost.  The next day, she meets with the son of the ghost.  They visit the house and are led by the ghost to surveillance equipment that still works (the electricity is still running?).  

Maybe if this was feature length and you had the time and the page count to have the girl find all these things, instead of just handing it to her, the story might work.  This script, as it is, is just a bunch of raw ideas and plot points.

I recommend that you read some script to learn about storytelling.  Don't use the OWC scripts for this as they were written under time constraints.

Hope this helps.

e-mail Reply: 13 - 23
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 3:02pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Ummm...not sure what to say here.  If you're a SS vet writing a pisstake, all I can say is well done.  Haha, awesome actually.  This script wins the prize for most Fade Ins, Fade Outs, Cut To:s, POVs, CLOSE ONs and Flashbacks in a single short.  This thing is a piece of work.

But, if you're just getting started, heed the words of all those who posted above.  You really, really need to learn format first.  
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