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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  Castle Trouble - OWC
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  Author    Castle Trouble - OWC  (currently 3572 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:21am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Castle Trouble by Fred Kracke - Short, Gothic Horror - The trouble stops when you die.  8 pages, 4 characters, PG Rating - pdf, format

Visit for what is new on the site.

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

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 5:01pm
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 1:48pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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Hello Sean,

I think you may get a rough ride with this one, but thankfully I am new so happy to share some thoughts.

Before the detail if you want to progress, then read and review a lot on SS. It's a great education but you have to get involved.

I am not a format guru but some here will not be happy about your format, so read and learn.

I am sorry to say I didn't finish the script. I made notes as I went along and after a while had too many. But DON'T lose heart, in the last OWC I got knocked around but so far the reviews for this OWC are much improved so you can do it.


Fade in is off the left side
First title is not in cap and abuts the sentence below
The first time you see a character their name should be in CAPITALS
Best not use bold
Sounds can be CAPITALISED, such as a door KNOCKS. Don't over use.
Ghost would be (o.s) off screen as you can't see it
Use shorter paragraphs for description - some try to use a max of two sentences.
Avoid POV
In the dialogue the repetition of " brother" I found to be a bit annoying

I stopped at page 6, sorry, others to read.


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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The boy who could fly
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 7:11pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

British Columbia, Canada
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Hey Johnny Blaze, I'm guessing you are new to screenwriting so congratulations on finishing the OWC, they can be difficult to pump out in a week. This kinda read to me like an episode of scooby doo without scooby. It was pretty tough to get through, it did fit the challenge so you succeeded there. Good luck on future writing, I;m confident you will learn more as time goes on. Good job on entering the OWC.

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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:48pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

Hey -

Congrats on finishing the OWC.  Like other reviewers, I'm getting the sense that you're relatively new to the biz.  

That said, this is a great early attempt.  A few pointers on this, which others I'm sure will touch on, too:

* Cut up your descriptions into paragraphs that are no more than three lines long
* You overused "brother" - try to make the dialog more casual and nature (how many people constantly refer to their siblings by their relationship?)
* With dialog, make sure you put in commas where appropriate (pauses, etc.) - and stay away from apostrophes as much as possible.  A little goes a long way (!)

That said, your writing structure is for the most part very clean, with some neat turns of phrase.  The humor does shine through.  I see promise here.  So keep it up, and write even more!
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 11:14pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Not looking to pile on here, but this read like Three Stooges visit the haunted castle.  Is there any reason they didn't just run out the front door once the ghost told them to leave?

That door would stop any man. But
there is no way it will stop a ghost.

The Ghost floats through the door.

Danny slowly turns to Connor.

You're right about that. Lets go!

That dialogue is so on the nose, it'll give ya a nosebleed.  

There were a lot of very basic formatting and grammatical errors here.  Really too many to get into.  Just keep working at it.
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 8:11am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Procrastinator in residence.

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Great title and an entertaining slugline hooked me, but unfortunately the script itself, like others have noted, does give the appearance of an extremely early effort. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the OWC a great avenue to break into the scene since the challenge is formidable and the reviews can get pretty brutal.

Thr biggest problem for me really was the dialogue, which was very unnatural and clunky. Most notable was the overuse of the brothers sharing dialogue, which might be a fun device for Saturday morning cartoons, but don't really fit here. Maybe this was intended to be a cartoon? If that was the case it probably would've been a good idea to indicate it somehow.

Additionally, I failed to see how the ghost was not bad, driving two young individuals to their deaths. Sure, they were stealing stuff but the punishment wasn't really proportional to the crime.

However, I too urge you not to get discouraged. We've all been beginners and screenwriting is a form that doesn't come naturally to pretty much anyone. If you are more seasoned, I apologize for the patronizing tone of my comments.

Heck, I'll apologize in any case. Because that's the kind of guy I am.

The act of writing is a quest to put a hundred thousand words to a cunning order.
- Douglas Adams
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 8:42am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Yeah, as others have mentioned, pretty much every mistake in the book is on display on the first page.  That's as far as I'm going to get, sorry to say.

Congrats on completing an entry for the October OWC.  

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 10:14am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Haven't got anything else to add that hasn't already.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:04pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

The two biggest problems I had with this script dealt with the characterization and with the overall tone.

Your characters are very two dimensional, if that.  There was nothing that separates the brothers.  Their dialog and their action are identical... and they weren't developed.  Their dialog was artificial and dull.  The constant reference to 'brother' was very annoying.

You need to develop your characters more.  Develop them more than you would need to use in the script.  What do Danny and Connor do in their spare time?  What hobbies/skills do they have that would affect how they would interact with each other in the castle?

There wasn't much horror (much less gothic horror) to this story.  There wasn't much story to the story.  It was just a long chase sequence with very little payoff at the end.

I get the impression that you're new at this, and probably young.  I strongly recommend that you read some scripts here (some non-OWC scripts).  Learn about characterization and dialog.  Without strong characters, all stories fall flat.

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Posted: October 17th, 2011, 12:05am Report to Moderator

I got dipping sticks.

Los Angeles
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starting reading this, but stopped prematurely.

i'll say this mr blaze...keep at it. you're probably young and if you are thats awesome. because you're learning the craft now. i wish i started writing screenplays when i was younger.  time is on your side, so use it wisely.

that being said, you need to read, read read. keep writing and read some well written scripts. learn from them.

best of luck!

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Posted: October 17th, 2011, 12:47am Report to Moderator
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Danger, Danger

Take your pick ... This one is, as many others have no doubt stated, pretty offensive.  

-You got lines butted up tightly to your slugs
-You got BOLD in your dialogue
-You got 6 lines of action without break or hesitation to stop and think about us, the readers, feelings.
-You don't space your scenes
- SMASH CUT TO:  < Seriously?  I mean, really?  C'mon...
- I don't think AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH is really dialogue.  It could just be stated within action sublets.

The story is almost as non-existent as the rules you followed to meet the criteria of the challenge to be honest.  I'm not trying to sound like a total Anal Bead here, but even in a week some of the problems should be addressed properly.

It's an inevitable train wreck waiting to happen and I don't think it can be avoided cos' the rails are rusty as hell.  There is a solid grasp on what screenwriting is here, and that's important.  I will never fault anyone for submitting a script and supporting this site and these challenges.  These are so good at honing your skills.  Writing more efficient .  Don't give up - Keep plucking away using the above things mentioned by others and myself.   You can really tighten up your work seemingly over night.  And don't, under no circumstance, take my word or anyone's word here as rule... We all bend the rules, some more than others.  We all learn from each script we read and each script we write.  You're gonna hear the harsh nature of some people here simply because there is a screen between you and them -- And some will justify it as saying "We're getting you ready for the industry."  

Good luck on all that you do.

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 17th, 2011, 7:06pm
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 12:36pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Fubared slug to open, not a good sign.
No CAPPED character intros. Random bolding of dialogue.
This site is a great resource for screenwriting. Explore.
Your script feels more like a tween thriller than a gothic tale.  
I guess the ghosts are misunderstood since the kids stole stuff.
Good effort for someone unfamiliar with the format.
Thanks for playing OWC.



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

A list of my scripts can be found here.
Private Message Reply: 11 - 20
Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 18th, 2011, 4:04pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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The title sounds farcical, like a comedy set in a haunted castle. As I read, it seems that was intentional.

Obviously abandoned? I’m seeing the word obviously in a lot of scripts. To me, this word is more befitting of an emotional state, like “The tension between them is palpable.” In the case of an abandoned castle, what exactly makes it obvious?

The dialogue is a little stilted. Does Danny really have to call his brother by name nearly every single time he speaks to him? Occasionally is okay. It actually acclimates the audience to his name, but nearly every single time?

Was the fact that they’re stealing treasure supposed to be a revelation? It’s pretty obvious. Maybe it would be better to be up front about that.

It seems to be written by someone fairly new to screenwriting. Looking at it that way, it’s not a bad early effort. Could be fun with some fixing up.

Stick with it and good luck.


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Posted: October 19th, 2011, 10:10pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Victoria, Australia
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One thing I thought I'd mention (it seems my other thoughts have already been covered) is that a few times, you repeat what you've already said. An example would be the violin music - you say it's violin music in the action line, then one of them says they hear violin music. I get what you're going for, but it doesn't read well IMO.

Anyway, good job on submitting.
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Posted: October 19th, 2011, 10:39pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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The good news is I can tell you had fun with this.  There were also some good ideas in here, from the Scottish kilt ghost to the ballroom to Danny and Connor becoming ghosts themselves.  However, the script itself was very routine, pretty much a chase with no character development (I couldn't tell you the difference between Danny and Connor) and dialogue that felt more cartoonish than anything else.  

I'm sure someone already told you about format.

Good effort, keep working on it.


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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 20th, 2011, 1:27pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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

Bowden, Alberta
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Who did this?! I really wanna know!!!! You crazy character you! Loved it!!!

Fix the beginning will ya? With your funny goofin' 'round with format. And, stuff like, "Let's get outta here". "You're the older brother... you outta know..."  

You crack me up. I really did get a kick out of this one. Hilarious!!!! Way ta go!!!!!


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Posted: October 21st, 2011, 3:56pm Report to Moderator

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This is all kinds of crazy. Fun read though.
It felt like an episode of scooby doo.
There is little doubt you've got a lot to work on - but if this is a first time effort then don't be discouraged.

Amongst some of the problems that stuck out from the get go was Connor and Danny are trying to leave the castle...but the ghost that wants them to get out keeps stopping them!

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Posted: October 21st, 2011, 11:53pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
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Locations & Sets  -  EXT castle w/ heavy wood and iron door, INT castle hall, INT Trophy room, INT castle kitchen, INT banquet room, INT castle staircase, EXT overlooking castle moat
Actors  -  DANNY (20s), CONNOR (20s), voice for GHOST, SCOTTISH NOBLEMAN GHOST, banquet hall full of ghosts waltzing, FEMALE GHOST
Costumes  -   full regalia Scottish nobleman costume, period evening dress and gowns x 12
Props  -  large weighted bag, suits of armor x 4, candles and holders x 2, mirror, broadsword, stuffed reared bear, pots and pans, treasures in bag
Audio FX  -  thunder crashes, heavy footsteps, thunder rolls, windswept rain on windows, THUD!, heavy breathing, crashing of pots and pans, ghost scream, violin music
Visual FX  -  lightning flashes, rain, orb of light becomes ghost, ghost proclamation, gliding ghost, ghost floats through the door, ghost throwing pots and pans, ghost waltzers, female ghost turns into a skeleton, ghost rising through floor, bag opening by itself on command
Other  -  Horse drawn carriage, hose to rain on the windows, lights for lightning flashes, big fan for blowing open window, probably going to have to figure out a way to safely jump over the castle wall
Comments  -  Gotta capitalize character introductions. This is very Teen-Nick Nickelodeon good spirited and fun. Special effects and setting make it a budget buster for all but a large studio.

Private Message Reply: 17 - 20
Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 11:09pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Quoted Text
There is a rolling crash of thunder. During the thunder a
voice is heard.


I took this advice. The formatting is all over the map. See all the above comments, they echo everything I have to say. Still, it was a nice effort. Better a  short script to work on your writing errors than a 120 page behemoth, I always say.,,,and since there's a chunk of white on p3, you have some work cut out for you (no pun intended)

"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 24th, 2011, 4:09am Report to Moderator

London, UK
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Personally I felt the story needed a lot more depth, it was essentially two people being chased by a ghost in a big house, there wasn't any set up or suspense, it was almost a constant stream of action.  Who's the ghost? Who's home is it? Did they know it was haunted before they came?  I think it needed more backstory.

However, I did like the undead waltz.  To be chased by a single ghost only to run into a whole ballroom of them, it was a nice turn of events.  

There was a lively energy about this story.


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Posted: October 24th, 2011, 12:12pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Vancouver, BC
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This is SO bad it's actually good. I nearly didn't make it past the first half-page but decided to plow through. I'm glad I did, it's enjoyable once the reader's expectations adjust.

This is like Scooby-Doo meets Be Kind, Rewind. Pure cheese but light on tongue-in-cheek, meant to be taken lightly and laughed at. I'd re-write the first page to establish this tone firmly in the reader's (and viewer's) mind. Every line is so on-the-nose it's painful but that's part of the charm here; whether intended or not it works.

It doesn't stand up to some of the other entries but I can see this getting made, preferably with cheap, silly special effects and terrible synthesizer/organ combo for music to really nail it.

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