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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  The Lonely Tenant - OWC
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  Author    The Lonely Tenant - OWC  (currently 5262 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:21am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Lonely Tenant by James Williams (jwent668 - Short, Gothic Horror - A woman rents the first renovated apartment in an old building, but she soon finds she's not the only one there. 12 pages, 4 characters, Hard R Rating - pdf, format

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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 5:00pm
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 10:17am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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What I liked: the abandoned building that has been recently renovated is a great location. The ghosts planning for the future scenario by always moving the knife and the lighter was extremely well done and conceived.

What didn't work: the Ouija board was a little too straightforward. I understand that might be due to the page limitation or even the time limitation. But the whole thing is convenient to begin with then plays too straight, like they were just dialing up the ghost on the phone.

Things happened too quick with the landlord seeing her looking at the wall and then going after her. And it was strange where she asks the ghost right away if it was him that killed her. These are things that were again probably due to limitations. Might be tough to make all of this come together in a plausible way in a short.

I also did not like Jenny taking over Maria's body. That did not seem necessary.

In general, good stuff that can be smoothed over after the challenge is over.

Revision History (1 edits)
leitskev  -  October 20th, 2011, 5:05pm
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 7:21pm Report to Moderator
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Very well written. Really kicked in on page 7.

Fits the theme well enough.

Downside...very traditional ghost story, with a very traditional ouija board conceit...not a hugely gothic vibe.

Probably going to one of the better written scripts in the OWC, but not one that I see having a huge amount of potential in the long term...(I'm a meany,  I know!).
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Not too bad, but I wished that some scenes in the house actually had the character's name instead of only her pronoun (She). I also didn't mind the oujia board too much, but since it takes two folks to operate it for it to "work properly" - the planchette moving with people's hands one letter at a time would take a minute for one line ("Leave Or Die") as opposed to spoken.

Given the outcome, I'm surprised that Maria didn't get to the body. I would have liked to have seen a sketeton in plastic, ghost inside etc.

Not too bad overall. Good job.

"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
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:53am Report to Moderator

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OK, although I felt this one became a little simple and predictable halfway through, it was good fun, was a quick read and it entertained me.
Some of Maria's behaviour towards the ghost seemed a little laid back, as if this type of thing was just a nuisance, and after it saves her life I just found her last line quite amusing. Not sure why, maybe I'm getting tired.
I liked the set up, with Jenny moving the objects around and to be honest, I thought the reason for this was really well thought out. The ouija board scenes were nicely done.

All in all, pretty good job.

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 7:13am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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Hello Gert,

I enjoyed the read and thought it well written and balanced.

My comments are;

It went along nicely until the scene with the landlord and it then felt forced with too much exposition
Didn't like the permanent resident line - too well used for my liking

In terms of characters sierra was written clearly and different to her friend but I was left wondering whether she could play more, but it is a short after all.

I liked the interaction with Jenny and the set up.

On the gothic theme, I felt this was a bit weak. I saw this as more of traditional horror/thriller with a paranormal element, but again I think we have to accept some flexibility bearing in mind the constraints.

All the best.

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Private Message Reply: 5 - 31
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 10:05am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Nothing gothic going on here (maybe the Ouija board) but a solid ghost story.
Jenny taking over Maria wasn't necessary and the Ouija board caused me to groan.
I loved the idea of the ghost preparing Maria for what was to come, great idea and well executed.
How the hell did Edward remove the chain lock? not possible, they are designed so you can't, otherwise it sort of defeats their point. (unless he adjusted it specially so he COULD get in...?) or have him return with some bolt cutters!
I was hoping that jenny was just another tennant, maybe that's what Edward does - he is a serial killer that takes in Tennants and kills them.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 10:54am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


New York
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Cliche but really good. I think this can be expanded a bit more. It flows too quickly ie sierra and the ouja board. I think it would be better if during the struggle we see the ghost help her out. However, how does the ghost know what Maria needs and where? The ghost's a psyic?

Hope this helps
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 4:59pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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This was a good modern take on Gothic horror, although it is pushing the boundaries of the definition a bit.  However, you do have a doomed romance and a very helpful ghost.

The writing flowed really well and story zoomed right along.  The knife and lighter were set up well.  I would like to have seen a different method of the ghost communicating.  Ouija has been done to death, as it were.  

I did find myself wondering if Jenny's corpse wouldn't have stunk up the place.  And if Edward owned the building, maybe the basement would have been a better place to stash a stiff.  Out of all the apartments in that building, he probably shouldn't have chosen the one he murdered his wife in to rent out.  That might have been a funny line when Edward was out on the fire escape, looking into the apartment.  "F*ck.  Why did I rent her this one?"

But overall, I did like the speed of the narrative and the setting.  Good work for an OWC.
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 5:38pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Yep, i liked this one.

It needs a good re-write, as the first half is done well, but it sort of wandres a little, when the action starts.

Maybe the author lost impetus during the writing? That can happen especially with a tough challenge like this.

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Posted: October 17th, 2011, 7:19am Report to Moderator
Guest User

Decently written, though a very by-the-numbers submission.  

In general, I cared about the characters (always a good thing), though I found some of the dialogue wooden...especially with Edward.  (Strange, because some of the banter between the girls was actually very fun and entertaining.)

As the script progressed, it sort of slid into horror story cliche, and lost it's sparkle.

Still, competant writing - and your basic evil killer meets ghost story.

Congrats on the OWC - even though not particularly gothic!  
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 12:34pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Solid opening page. Good flow. Except that Great Room slug.
Sierra jumps to conclusions pretty fast.
Donít know how those long Ouija messages would play on screen.
You have Maria using the planchette alone? Donít work that way.
Did Sierra leave the board there? Plot seems too rushed.
I respect keeping things moving, but the atmosphere is suffering.
Who was the lonely tenant in the story?
A lot of expository dialogue explaining things I figured out.
How could the ghost know where to put the knife?
Pretty decent formatting. Thanks for playing OWC.



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c m hall
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

peninsula of Jersey
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This is an entertaining story, and Maria is a character that an audience could like, she's plucky and bright.  
And, no matter what, I love that apartment.
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Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 2:00pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Overall, I like it. Had a few plot holes and some unlikely occurrences but, otherwise, I thought it was a good story.

If I understand this right, the knife is on the floor when Maria first finds it? Then she puts it in the silverware drawer? Uh-uh, no way. She might put it in the sink but I hope no one would pick silverware off the floor (that their shoe has touched) and put it back in a drawer. Maybe Iím just OCD that way.

Would Sierra be so cavalier if she really thought a ghost was moving the planchette?

A few spelling errors, buy where it should be by, hallow where it should be hollow.

How can Edward unlatch the chain from outside the door? That isnít possible. He would either have to break in or sneak (or smash) through the window from the fire escape.

Thereís a problem with Edwardís plan. If he murders Maria while sheís tied up, there will be evidence that she was tied up left on her body. You may have to change it so that he drowns her without tying her up.

Needs to be tightened up but good job.


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Posted: October 19th, 2011, 8:55pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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I thought this was a pretty decent read. Didn't get too much goth from it other then the setting.

"Ghosts are not bad, just misunderstood". - I thought Jenny was a bad ghost. She wouldn't have put Maria into danger had she not been moving her things around and telling her if "She doesn't leave she will die." That really set-up the whole scenario. Seemed like Edward was content on just murdering his wife and having a renter until Jenny's ghost used her as a tool for her own revenge.

Could understand the writer maybe not seeing it that way until much retrospect. To me she came off cold hearted.

This might be pretty good with a few extra pages and a slower build. Til then, it does feel the story was too rushed...

Good job completing an OWC.


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