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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  The Madness of Time - OWC
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  Author    The Madness of Time - OWC  (currently 3916 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:13am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Madness of Time by Steve McDonell (stevie) - Short, Gothic Horror - While fulfulling his late father's wishes, a man must face the nightmare of his father's past. 9 pages, 5 characters, PG-13 Rating - pdf, format

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 4:59pm
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 4:25pm Report to Moderator
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This was okay, but (IMO) wasn't Goth at all but you did use a ghost. How mis-understood he was missed me as well. This seemed more of a family / camping setting rather than a Goth if that makes sense.

The opening line with the (V.O) was way too long and really not needed. That whole story told there should have been told in the body of the script.

It was s decent enough effert though. Congrats on submitting a script for the OWC.

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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 6:29pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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I liked this because it was a good effort and, all things considered, had a happy ending, but it also felt routine.  I just feel like I've seen this story a bunch of times before (reference to Deliverance?).  Dialogue was also another issue for me.  I know what they were talking about is serious stuff but it didn't come off as such and in several places was kind of stiff, "Joe, he frightens me".  Ehhhh.  

At the end of the day I liked this for what it was.  Good effort and nice take.  Good job.


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c m hall
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:52pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

peninsula of Jersey
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Good effort!
I guess Deliverance is fair game.  And certainly the phrase "American Gothic" is not unknown.  
Anyway, here there's horror and ghosts that are generally misunderstood, so that's on the plus side, for sure.
I think you've got some nice tension in the plot development, (maybe they'll stay the night in the danger zone, maybe they won't...)  that's all good.
The dialogue is carrying a lot of the story and the strain shows, IMHO.
This is certainly a clever twist on the OWC guidelines.
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 10:47pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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I may have misunderstood who killed Drew, after a vote, he was shot, it came across to me that it was Ed and the other two who killed him, am i missing something?
I sensed the deliverence angle, and that was a welcome change but is it gothic?
A lot of the dialogue could do with a trim or is not actually needed at all.
Effort obviously went into this and you care about formatting and the overall feel of the story, so points for that!

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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:40am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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I find nothing about the setting that adheres to the OWC theme.
Heavy exposition setting up a backwoods vigilante story.
These labored elaborate ghost set ups are wearing me down.
No offense to this author, but most of the stories are like this.
A large chunk of the pages goes to expository ghostly backstory.
I don’t see the ghost behavior fitting into the rules either.
Everything was pretty much all talk until the climax.
The poisonous overalls were a hoot. 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, 10:08am Report to Moderator
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Decent writing, so kudos on that.

I agree with other reviewers that there was really nothing gothic about the story (other than the existence of several ghosts).  

Did it work for me?  No - homicidal rednecks are a standard genre cliche these days (so much so that there's a mainstream parody coming out soon - though I can't remember the name off hand.)

The dialogue was...a bit wooden in this one, and the exposition too obvious.  No reason to care about the characters - it's just that this is the sort of plot we've seen a million times.  After Deliverance, it's all gonna just go downhill...

But congrats on the OWC - thanks for submitting!
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 7:27pm Report to Moderator

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I thought this was alright. It read quick and didn't really require any deep thinking so that was a plus for me!

There's a ghost, I suppose he's misunderstood by the couple at first, but no Gothic elements.

The setting was a little different to what I've read so far, so I appreciated that. Could have taken advantage of it with something a little more original.

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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 1:25pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I thought this sounded like a sequel to Deliverance. So I looked it up. Picture Tweetie Bird saying, “It is! It is a sequel to Deliverance!”

A lot of the dialogue is on the nose. Sometimes it sounds like a TV special that’s a retrospect for Deliverance.

He frightens me, Joe? Sounds like we’re back in a 40s flick. Maybe you should have her say it breathlessly with her arm across her forehead.

Now if you can just get Ronny Cox to sign on, and get the film rights, you can get this produced.

Sorry to be so cynical but this could have easily been turned into something original. To me, it reads like you weren’t really trying.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 3:21pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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I think the idea of the father's past catching up with the son has potential. However, there are a few issues which affect it for me.

My comments;

Initial VO is going to be too long and too full of exposition for some
A few spelling errors (neeeded!) but hey so has my script
There is potential for conflict between the three groups namely (1) father group (2) the red necks (3) the son and wife. This trilogy should be driven forward, but the script stoped shortly after this started.
Why does the father want to go back to the lake?

Worth trying some revisions.

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...
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Posted: October 17th, 2011, 10:26pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Well, I tried.  I really did...but 3 pages in and I'm out.

Gothic?  Sure doesn't seem like it.

What's with all the V.O. when characters are right there in the scene?

First 3 pages are almost all exposition.  What's not exposition is very unrealistic, inclduing the dialogue, the premise, and the way everythign takes place.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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

Bowden, Alberta
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I do like the title, but it's not integral enough with the story. It has a more Sci-fi or surreal vibe to it and after reading the story: no, the title doesn't work.

The logline is good.

The long V.O. back story is a real turn off, but I did press on...

Even though from that, it did not read as goth to me at all. Now, with that, I should describe what goth means to me, from my limited understanding:

It's not just Castles or Manors and such, though environment should play as one of "the characters" in my mind, as an extension of perhaps a ghost or an individual. So, it needn't be the stereotype. Also, I believe that "passion" needs to exist within it and strongly so. I don't mean "sexual passion", though it might well be, but any kind of or numerous passions. And also, with that passion/passions, comes excess. I feel that part of gothic is marked excess which leads to marked emptiness.

Having stated my perceptions, of at least partly, what I think gothic is about, I don't see it here.

The construct is such that we learn of a sexually relate crime that WAS committed, through dialogue exposition. And the dialogue, well, it's really not interesting in anyway, the characters are flat and when they come upon Drew, it sounds silly the way Cheryl's dialogue reads as fearful. It sounds pretend.

The problem with this is that it just skims the surface and kind of "acts" like scripts in this vein and genre (Deliverance was mentioned) that have been done tons of times.

I'll say what I say a lot:

Go back to character work. Don't just make up some "bad happenstance" such as CRAZY HILLBILLY DUDE commits sexual crime." GOOD BOY CHARLIE seeks revenge and closure" type of thing.

I say, "What can come out of that sort of set up?" All it does is imply that Crazy Hillbilly was born bad and Good Boy was born good and eventually good boy wins.

If I read enough scripts and see this over and over, you can see how terribly monotonous it gets. Not only that, but I know that it doesn't work that way in life and so it's so far from the truth that I can't bear it.

Art is not reality and therefore it cannot be the same, but it does simulate it and so, when writing, try to fashion your work more off of you and your experience. Write what you know. If you do that, I think you'll notice a lot of growth in your work.


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Posted: October 19th, 2011, 4:29pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Couldn't really get behind this entry. Almost felt like Joe's dad deliberately set him and his wife up by asking them to revive these two evil hillbilles. And for what? To kill what is already dead? I didn't get what that was about.

Drew's ghost works effectively though. Nice little chill when they realize its him watching them. I just think this ending needs to be better fleshed out. I was hoping Drew was warning them that there's still evil hillbillies in those parts of the woods and would help them escape from the jaws of real-life Deliverance folk.

Not bad for an OWC. Way too much is told in the dialogue, I'm sure you didn't need to hear that by now.

Good job completing an entry...


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Grandma Bear
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 10:26am Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

The Swamp...
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I liked this one despite or maybe because of the Deliverance story. I personally thought that was pretty creative to come up with that. Were you watching the movie lately? I love that film.

I liked the writing here too. Clean as far as I could see. Very clear and easy to visualize. Not at all overwritten.

Lots of people seem to think this didn't fit the Goth theme. It worked for me. The setting was eerie/creepy and with the looming storm. I don't know. I liked this one. It won't be filmed, but it was an enjoyable read.  Good work!

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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 7:00pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Okay, pretty well written.

This one didnt have a gothic vibe to me. As others have stated it has more of a Deliverance feel, and honestly thats cool IMO. A classic movie of course.

A good ghost story though.

Good job on getting it done!

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