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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 4482 views)
Posted: October 15th, 2011, 9:26am 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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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  October 29th, 2011, 5:02pm
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 12:15pm 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, 1:14pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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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, 3:07pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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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.

A Picture Is Worth

If you want me to read your script, send me a link.
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Posted: October 15th, 2011, 11:37pm 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, 8:45am 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, 11:39am 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, 12:48pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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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, 1:06pm 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, 1:48pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

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

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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Pale Yellow
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 8:27am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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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, 12:41pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
Private Message Reply: 11 - 22
Posted: October 17th, 2011, 8:37pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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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
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Posted: October 18th, 2011, 4:26am 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, 11:08am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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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Posted: October 19th, 2011, 1:07pm Report to Moderator
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While I enjoyed the setting and atmosphere of the story, I felt that the story came up short.  You open up at the funeral for the children but didn't explain what happened.  Mom had something to do with it, but I'd like to know what.

Two pet peeves of mine that I noticed here:

Quoted Text
A friar quietly recites a burial prayer in Latin.

This should be dialog, not description.

   In nomeni et Patri et filius et sancti etc. etc...

If you can't find the actual Latin (or whatever it is you want the characters to say) you should stick with (MOS) which means the characters are talking but we don't hear it.


Quoted Text
Obviously angered, Fabian pursues her.

How is this obvious?  Too many writers describe things this way and it's just wrong because we, the reader, don't know what's obvious.  Don't tell us that he's angry; show us!

I recently read a script (not from here) where the writer describes things as obviously six or eight times.  And it wasn't obvious.

Quoted Text
Bill took a big bite out of his sandwich.  He makes a face.  Obviously the ham wasn't honey-glazed like he wanted.

I made the above example up, but do you see what I mean, here.  Nothing is obvious.

e-mail Reply: 15 - 22
Breanne Mattson
Posted: October 19th, 2011, 10:44pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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No logline. That’s not good. I almost didn’t read it because of that.

First Petrona’s pale face and cough betray a secret. Then her cough betrays her presence. Darn, that woman’s cough betrays her a lot. Maybe change one of them.

Some of the other description gets a little too poetic.

Fabian tossed the goblet aside before going downstairs, yet Hector finds it in the catacombs.

How do we know pain surges through Hector’s head?

As an aside, this is probably the first horror story I’ve read where vertical caskets lining an alcove isn’t foreshadowing the undead rising.

I liked it but, ultimately, I think there were too many unanswered questions. Some things just don’t add up and the ending suffers some because of it.

Overall, it’s a good effort.


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Posted: October 21st, 2011, 12:01am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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I enjoyed this.  No logline, but I'm planning to read all of them so whatever.

The only thing is the involvement of the ghost, or lack of.  There's a voice...and Petrona's dead...but there's a missing connection there.  Even if this script wasn't for the OWC the voice would be confusing because it's just that - just a voice.  

As a script on its own I think you could lose the voice, add a few pages of more story and you'd have something solid here.  As it is right now it's still pretty good, so kudos to you.  I enjoyed the characters - I thought Hector and Fabian were quite good.  

Nice job.


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Posted: October 21st, 2011, 8:37am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I'm not too big of a fan of this one.

It's not at all bad, it just didn't tug my strings for some reason.

There were too many questions left unanswered in this one.  How did Petrona kill the children?  That's a very big hiccup in the story.  It's stated she's too blame for the children's death in the beginning, then it's never referred to again.  Why is Fabian, the uncle, being such a bitch?  If it's true that Petrona killed the children, then I see why, but then, why is Hector so forgiving of her and doesn't even bring it up?

And why is there a scream down in the catacombs, if Petrona was sealing her ownself in?

This also reminds me of a short story I read years and years ago.  I can't remember the name or author off hand, though.  I think it was Poe's 'The Black Cat'.  It just reminded me of it because of the wife being sealed up in a wall.

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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: October 21st, 2011, 1:59pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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

Bowden, Alberta
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I think that this is quite well done. There are a few things I would work on.

The beginning needs to be reworked so that we can see more clearly what Petrona did that caused Fabian to hate her so much as to want to kill her.

I noticed wording like "kicking through the door". I would used "push" or "shove".

If you could isolate Fabian and Petrona together in a scene and then have Hector come in between the two, I think that would be more striking than having them just stand around a nameless grave.

Also, the fact that Petrona wants the two to make peace... this is excellent, but might be drawn into a more developed scene. Then, with a scene like that, the fact that Hector can't see through to make such peace would be a very strong point of story.

You know, yours is the very last script I've read for this OWC and so this one wraps it up. I feel like it's an especially nice script to end on. Why?

Because of Hector. I can really see him sealing himself up in that wall. It's completely gothic, the misery trapped within the stone. It's powerful stuff no matter what anyone ever wants to say of being done before. It is powerful.

Thank you. I enjoyed it.


A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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Posted: October 23rd, 2011, 7:11pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Victoria, Australia
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This wasn't bad IMO, although showing Petrona pour the wines kinda took the bite out of the twist at the end for me (it'd probably work better if WE believed Fabian drugged Hector too). I'd like this better if you developed Petrona's emotions a bit more, showed more of her remorse, which wouldn't be hard if you show some of the backstory with the children.

Overall, good job, though I agree that the ghost wasn't what I expected for the challenge. With some tweaks, this could be really good
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irish eyes
Posted: October 25th, 2011, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

There`s too much blood in my alcohol

Upstate New York
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Not a bad script...
Nice setting with the church, funeral, priest speaking in Latin....It had a Gothic feel to it.

And yes, quite a few unanswered questions, as it`s been pointed out in previous replies. Not much of ghost...The death of the children....

Also a few characters too many, that were not needed.

Overall kept me going til the end

Good Job getting a script out for the OWC

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Posted: November 5th, 2011, 11:35am Report to Moderator

Southern California
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Thank you everyone for reading my script. This was my first OWC and I must take my hat off to those who wrote a quality script.  I literally submitted this at the last minute and I left a lot out of the story.  I apologize for leaving so many unanswered questions and vow to do better next time.  I know it takes time to read a script and I am very grateful to all of you who gave your time and commented.

Read my scripts here:
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
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