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The Last Stop by Rene Claveau (renec) - Short, Gothic Horror - When William gets separated from his new bride at a traveling circus, he finds all is not as it seems while trying to find her. 12 pages, 5 characters, PG Rating - pdf, format
This was written with a sure hand and moved along at a quick clip. There was a nice evocation of old-fashioned circus atmosphere. It flowed well.
I have to say I liked the setting more than the actual story, however. The entirety of the story is pretty much a winding chase that seemed like one hallucinatory detour after another. William never seems to truly grasp that he's either in some supernatural world or dreamscape. He just appears in one location after another, demanding to see Bethany.
You intro Charles as DWARF and use that as your character slug for half the script. Then you change the slug to CHARLES.
The ending didn't grab me. I took it to mean that the train was transporting people to Hell, or some other unfortunate destination. Charles tells William about his wife's infidelities, but we never see these. She just says she "shouldn't have strayed." I assume this has something to do with the bullet holes in both of them, but we never learn any of that stuff, which is important to this tale. I want to know how they died and who killed them.
Felt like you ran out of space at the end there. No real resolution, no Fade Out.
But, this was original take on the challenge, and I did enjoy the visual images you conjured up throught most of the piece. Well done on that.
Interesting story, got a little talky as we turned into the final third. The ending confused me as did why and how she strayed. (Believe me, the audience wants to see the fall.) How did the guy get up at the top of the tent?
Also, a ghost was in the script but it didnít prove it was just misunderstood. Also, the circus was dark but not Gothic. I guess Iíll agree itís inspired by Gothic.
I admit to being frustrated with not knowing what was going on and why it ended that way.
I was left disapointed by the sudden drop off at the end. I understand that WIlliam failed to heed the dwarfs lessons but it wasn't clear enough as to why she is no good - the bullet holes aren't explained properly or their origin even hinted at. After some excellent exchanges between the two, the pay off was left wanting. The descriptions were great. Who as the ghost at the start? Why was he there? I liked the series of challenges and each one being based upon a carnival sideshow. You have a flair for creative writing but need a bit of story work - still good. (continued at the end of a page is not required and got annoying!)
The atmosphere on this one hits the target. Though I am reminded of ďSomething Wicked This Way ComesĒ. My all time favorite autumnal nostalgia kid thriller. I tend to tune out scripts that veer too close to cherished films. The rampant Continuedís are not necessary. A promising start gets mired in a lengthy chase sequence. The tarot reading wasnít bad, but a bit too familiar. I donít get why William wanted to keep the lovers apart. The conclusion wasnít as satisfying as the set up. Nice visuals overall. Thanks for playing OWC.
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Well written. I also felt this ended abruptly. The cool idea of a traveling circus was well executed, but I'm left with more questions then answers. What reallly happened evades me. Why did bethany have bullet holes in her at the end? I think this could be fleshed out into something pretty good outside of the OWC parameters. I didn't really feel the presence of a ghost here. There's mention of one, but unless the dwarf is, I feel you missed the mark a bit. It was entertaining nonetheless. Good job completing an OWC.
I believe the couple got murdered and they're the ghosts. Also, Charles is the misunderstood ghost trying to help William leave Bethany. My interpretation anyway. I think you can remove the wolfman show scene and add something similar to the snake charmer. The wolfman doesn't add much.
This is probably my favorite so far. Not sure where to start.
Perhaps with the only less than positive thing I have to say: the ending - I don't quite get it. I'm thinking that William was cheating unknowingly with Beth and he did indeed end up being killed by the rail worker, Beth's beau, that he saw fleetingly at the start. But then the guy at the start that is being thrown out is complaining about the same thing William ends up going through...so yeah, I'm not sure I'm in the state of mind to really digest this yet, which is a good thing! Something to think about, and makes me wanna re-read this again at a later date i.e. sober. Or just check what other people have said haha.
What won me over with this was the writing. That was brilliant in my opinion. The first page, a little shaky, but after that, this thing was just a visual treat and so much fun to read.
The setting was great and the two main characters, William and Charles, were just plain likeable. I kept visualizing Charles with an Irish accent but I'll blame Leprechaun for that one and William from the Howling part 6 but I'm rambling on here. I'll just say, these characters worked and bounced off each other with seemingly effortless ease - excellent writing.
I feel I've learnt a lot from reading this.
Not sure what to add, it's easier to be negative than positive sometimes. Excellent work, I enjoyed this a great deal. 9/10
Thanks for the entertainment,
EDIT: Unsure if this meets the regulations of the challenge.
Argh...so much potential here, but so many problems.
Very awkward phrasing throughout. Many fragments. Technical issues. Biggest hurdle for me, though are the rediculous overuse of exclamation points in your prose. Reads pure cheese, and has the opposite effect you're after.
Story needs work, as does the actual writing.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Enjoyed the carnival atmosphere, but like others was left a bit flat by the end.
The tension and narrative drive disappear at the point they start playing Tarot....it goes from a frenetic ride, to a static exposition fest. Maybe you could lever that bit towards the beginning of the script...use it to sort of set up the mystery, instead of having as an explanation.
Liked the purgatory nature of it all. Enjoyed the individual characters and set scenes.
The sort of train to either heaven or hell/ life or death motif felt a little old for the upbeat tempo of the rest, but it is what is is, I suppose. Is there anything more carnival you can use? Even a rollercoaster? Just to give it a face-lift.
Didn't get the bullet holes, same as everyone else.
Despite these flaws, this was my personal favourite so far (other than my own, of course!).
This one didn't seem particular gothic (kind of curious if it's a script that you had previously, that you retrofitted for the OWC?)
That aside, there were bits of this that I liked.
The main protags seemed pretty wooden - but the banter with the various carnie characters were a highlight - especially Charles. (One formatting issue with this - don't switch out from "Dwarf" to "Charles" - that'll confuse your readers. Name him from the beginning and go from there.) The patter from the showman worked well, too. Enjoyable chaos, in general.
Re: the twist at the ending. To pull it off, you should really establish early on that there are issues between William and Bethany. Subtly show that they're married, that they're newlyweds..and that there's a bit of friction in paradise. That way, there's be less exposition later on...
Congrats on the OWC...and thanks for the submission!
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... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
Ahh, itís nice to read something that doesnít have a boatload of grammar errors. Thank you!
You could have just told us the dwarf was named Charles from the beginning. Wasnít like it was a big revelation later.
An asp slithers out from the curtain? Did I miss something? What happened to the snake that was already over his shoulder and behind his neck?
Personally, I think the wolfman would be better as a wild animal like a lion.
Theyíre newly weds and they decided to go to the circus before consummating? Hmm, that doesnít sound right.
I really liked the writing and generally liked the story. Toward the end, I came to view it as an allegory for love and commitment. I was actually okay with that, although I didnít think it really had the feel of a ghost story.
Then came the ending. Wtf? Was it longer than 12 pages and you just said screw it and let it end where it was, figuring you could add the rest later? Or is that really your ending? If so, wtf? Disappointing. You get two bare, perfect breasts deducted from your score for the ending.
The cool factor for this one is definitely high. However, it feels a lot like style over substance, as the story doesn't really go anywhere. You've got all of these cool circus acts going on but for some reason none of them are connected. They're just there. And the ending didn't make a heck of a lot of sense to me. And who was the ghost? There's a lot of questions that need answering. I think this has a lot of potential and I really did enjoy the setting and the various sequences, but they need to be connected. There's gotta be something more than William trying to find Bethany and then they're both shot up somehow.
I've been wanting to read this one since I read the log line inclusion of a traveling circus... and I finally got a chance to tonight.
I will say, hands down, this is my favorite entry thus far. I'm a sucker for carnivals, so it might be a tinge bias assessment. The writing is fluid. You know what you're doing and you know how to let a scene breath by saying the absolute bare minimum...
I hate the continued junk at the tops and bottoms of the pages and I wish everyone with this software would turn it off while writing a script, or find out how to do so -- but other than that I was 100% alright with your style. (sans the no FADE OUT or THE END)
The story was nice, full of ambiance and character... It did trudged to get off the ground a bit, but the same could be said with a few of the other scripts - The only problem here is it's almost 100% necessary to move these things along, but it gets hard given the page restraints.
The dialogue was, for the most part, pretty good... A few spots got long in the tooth, longer than I'd wish to have a chain go on, but nothing to unsustainable. The whole package, save for a few hang ups, was as good as it can get for the short amount of time it took to write this script.