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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2011 One Week Challange  ›  The Stone Within - OWC
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  Author    The Stone Within - OWC  (currently 4604 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 10:26am Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Stone Within by Jordan Littleton (nomad) - Short, Gothic Horror - [no logline] 10 pages, 4 pages, no rating - pdf, format

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Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 6:02pm
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 1:15pm Report to Moderator
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Setting was a modest castle. Gothic check. Catacombs. Check plus.

The story didn’t grab me. If it was a style decision, that’s okay, it just didn’t pull me in.

Several characters were not needed: The friar, the healer and the servant. The three main characters were enough to carry this.

The ghost leads the man to his wife’s location qualifies as a misunderstood ghost in that any good deed would meet the criteria. Was the ghost the wife?

The back story was interesting but not explained: How did the children die? What illness does the wife have? Why are the brothers feuding? This distracted me from the read.

The servant’s explanation of the wife in the catacombs was pure exposition but it did move the story forward.

The ending was good except for the overused “Nooooooo!”


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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 2:14pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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Where is the misunderstood ghost? This really doesn't even qualify as a ghost story, IMO. A ghost pops in for a second just to show the guy his wife, if that's his wife. Who is the ghost, is it her? What is its motivation?

Let's leave aside the OWC requirement. What did Petrona do that resulted in the deaths of the kids? What was the problem between her and Fabian? These are kind of important questions. Myabe they the answers are in the script and I am too dense to grasp them.

The story is well written. The setting is Gothic. But the important character motivations are not clear to me at all. Can be fixed easily, I'm sure.
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 4:07pm Report to Moderator

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I dug the setting and overall vibe of the piece, it fit the criteria. Other portions of it didn't though, which were previously stated here.

It felt like you had a great story, but had trouble telling it. Maybe it was just how I read it, but I felt that you knew what you wanted to say, but left out important bits that would have given the reader more insight into everything.

While this piece did have the right direction, I felt that the story held it back a bit.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:37am Report to Moderator
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This was quite an interesting one. I was waiting for it to get going and it never really "exploded" but reflecting over it I think the story is fitting of gothic horror.
I take it Petrona is suffering a great illness which has been passed on to the children which resulted in their deaths and caused the conflict between Fabian and Hector. This was a nice dynamic, Hector obviously wanting to keep his love from harm and trying to nurse her back to health whilst Fabian feared for his own, which is why he did what he did.

It would have been interesting to know what this illness was, but not particularly necessary so unless I missed a subtle hint I don't blame you for not including it.
I liked the ending - reminded me of "The Black Cat" - and I'm guessing Hector was either suffering so much through loneliness or had contacted the illness himself and that's why decided to end his life in that way.

The ghost is a bit of a mystery - I'd guess it was Petrona's spirit.

As for meeting the challenge, not sure. It's Gothic, has horror ( the ending) but the Ghost's only role was to guide Hector to the chamber. Helpful more than good.

I liked the style of writing, very clear and easy to take in what was going on ( except page 7 - I got lost with the "pain etches over Hector's head" for a bit due to him having just pushed Fabian against the wall) and even if I'm not a period drama fan, and this at times felt like one, it was a decent read.
Nice one,

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 9:45am Report to Moderator

Manchester, uk
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I agree with the others about the ghost, It seemed a little tacked on to me.

Personally some of the dialogue wasn't distinct enough between Hector and Fabien which made it a little harder to imagine a different person,

Overall though, the gothic vibe came through loud and clear, so well done!
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 12:39pm Report to Moderator
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This one's got a ton of promise - and there's obviously talent behind the words.  (The puff of dust was a beautiful and subtle touch.  Kudos!)

Great, gothic setting.  Great classic story.  Shakespearean almost, in the level of tragedy that one could achieve with this.  

The story does need to be streamlined.  Cut out any duplications (for instance, once it's established that Hector suspects Fabian of wrong doing, no need to rub it in any further.)  And the ending...could be reworked.

Here's an idea - if you're interested.  You've established that Patrona's sickness has caused the death of her children.  She's got to have a ton of guilt over that.  Fabian follows her into the catacombs, ready to confront her for continuing to wander the castle.  He finds her dying, perhaps from her sickness. She forces him to promise to hide her body, and never tell Hector as the loss would kill him.  Fabian does - then lies to Hector once confronted.  Fabrian dies - Hector heads for the catacombs.  

The ghost follows, and he finds her body.  The spectre tells him the truth - that she committed suicide to keep her husband from suffering a similar fate (and to stop the brother's quarrel, once and for all.)  

Hector lies with her body in his arms, crying for his lost family.  At this point, he has nothing left.

Just a thought.  Fun story - thanks for submitting!
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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 1:48pm Report to Moderator

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Good setting, fine dialogue and good use of atmosphere.
I didn't really see much in the way of a misunderstood ghost.
A solid premise and the ending would really stick with you on film.

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Posted: October 16th, 2011, 2:06pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Well, the good news is that I completed the script.

Punctuation is terrible...many sentences missing commas actually have different meanings.

Story is not thought through or developed, leaving many questions.

Could be much better, but not bad.

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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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 16th, 2011, 2:48pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Part time writer

The Island of Jersey
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Hello Helene

I won't  repeat too much of what has been said.

I liked the tone, but wasn't always sure on the dynamics. Ghost stuff??

I have this feeling that once re worked this could be something.

All the best

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Pale Yellow
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 9:27am Report to Moderator
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For me the characters were a bit misunderstood, but I loved the ending. I was a bit confused at who the ghost really was, but in my reading, I assumed it was the ghost of the new corpse Petrona.

Good job and best of luck in the October OWC.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 1:41pm Report to Moderator
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Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Smartphone use complaints in a gothic tale? Hmmm.
A ghost detecting smartphone, I wish!
This is sounding more like Fringe by the second.
How come no one noticed the scorpion on the plate sooner?
Virtually all talk with little adherence to the OWC rules.
There’s only one thing missing from this ghostly smartphone app.
I kept waiting for a joke about “roaming charges” for ghost radar.
Oh yeah, I so went there.



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

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Private Message Reply: 11 - 22
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 9:37pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Despite not really knowing what is/was the ghost, I did like the setting. Formatting seemed okay to me. Ending didn't quite work for me either, but I liked how you started it off. Not a bad entry.

"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 18th, 2011, 5:26am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Excellent beginning, classic Gothic setting.  You needed to explain how the kids died.  I think this was imperative because it would help us understand Petrona's character more.  What was the reason Fabian blamed her for the deaths?

The back and forth between the brothers and Petrona was somewhere between Shakespeare and telenovela.  Entertaining melodrama.

I loved the catacombs.  In fact, I wish you used them even more in this story.

Whose SCREAM was that?  Fabian's or Petrona's?  If Petrona was sealing herself in, why would she scream?  It would have helped if you had indicated a male or female scream.

And again at the end, whose ghost was that?  Fabian's or Petrona's?  A little more clarity and this story would have carried a lot more weight.  

This was a pretty solid entry.
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c m hall
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 12:08pm Report to Moderator

peninsula of Jersey
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Beautiful setting, wonderful atmosphere.  The pacing of the story is good, so good in fact that the substance of the story itself is a bit of a letdown.  The ending is interesting but... she bricked herself up into the wall?  because she just wanted her husband to forget about her?  Creepy in all new ways.
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