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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  Our Lady of Eternal Suffering - OWC
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  Author    Our Lady of Eternal Suffering - OWC  (currently 4950 views)
Don
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:14am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Our Lady of Eternal Suffering by Rick Kinsella (scartissuefilms) - Short, Gothic Horror - When an amateur Theologian goes in search of an ancient archaelogical site, little does he know he will stumbling onto a dangerous secret that spans Space and TimeÖ 12 pages, unrated thus far - pdf, format


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Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 4:59pm
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The boy who could fly
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 4:28pm Report to Moderator
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Good job on this one. you managed to put a little sci fi in whyle still keeping to the gothic horror. I really have no objections here, this is my first one to read and I'm sure it will be one of the better ones. this sets the standards pretty high. Good job.


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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 4:29pm Report to Moderator
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The effects of writing again....

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Hello Patty,

Ok, good writing, strong script and competent handling.

My comments;

Flashlight - just happens to be there? Seemed a bit weak
Briggs - good character, well done
Weather - we have fog, then moon lit sky then thunder all at the same time? Talk about changeable
Door found, "under soil"?
Girls soul is released - not sure what this looks like

I was beginning to think this is very strong, very solid, then the ending.

Sorry, but you have a modern scientist, lots of equipment, an experiment which fails then tell me she's been around for ever, but they all know that. Something jarred.

I think you have something strong here, but the end needs to be different for me.

All the best.

EDIT NOTE; this one bothered me over night so i re read the ending this morning. I was worried that i had missed something.

Other than removing my unnecessary use of the word yuck (sorry, i was tired)i think my review still holds. It is all very strong but i just find it difficult to square the portal, the girl, the age of the Abbey, her death and the others knowledge of it. Others seem happy with this so probably best to ignore me. Cheers.


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IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr

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Reef Dreamer  -  October 16th, 2011, 1:42am
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c m hall
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 7:28pm Report to Moderator
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I like this very much, it's got an amazing amount of drama for a few pages -- terrific characters, good dialogue and a satisfying ending.  Great job!
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Scoob
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Thoroughly enjoyable and original. Reminded me of the sort of story you could discover in an old "Tales Of Terror" type comic. It actually felt like I was reading one thanks to the ace descriptions. Loved the writing and format.



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feat747
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:37am Report to Moderator
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Top notch. Very well written. I like that you mixed the Gothic genre with the high tech.


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Ryan1
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 5:03am Report to Moderator
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Our Lady of The Eternal Suffering.  That was the name of my grade school.(rimshot)

But seriously, I'm going to have to disagree with the other posters.  I just didn't care for this one.  This felt about as far from Gothic Horror as possible.  Sure, it was set within the bowels of some Gothic ruins, but it contained none of the classic elements of Gothic horror.  This was much more of a trippy sci-fi tale.  On that end, I actually thought it was pretty good.  Almost like a throwback to 1970's astral projection stuff with all kinds of weird laboratory equipment.

One big problem was your main character, Charles Briggs, completely disappears from the story for a full six pages.  By the time he returns to the story, I had pretty much forgotten about him.  

It's an interesting idea, these Gothic ruins being a sort of an eternal portal to alternate dimensions, but the jarring shift of the first five pages of atmospheric horror into straight up sci-fi didn't work for me.
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jwent6688
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 5:58am Report to Moderator
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Gonna have to agree with Ryan here. Whom I thought was your main character simply dissapears in the midst of things. Dug the sci-fi vibe going on here, but never really felt it was gothic.

Eventhough I don't think it found the parameters of this challenge, I did find it an interesting read. Reminded me of Joss Whedon's "The Cabin in The Woods". A bit of a sci-fi pisstake on horror, but i liked it. Have the script if you want to read it. they shot it last year, but keep pushing the release date back. Not a good sign.

Then again, Mr whedon just got done blowing up half of Cleveland a couple months ago whilst directing The Avengers. Never made it down to a shoot. I thought they should've blown up the whole town and bull-dozed it into Lake Erie. Wtf am i rambling on about...

Good job completing the OWC...

James


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Eoin
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 6:04am Report to Moderator
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Thw standard of writing and creative thinking here was impressive. As a stand alone piece, this is a nice little tale. In terms of the challenge however, it's a bit off the mark. It's a blend of genre elements, rather than a gothic horror.

Would have prefered the InnKeeper description after he is introduced.

Alot of the dialouge at the start is exposition. I'd prefer to be at the Abbey discovering the story as Briggs does, or watch Briggs walking up that trial, map and flashlight in hand, nervously navigating his way.

I have a hard time believing Charles would scream at the owl's hoot, but doesn't even seem fazed by blood dripping from a statue . . .

'Bottomless eye sockets', reads a little awkward.

By page 7, this writer is deep into their comfort zone, sci fi.

'A blue electromagnetic force-field surrounds the bed.' Electromagnetism can't be seen, it's effects can, so we wouldn't know that's what this is.

Some the action descriptions here are redundant:

'The world dissolves around her. The fabric of reality tears apart piece by piece. Light shines through from the other side as...

...the VORTEX opens. A tunnel of sound and vision that moves at breathtaking speed and ends in unbearable light.'

Just show us what happens, don't tell us, we'll interpret for ourselves.

The ending with the  Innkeeper was a little weak. Overall this enjoyable.
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darrentomalin
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 9:06am Report to Moderator
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This was a good attempt at bringing something fresh to the challenge but was off the brief by quite a lot.
I like the idea of introducing sci-fi into a ghost story though you did get carried away with it for a while. I like the fact taht the ghost wasn't your typical spirit.
The ending was a bit wonky with the inn patrons laying wreath's and being fine with the whole portal concept.
An ok attempt at a different angle on the genre.


http://darrentomalin.webs.com/index.htm

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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 11:10am Report to Moderator
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A traditional gothic start with a misunderstood ghost.
Then you take bold hairpin turn into a different setting.
I suppose the White Ladyís dialogue was not to Charles. Clever.
The good doctor repeats his ego driven drivel a tad much.
Felt super weird to abandon Charles for so long.
He stood there through six pages without doing anything?
Bold idea, but not exactly theme friendly.
The ending at the inn didnít add much to the story.
Thanks for playing OWC.

Regards,
E.D.


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Laika
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I like how you bring sci-fi to the table and I feel like you have some interesting ideas. You just have to find the right angle. Because i think your story has potential. But Charles' is there for one reason only. As a measure to lead us to the real meal. He's a good character, i know, but what does he learn, how does he change/evolve and what do you want to tell us.

But thumbs up!


Sorry my grammar and typos- I'm from Denmark and English is only my second language.
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Baltis.
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:57pm Report to Moderator
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The strongest aspect of this script, since it handled the Gothic horror in a different way as many of the others I've been reading has done, is the rock solid dialect between characters.   Crazy good exchanges here... exchanges so well crafted I didn't care about the slugs after awhile.  

I was impressed at the way you interwove the Gothic bits, literally transcended them into a futuristic-type story, akin to something like Kubrick might've done in his day.

I was pretty impressed all around.  Tight, solid story given the length in which you all had to write these scripts and everything, to me, fell together pretty effortlessly.

Certainly done by someone who's written a few scripts in their own day.  I like this one.

3 scripts down and a lot to go.
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wonkavite
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 7:25am Report to Moderator
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Hey "Patty" -

When I started this one, I was really intrigued.  Entertaining bar banter, mysterious ruins to go explore.  Looked like I was in for a pretty fun ride.

And in some ways, I did like where this went (completely in directions I don't think anyone would have guessed.)  More SF than gothic.

Problem is, the "experimental scenes" (ie: the bulk and exposition of the story) went on too long for my tastes.  Okay, we get it.  He's using the woman as a vessel to explore the greater heavens.  But...it didn't end!  

I don't mean this critically at all, but suggest that this section might need a trim.  A tightening up in both dialogue and description.

Then he runs into the bar patrons, just outside the door.  That's fine (and actually, I was glad to see them return) - but maybe a bit more explanation of their part as guardians (though still going light on the exposition, if possible.)

Cheers, and congrats on the OWC!
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leitskev
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 8:34am Report to Moderator
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There are some aspects to this that are very effective and unexpected. And there are some things that confused me. A bold effort, though, which I am always in favor of.

Pretty solid opening page in terms of description. But there are some things that could be strengthened. This is when we meet our protag, and he has a clear goal: to investigate the abbey. Excellent. This would be a good opportunity to give him a flaw, or something that could lead to an arc. Or maybe have him do something that bonds him to the audience, makes us care about him. Difficult to do within the space here, but would help if you can manage it.

Ok, your next issue is the unlikelihood of a professor investigating an abbey at night. You seemed to even recognize this in your dialogue. One way around might be for him to not know about the abbey. Maybe he is on his way somewhere, spending the night in this little town. When his work comes up in casual conversation, the bar tender tells him about their abbey. Local people are usually proud of their heritage so this seems plausible.

Now we arrive at our appropriately spooky abbey. Good job! I love the setting. And we meet what we think is a ghost, but what will turn out to be an astral projection. Very nice.

I want to add I don't approve of the professor talking to himself.

Next, the projection/ghost leads him to the laboratory. On the way we have torch lit stairs. Struck me as odd when I read it. Who lit the torches? And one we find out it's a lab, would it be torches? But no big deal with this.

Next we discover the lab. Nice turn. I enjoyed this unexpected twist as it happened. Some of what follow is a little murky, and I'll have to wait for the writer explanation. One of my questions while reading was, why here? Why set up a lab here? But I suppose that is because of the Anglo Saxon gateway.

The mad scientist's dialogue needs work:

"Weíre about to go
beyond the limits of science and
religion."

--This just doesn't seem like what he would say in the moment. But not terrible.

And then finally, his experiment kills the girl, whose projection becomes a ghost, and leads Charles to shut down the lab and lock in the professor.

The confusing part to me was the villagers. Did they know about the lab?

We also ended up with no character development at all. Which actually is standard for these types of films, I think, so not the end of the world.

Pretty good effort. With some tweaking could really work out. Maybe the villagers should not show up at the end. That seemed to muddle things a little, but I'll wait for the writer's explanation on that. Maybe I am missing something.
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Pale Yellow
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 9:08am Report to Moderator
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Good job...easy to read.
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rc1107
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Right away in the first scene, the dialogue comes off very forced and contrived.  Kind of stale.  The setting has me interested, but little else.

And, just because I noticed it, be very careful when you phrase descriptions like this:  'He peers into the darkness of the woodland path, glances towards the pub, and heads in.'  The pub is the last subject you leave was with, so it sounds like you're telling us he's walking into the pub instead of the woodland path.

All right, technical niggles aside, this story I feel would be much better either without dialogue, or with better dialogue.  It was all too expository.

There was a good setup, very mysterious and moody, and I was interested in the abbey.  But then, the story took a turn for what I think is the worse.  It might be an intriguing idea, but a couple things didn't sync with me.  Briggs just disappeared and it became a whole different story.  A whole different setting.  A whole different atmosphere.  I just wasn't following and didn't understand what happened.  Well, I understood what happened, as I'm not a total stranger to astral kind of things, but I didn't understand what happened to the parameters of the challenge.

Somebody mentioned about the writer finding their comfort zone.  Sounds like that's kind of what happened.  The writer started out writing in the proper genre, then had to resort what they feel more comfortable with to finish.


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leitskev
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 11:23am Report to Moderator
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This one has to percolate a little, Mark. I found myself asking questions in the review, but then coming up with most of the answers as I wrote. When you put it all together, it works much better than you realize while reading.

It does meet the challenge parameters. The ghost is an astral projection, but the girl does die in the end, so it is also a disembodied spirit. Whether that spirit existed after she dies, in other words a ghost, is an open question but an interesting one. Did her astral projection merely time travel to the past and to the future in order to influence events? Or does her astral projection remain as a conscious entity after she dies? Either way, I think it qualifies as a ghost, since ghosts could very well be astral projections.

Was the ghost misunderstood? Sure. It still is, since we are invited to ask the questions I outlined above.

There was some passive writing involved and a few other instances were the writing could be more clear. "Blue that has surrounded..." We eventually see that this was the blue of the monitors, but at the time of reading it is awkward.

I liked the sci fi twist. As long as we started in the typical Gothic vein I think that's covered. A twist on that is welcome, and it's not a reach. Think of Frankenstein and the use of technology.

To me, the important thing about Gothic is connection to the past. It generally emphasizes the romantic over the rational, the spiritual over the scientific, and there is a bit of a bridge here. It ends up in this story with more of a scientific explanation for the past, which is definitely not Gothic, but there's enough Gothic here to have the challenge covered.

In a longer version of this story, that bridging of the spiritual and esoteric with the rational and scientific could be the theme, and could be where the protag's character arc is grounded. The professor who is trained as a scientist, but who's science involves study of the past and who is always tugged at by things mystical and non-rational. The result is a battle waged within his intellect between the competing philosophies. And that battle is at the heart of Gothic. Gothic literature evolved as a reaction to the rational, the progressive, the scientific. To react to something you have to be acutely aware of it. The result of this battle between the modern and the mystical can be monstrous, like Frankenstein.

I think you'll settle in to this story after it spins in your head for a bit.
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rc1107
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It's funny you chimed in with that Kev.  I was just doing some grocery shopping and found myself thinking back to this story a little more.  (Thank goodness I didn't read any of the other stories before I left, or else I might have been concentrated on that one, instead.)

The more I thought about it, I was very much in the wrong for stating that this wasn't in the parameters of the challenge.  Afterall, the beginning does have a very gothic feel to it, (well, my own personal definition of gothic).  And there was a ghost of course.  I guess it was just that the story had the feel of two very different stories going on at the same time that threw me off so much.

It was a very interesting idea, too, but I still stick to what I said that the dialogue really brought this one down for me, through all stages of the story, from the bar to the main character talking to himself, to the doctor and the experiments, and to the innkeeper and friends coming back into the picture, the dialogue could use a lot of brushing up.


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stevie
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A bit of a mishmash with this one, combining the Gothich stuff withe...well, other stuff!

I like the setup. The pub legend, the walk to the abbey, the vision of the White Lady.

Then it veers sharply into a mad scientist type thing. And, as Ryan pointed out, Charles does naff all for 6 pages!!

Nothing wrong with the actual writing style here though. A good re-write would give it some more cohesion and tightness.

PS - during the lab scenes, I somehow imagined the Beatle's 'Tomorrow Never Knows' playing in the background!!

'Listen to the colour of your dreams'...



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leitskev
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I agree, actually Mark, on tweaking the writing. I think I said so in my review. The scientist is a little too much on the nose, especially since he's either talking to himself or to the girl imprisoned.

I think how you view this one probably depends on how you feel about the sharp turn it takes into the mad scientist lab. My first reaction to that was to appreciate it's originality. I had questions about why the lab was there, and if I couldn't answer those, I would have rejected the concept as convenient, but eventually I decided it was there because of the gateway. I now know it was also creating the gateway in loop that go's back in time.

This is the issue we all have with expository writing. The scientist talks too much, so he comes off as unnatural. But his words are mostly necessary to convey to the reader what is happening.

I am constantly evaluating not only how to avoid expository writing, which I grant is important, but also when it is acceptable. I think as writers we are being taught that expository writing is a mortal sin. But like flashback, it is not a sin in and of itself, it is just something dangerous for a writer, as a story can get stuck.

In my last OWC, I tried some experiments. One thing I tried was to have an old man tell a story. I knew there would be a bad reaction to it. But the thing is this: if the story the old man tells is itself interesting, then is it unacceptable? I think the story was slightly longer than a page. I calculated that in a film it would take about 45 seconds. If the old man is interesting to look at, and a good actor, and there is some natural tension already in the scene, and the story is good, is this still a mortal sin?

With the expository writing in this story, if we get rid of it, the story itself is probably impossible. So is it worth some expository writing in order to convey a complicated story, one that will challenge your mind? I think so. I think it should be tweaked to sound more natural, but it should be left in the tale.
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Scar Tissue Films
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All right, so at some point in the future some kind of mad, religious scientist builds a gateway to other dimensions using the soul/death of a young woman?

So this opens a gateway right throughout time, and presumably the future, and even into other dimensions.

So whenever the astronomical/weather conditions are right, the portal opens...because the lab is still there in the time it's built. So it's repeating forever, no matter what happens outside of that moment because the portal was opened...and therefore cant be shut...because it stands outside of time, but throughout time as well?

But only when the lightning comes? Think you'll have to make the atmospheric conditions a lot weirder as though the portal is affecting the whole immediate area, sky included.

Anyway...the girl, despite being dead, chooses to stay behind to suffer eternally, to stop anyone else getting the secret? I think so, but maybe you need to show her make that choice...could be effective.

Only thing you can do with Charles is have him incapacitated by the Monk/scientist, if you want to include him somehow. He can't interfere, or it would wreck the story. So he gets incapacitated, put in the other cell. Scientist gets on with his work, then the ghost herself locks him and Charles into the cell?

But if the ghost herself can move things, she wouldn't need Charles in the first place, so you'd have to lose the bit where she beckons/talks to him (no loss)...just have him follow her. Would that work? She could also turn off the computer, in her own time, as it were.

This would also allow you to have a moment when the scientist decides to come for Charles in revenge when they're both in the cell, and just as he's about to strike him dead...the ghost turns the machine off and he's back in the present.

Then Charles is locked in the basement himself...and can be rescued by the local guardians.

Maybe find a reason they know he'll show up as well. Make them a bit more proactive.
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leitskev
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 6:19pm Report to Moderator
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This story is split between the old and the decaying and the Gothic, and the new and modern and scientific. I'd like to see that theme play out in the intellectual battle within Charles's mind. An archaeologist has to often choose between disrespectfully disturbing the past which he reveres and advancing knowledge, which is his job and passion. It's a never ending war of competing philosophies, and it cuts to the heart of the story here. I'd recommend developing Charles in that way, and then somehow have it play out as a choice he must make...revering the past, or advancing knowledge.
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grademan
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I'm not quite sure what to say about this one. On the one hand, writing and dialogue is good. On the other hand, the story is a little quirky. Switching to sci-fi is supposed to enhance the story, but I felt confused. I kept trying to figure out why Charles was a theologian (it was in the first dialogue) observing the lady's suffering. I kept expecting to wrap up with theology. I think I read too much into it. Anyway, a thought-provoking piece.

Thank you for sharing.
Gary
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 10:13pm Report to Moderator
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OK...I read from start to finish...that's a good thing.  Based on how whacky it was, I honestly wanted to continue and find out what the heck was going on and why.

It's bold and ambitious, but IMO, far from effective.  Lots of mistakes and problems throughout.  It's also far from clear or "logical".  Dialogue is not good, IMO.  Actual writing?  No, not good, either.

Does it meet the requirements?  Well, I guess that's up to each reader's opinion.  For me, it didn't really, but then again, I don't think the writer really intended it to.  There are Gothic elements, and I guess there's a ghost, but...

For ambition alone, I'll say it's probably somewhere near the top of the heap, but it needs alot of attention.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ryan1
Our Lady of The Eternal Suffering.  That was the name of my grade school.(rimshot)

But seriously, I'm going to have to disagree with the other posters.  I just didn't care for this one.  This felt about as far from Gothic Horror as possible.  Sure, it was set within the bowels of some Gothic ruins, but it contained none of the classic elements of Gothic horror.  This was much more of a trippy sci-fi tale.  On that end, I actually thought it was pretty good.  Almost like a throwback to 1970's astral projection stuff with all kinds of weird laboratory equipment.

One big problem was your main character, Charles Briggs, completely disappears from the story for a full six pages.  By the time he returns to the story, I had pretty much forgotten about him.  

It's an interesting idea, these Gothic ruins being a sort of an eternal portal to alternate dimensions, but the jarring shift of the first five pages of atmospheric horror into straight up sci-fi didn't work for me.


Nice critique, Ryan. Did you write this one? I think you're quite capable of it.     Or is it someone else "floating" around these boards.  

Case or not, this is exactly what I think. This is more like sci-fi than gothic, but I wouldn't hold it against it.

Here:

>The abbey as seen in hyper reality

**I don't have a problem with that. We can say, "What does hyper-reality look like? Sound like? So if you even just supply a little nudge in that direction after you've written that, then I think it's good enough. Two or three words might do it.

I completely could relate to this script. It is actually realistic to me. The only question I have is:

How is it that she stays, protecting secrets eternally? I mean, I get that she most likely wanders, jumping, as it were, through dimensions, (I can really get with that  ) but what? ...

Oh, I get it!!!  

Ok, I'm not going to give everything out. Where's the fun in that?

I really loved this one. I really did. In every way, this was a very precious read.

Sandra



A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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ReneC
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
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Interesting take on the ghost story. The writing is stellar, great job. It's certainly gothic, to contradict some previous comments, and the spirit is there even if it's not a traditional ghost.

The pacing is off. You have a solid start and then it gets bogged down with a long walk punctuated by a few moments of horror. Your main disappears for a while, which I'm okay with since we're repeating events that already transpired for him, but I'm left a bit confused. The scene changes from two empty rooms to the experiment in progress. I'm assuming the White Lady pulled him into her dimension or her time, but he doesn't react in the slightest, like it happens every other week. Then, when he becomes important again, he acts like he knows exactly what to do, right down to operating the computer. How does that work, exactly?

The doctor was so over-the-top mad scientist it was comical, completely incongruous with the tone and setting. Your characterization is so strong for Charles it's almost painful to have to swallow the tripe this guy spews out for dialogue.

This has tremendous potential but has a few major problems. I'd gladly read a rewrite.


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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 8:43am Report to Moderator
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Okay read this.

Quite an interesting take on the theme, I dont if this could be said to be straight up Gothic or not though. Maybe Sci-fi Gothic because it for sure mixes both.

Either way its good IMO. It more or less easy to read.

Very good job on finishing!


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 8:24pm Report to Moderator
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It started off pretty good. Iím actually a huge science fiction lover so that was all right with me. However, itís about that point that the story is derailed.

We go too long without Charles. From page five to eleven, the main character is absent from the story.

We donít know anything about the lady. She never does anything but suffer. Doctor Philips is basically a sci-fi scientist who keeps us informed. Without Charles, we really have no main character.

This is made worse by the fact that Charles is also completely inactive during his absence while actually watching whatís going on. Why no effort to stop whatís happening? His inactivity hurts him as a character as well as hurting the story.

There were good things. The description is pretty good and I actually liked Charles.

It has a lot going for it but, ultimately, it just doesnít work. Nice effort, though.


Breanne


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greg
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 12:40am Report to Moderator
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I didn't like how it started, but once Charles got into the Abbey I felt this was ambitious and quite a deep tale in such a short amount of space.  

A thought I had, since there was so much going on toward the end - this vortex deal has always been there and every so often someone comes along to try and expose it, so it's the Lady's job to protect it as best as she can, right?  That's what I gathered from it.  It's cool.  

Where I had an issue is that it starts off pretty routine with Charles looking for something, there's hesitancy from the locals, he goes anyway, the usual.  But then there's a huge chunk where his character disappears altogether.  I don't know how to fix that to be honest because I liked the sci-fi aspect a lot more than Charles' character up to that point.  

But this is a solid entry.  Really enjoyed it.

Nice job.

Greg


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dogglebe
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 8:17am Report to Moderator
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SPOILERS AHEAD

Sorry to say, but I didn't like this at all.  From the very beginning, you start with weapons-grade-exposition.  Charles starts with who he is and what he's doing.  What would a theologian expect to learn from and ancient church in the middle of the night?  Don't these guys generally do their research in libraries?  An archeologist or historian would visit the site, but not a theologian.  Especially at night.

The mad scientist was chock full of exposition, as well.  You start off his dialog with his introduction.  Why would he conduct his experiments in the secret basement of an ancient church?  Why not do it in a proper research facility.  This was so cliche and silly that I expected Scooby Doo to make an appearance.

Dialog and character development were very shallow.  I did enjoy how you used the White Lady's dialog for both conversations.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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SpecialAgentDaleCooper
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 8:30am Report to Moderator
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Points for originality, even if science fiction is far from being my favorite genre. I found some of the sci-fi elements kind of weirdly excessive (one of my issues with the genre) but overall enjoyable.

While all of this was going on, it would have been nice to go back to Charles for his reaction, or to condense the doctor's ramblings by quite a bit.

The end was clearly an ending, albeit not as strong as the rest of the piece. Kind of like a little tacked on exposition to verify those at the inn were aware of what had happened for some time, and a brief chuckle at the very end.

Overall, I'll say it's pretty well done. Some issues with little things that could easily be fixed when a shooting script was being worked on, but otherwise, fairly strong.
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rdhay
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 10:37pm Report to Moderator
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I liked this You established a nice mood, although I will say that the tone leading up to the Abbey seemed entirely different from the tone in the lab. I'm sure you could fix that easily, though.

I wasn't quite convinced about the ending. What you're trying to convey doesn't come across very clearly, so maybe tweak that a bit.

Overall, a job well done
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Leon
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A great original concept, well done.  I admire the ambition.

There was a case of what felt like a story within a story, or a story of two halves.  You abandon your protag for around 5 pages, while we watch what feels like a window into another world, probably alright for a feature, but too long for a short.

Gothic? I don't think so.  The lab, when you mentioned Victorian design, had me wanting to picture something along the lines of Frankenstein, but the futuristic equipment along with computer screens was jarring.  I think a more antiquated approach would have been better.

A very interesting concept, just needs some work to help it all gel together.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 30th, 2011, 3:30pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the reviews everybody.

Lots of interesting points of view, both good and bad.

I largely agree with all the criticism, whilst maintaining my pride in what I consider to be an interesting concept/story.

It tends to be the case that my ambition outweighs my competence over this time frame. I'm a slow, methodical writer in general.

A common problem seemed to be that Charles disappeared half way through. I'll either fix that up, or remove him from proceedings.

It is overly expositional, something I myself often decry. With the opening I was just trying to convey a sense of normality. The tourist drinking in the local bar, enjoying himself, before being thrust into this surreal experience...start with something people can relate to, before taking them on a journey kind of thing...

I think Eoin's appraoch would be better...have him instantly looking for the Abbey.

Anyway, thanks again for the reads. I'll addres specific points in reply to the reviewers.

Rick.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Eoin
Thw standard of writing and creative thinking here was impressive. As a stand alone piece, this is a nice little tale. In terms of the challenge however, it's a bit off the mark. It's a blend of genre elements, rather than a gothic horror.

Would have prefered the InnKeeper description after he is introduced.

Alot of the dialouge at the start is exposition. I'd prefer to be at the Abbey discovering the story as Briggs does, or watch Briggs walking up that trial, map and flashlight in hand, nervously navigating his way.

I have a hard time believing Charles would scream at the owl's hoot, but doesn't even seem fazed by blood dripping from a statue . . .

'Bottomless eye sockets', reads a little awkward.

By page 7, this writer is deep into their comfort zone, sci fi.

'A blue electromagnetic force-field surrounds the bed.' Electromagnetism can't be seen, it's effects can, so we wouldn't know that's what this is.

Some the action descriptions here are redundant:

'The world dissolves around her. The fabric of reality tears apart piece by piece. Light shines through from the other side as...

...the VORTEX opens. A tunnel of sound and vision that moves at breathtaking speed and ends in unbearable light.'

Just show us what happens, don't tell us, we'll interpret for ourselves.

The ending with the  Innkeeper was a little weak. Overall this enjoyable.


Thanks for the read Eoin.

1. Agreed about the opening.
2. The description is bad. It's not real blood...it's just a statue of a woman with bleeding eyes. I struggled for a while with that bit.
3. Do you have a suggestion of what it should say? It's just a kind of electric field, blue and crackling with electricity.
4. Don't really see any of it as redundant. I'm just describing what I see in my head...the material world dissolving, then cracking as light shines through, then a tunnel/vortex opening. Basically leaving it open to the individuals interpretation (ultimatley it would be whichever effects I can find that look the best!).

Rick.
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Eoin
Posted: November 1st, 2011, 5:20pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Rick,

I think your action description is as you say 'describing what I see in my head'. I'm pretty sure you know EXACTLY what you mean. Th problem is that the reader needs descriptions that are not ambigious.  I have seen similiar action descriptions when reading scripts that are written by writers/directors or people who spend time behind the camera.

3. I don't want to write the description for you, you're more than capable. The best suggestion I can make is to take a look at some youtube clips of Tesla coils discharging and write some description of what you see without referring to electricity or magnetism.

4. The only reason I said that the description is redundant here is that you are telling us the material world is disolving as opposed to showing, the telling part is redundant.

Revision History (1 edits)
Eoin  -  November 2nd, 2011, 5:10am
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Eoin
Hi Rick,

I think your action description is as you say 'describing what I see in my head'. I'm pretty sure you know EXACTLY what you mean. Th problem is that the reader needs descriptions that are not ambigious.  I have seen similiar action descriptions when reading scripts that are written by writers/directors or people who spend time behind the camera.

3. I don't want to write the description for you, you're more than capable. The best suggestion I can make is to take a look at some youtube clips of Tesla coils discharging and write some description of what you see with referring to electricity or magnetism.

4. The only reason I said that the description is redundant here is that you are telling us the material world is disolving as opposed to showing, the telling part is redundant.


On point four, I consider the dissolving part to be fundamental as well though. I mean it quite literally...as though the image on screen is dissolving.
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Eoin
Posted: November 2nd, 2011, 5:08am Report to Moderator
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I'm pretty sure it is fundamental. The real issue is that, to the best of my knowledge, the material physical world has never dissolved (unless you count people who experiment with drugs), so that description does not envoke a visual or reference that a reader, script wise, will understand. Instead, the visual discription(s) should infere to the reader that the material world is dissolving.

'The objects in the room shimmer. Bright light spills in through cracks in the wall. The entire room crumbles and yields to a flood of brillant light.'

Not saying the example above is by any means great, but it describes what is happening on screen, yet it shows and inferes something else, that the material world is dissolving.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: November 2nd, 2011, 8:13am Report to Moderator
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I appreciate your input, and understand where you're coming from, but I disagree personally.

Imo...an attempt to create a physical description of it completely subverts what's actually happening...it infers that there's a physical cause and not a mental one.

At this point she's floating in space in her mind (and the only thing I'd change tbh is the word "world" to "Universe").

Dissolve:

10.to becomed issolved,asinasolvent.
11.to become melted or liquefied.
12.to disintegrate,breakup,or disperse.
13.to lose force,intensity,or strength.
14.to disappear gradually;fadeaway.


To me it makes perfect sense what's happening and it's also a technical cinematic term for number 14.

If I was to describe something like the Moon as "breaking up or crumbling"...it would suggest 3 dimensional action and a physical occurence. It's not the Moon or anything else that's breaking up, it's the fabric of reality...it's as though our Universe is a 2D sheet of plastic stretched too thinly and the light is streaming through the holes. The idea being that the other reality is more real than this one.

Of course, I veered away from such a line to protect against rabid accusations of over description..ha ha. You can never win.

All that being said, I know I need to make things clearer. I try to make my stuff pretty deep and layered and it's easy to miss things
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Eoin
Posted: November 2nd, 2011, 8:36am Report to Moderator
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I think there's a misunderstanding in what I meant. I wasn't suggesting that the description had to be physical, rather than what was mentally experienced. the point was simply that whatever was shown on screen should be described as such.

I think I confused that by the example I presented.

If she's floating in space and time then this would be indicated as a POV at some point, what's on screen is what the character see and experiences.
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