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Reaparations by Will Ball (albinopenguin) - Short, Gothic Horror - Six months after the Civil War's conclusion, Colonel Henry Gibbs gets a visitor he never expected. 10 pages, 5 characters, Hard R Rating - pdf, format
Whilst I am new around here I think there is a bit for you to learn on formatting BUT I thought the twist was strong and the story has potential.
fade in on left Establishing shot - some will frown on this as you don't need to use establishing, I think P2 - stake? Not steak Your translations from one scene to another may need work Eli - you don't introduce him before he's involved. First time characters should be in CAPITALS P5 growing balls - well it's different, some may not like that style of expression Fade out is the end transition
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
Oh, man. I'm really on the fence with this one. The ghost in question appears to be out for revenge and, with a gun , kills Melinda. The threat of Henry Gibb's secret being exposed is questionable. Can't the ghost simply haunt until Henry confesses? Or show Gibbs son and/or Melinda the truth - would they really care?
While it is an interesting take and twist of sorts, I have to stick to the premise itself. If these Southerners, just lost the war...would they be so willing to take the word of a black man? Henry does appear to call the bluff, but I never was convinced.
Dropping the steak is like dropping the teacup. I can almost imagine the slo-mo shot for added OTN emphasis. Imagine this: Henry might think, up until Amos shows his neck, that he is a relative of Amos. But instead of pulling out a gun, Amos pulls out THE EAR.
This would freak Henry and the family out. Then have Amos put the ear of Henry to the Eli's ear. Eli "hears" the event that claimed Amos' life.
Nice effort for the OWC though. Missed the mark by a hair.
The writing on this one was clean, you have a good grasp of the craft.
One formatting issue though: you didn't properly label the flashback, which made it confusing at first. The slugline should be FLASHBACK TO: before the scene. Also: unless it's a pun, reparations is spelled wrong (not good, when it's the title of the story)...
Re: the story. It maybe has a germ of promise in it, if completely rewritten and reworked. I'm not being facetious here....I really honestly think that a story about a old closeted southern man that has a black lover could actually work. Imagine the guilt, the shame, the secrets that he'd have to cover up. It's got potential (though, if he truly loved him - he'd do something like poison him instead - and hold him while he died.)
The rest of the story? Gratutious bloodshed and gore that just doesn't work, and doesn't do just to what *could* be a riveting story. Get rid of the gore, move the flashback to mid-story, and have it just be a cold dark night where Henry's visited by a ghost from his past that he'd rather not remember. And get rid of the "you promised to kill yourself" bit. That's much too melodramatic, and takes away from the pathos that this story COULD have had.
I have to admit that I did not see this coming... Apparently, 'jungle fever' seems to be the genre for the scripts.
The biggest problem I had with this script is that there was no proper mood for it. Gothic horror needs a little suspense. The use of physical violence is not right for the genre. The characters (and the readers) need to feel dread; this was lacking in this script. Perhaps if Amos haunted the Colonel some more...
The writing was pretty clean, though there were some problems. You tell us that Gibbs is a colonel when you introduce him. You need to describe him as such. Is he wearing his uniform at the table? Show us things. Don't tell us.
Is the title's misspelling intentional? I saw the pun there, but not sure if it applies in this script.
I’m sure others have pointed out the culinary typo. Henry and Melinda sound like the Civil War Kramdens. Henry offs himself right in front of his kid? Ouch. Vague dialogue feels cheesy, like you’re holding back the plot. Whoa, didn’t see that one coming, you got me there. Amos didn’t seem to be much of a ghost, rather corporeal. The kid was superfluous, why expose a child to horror? Pretty well written and a nice gothic twist. Thanks for playing OWC.
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Another gun-totin' ghost. Second one I've come across in this owc.
I liked the setting, but some of your descriptive passages read clunky:
"Everything around them is indicative of the confederate south and is covered in dust."
Amos calls Henry by the wrong name.
AMOS You made a promise to me Harry.
As for the story, I guessed your twist right away. You pretty much gave it away when Amos talks with a "slight lisp." And then when Amos says "You're husband is a--", that clinched it for me.
So, no real surprises with this one. The idea for the story isn't bad at all: forbidden love amid the war, and an old soldier hiding a dark secret. But, I think the subject matter could have been handled with a good deal more finesse. The ghost wasn't much of a ghost, just some dude who showed up on a doorstep with a gun. And, considering he shot the wife in the face, I'd say he's pretty damn bad, so this didn't fit into the rules of the challenge, IMO.
Not bad, not bad at all. Writing is good for the most part and it read quick but I think you could cut down/ clean up some of the descriptions. There was a certain moment that genuinely took me by surprise. I might sound a bit hypocritical when I say the gore could be cut down considering what I've written in the past but I think you could have more effect with a little less. Solid in my opinion. Good stuff!
Started out really promising - hate ghosts with guns and seen several this OWC! SOmeone mentioned that Amos killing the wife takes all sympathy away from the character and I have to agree. Some of the descriptions were great, dialogue was ok until the point where Amos and Henry had their "encounter" it felt really forced. A brave and ambitious script trying to tackle homosexuality, infidelity, war and racism in difficult times in a few pages and it just didnt quite hit the mark for me.
I think this was essentially a good story and quite well done. The fact that you painted Henry as a flawed character from the beginning was nailed and I appreciated the detail of him trying to work on that steak without a knife.Just one of those things that stuck with him. And, the fact that he had a wife, but it was more of a cover than anything, or he swung both ways, who knows.
Is this gothic? No I wouldn't say so. Could it be gothic? Yes, you could manipulate it in that direction.
Is it memorable? Yes, I do think it is.
One thing I'm thinking of though now is:
There was absolutely NO REACTION FROM ELI, upon discovering his head blown out mother. Whoops!
Very good attempt here -- I just didn't get into the whole plantation stuff. It's not that I don't think you can write, clearly you can. It's just I was working towards wanting it to end rather than wanting it to continue.
You used some good trade offs in this script. You are one of the only writers I've ever seen do dual dialogue... A small thing, but it shows you know your way around the craft. So that pains me every time I see (continued) at the tops and bottoms of every page... knock that stuff off or turn it off... something!
The ending was very abrupt, almost begging for it to continue -- but, as I said, I really wasn't looking forward to turning the page again if it did. I applaud your efforts on the timeline and the overall mood of this script. The amount of time it took to write it was just not on your side here.
I thought this was good. Could be chiseled down by a few pages but this was definitely a different take.
I didn't see the twist coming. I actually thought it was going to be something sci-fi-ish, so good work on that. Two things though - the first is that in 1865 it would be really tough for these guys to get a picture of themselves together. I guess if it's just the two of them standing next to each other, but the way their relationship is you think the picture would be a little more...relationship-y? And in 1865? Maybe a little poem or something instead.