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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Riverside Afternoon
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  Author    OWC - Riverside Afternoon  (currently 3669 views)
Don
Posted: April 10th, 2009, 10:16pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Riverside Afternoon by Robert E. Lee - Short, Drama - The end of a picnic can be tragic when when family secrets are finally revealed. - pdf, format


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

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Shelton  -  April 11th, 2009, 1:25am
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Tommyp
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 2:03am Report to Moderator
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A real drama! This was very well written and I enjoyed the story. It did have a lot of characters for a short though... and I lost track once or twice.


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 2:28am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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Not well written at all.  So many miss-uses of tense and grammar.  Quite dull with all the running around and shit.  Lost my interest early on.  BUT...at least you ended things up with a story of sorts, and a reason for the script.  It didn't work for me at all, but of the first 3 I've read, it's the best.  


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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MBCgirl
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 3:25am Report to Moderator
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Some things are better left to the imagination!

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Okay...I understood this one...

Poor use of grammar...mistakes throughout.

Wish I could say something positive as I usually try to find something encouraging to say.

I'm far from perfect...so take what I have to say with a grain of salt...


http://www.myspace.com/mbcgirl††

I love words and the fact that when the page is blank...there's nothing there until words are formulated in my brain. Those thoughts...rushing through my viens and out my finger tips, find "life" on the page.††

When people and places come to life...that to me is exciting.


MBCgirl =)
My finger nails should look nice while I type - Red works!
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Sham
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 3:37am Report to Moderator
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This script has very strange word arrangement.

A beer can in hand, DAVE is a bearded man in his late thirties.

Is Dave only a 30-year-old bearded man when he holds a can of beer? I get the visual, but the arrangement is distracting.

I liked the story, sorta, but the script needs some serious polishing. Some sentences don't make any sense, and there are several errors on each page.

Also, on a personal note, I think the last line of the script should be the title.


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JamminGirl
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 4:31am Report to Moderator
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LORI (15) is an artfully bedraggled burnout kid.

I know you love the "JUNO" script but did you have to copy Diablo Cody's description of Juno to the 'T'?

Sorry, I wont read  this any further.


Family Picnic 10 pages.

After the Trade 3 pages

by T. Jasmine Hylton
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Astrid
Posted: April 11th, 2009, 8:53am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JamminGirl
LORI (15) is an artfully bedraggled burnout kid.

I know you love the "JUNO" script but did you have to copy Diablo Cody's description of Juno to the 'T'?

Sorry, I wont read  this any further.


I'd read this, but I just drank my weight in Sunny D and gotta go pronto!

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Andrew
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 12:53am Report to Moderator
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This felt like you stretched out the story to use up your 12 pages, but only got to 9.

Considering Lily is the glue that holds this one together, it just seems a little odd that she doesn't say anything?

This is the only real exposition of her story:


Quoted Text
DAVE
Your mother made it. Why wouldnít
you?
Cheryl turns her head to Lily. The old woman takes a
glimpse at her watch.
CHERYL
Iím not her. Never was. Never had
her strength or her will though
sheís been always blue all her life.
DAVE
Come on. Iím sure sheís been happy.
Although she raised you by herself.
CHERYL
Wish Iíd knew my real father.
(beat)
Never knew why he left us.


The pacing is a little out 'cos it feels like we are running around for a while. It does build some tension, and I think you would have been better served with the climax, had you given us reason to care for Lily. As it stands, Lori and to a lesser degree, Randy, play no discernible role, other than to pad out the family.

Without the OWC time restriction, I think your ideas will be more developed and better for it.

Andrew


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Cam17
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 1:53am Report to Moderator
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Poor grammar and syntax throughout the script.

Where exactly did the old black guy come from?  Was he hiding in the bushes all that time?   And why did the old lady kill him and herself?  I understand they were old lovers, but I have no idea why she felt the need for the murder suicide.


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electricsatori
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 7:44pm Report to Moderator
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Personal Opinion: It was nicely formatted. Maybe, I'm ADD but it really felt like there was no clear antagonism in each scene to build the necessary tension to draw me in.

I took this scoring from Johnny...Hope you don't mind, bud.

Scores:

Meeting the competition criteria: 8/10
Characters:  2/10
Dialogue:  2/10
Story:  2/10
Writing/format: 8/10

TOTAL: 22/50


DUST AND ROSES - (Western) 7 Pages

SUNDAY IS THE WORST DAY TO DIE OF THE PLAGUE - (Drama) 12 Pages

THE GHOST OF JOHN (Horror) 94 Pages
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JonnyBoy
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 6:30am Report to Moderator
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Oh, you have no idea how much I smiled when I saw someone else had adopted my scoring system...not only do I not mind, I'm actually a little proud. How sad is that?

Now, back to the review. I think this was probably written by someone who has English as a second language. I know how offensive that will be if this WAS written by a native English speaker, but the mistakes have the feel of someone writing in another language. That's my guess. And while that means the mistakes are perfectly understandable, they do limit the enjoyment I can get out of this.

Meeting the competition criteria: the entire script is set at a family picnic, it's definitely a drama, and I suppose there's a sort of secret revealed, so you get high marks for that - 9/10
Characters: if it's true you lifted the description for Lori straight out of Juno, then tut tut. The characters didn't have a great deal about them, I'm afraid. None of them were particularly interesting. I also agree with Andrew when he says the most important character, Lily, is strangely sidelined - 4/10
Dialogue: the difficulty with the language really hurts the dialogue, I'm afraid. Bits of it were quite good, but it was hard to get into it because of the amount of errors - 4/10
Story: now this was something the language couldn't destroy. I quite liked the story. I didn't guess the ending at all, had no idea what was happening when the gunshots were heard. However, the ending was a bit unneccessarily violent and dramatic. Why exactly did the just-reunited couple decide to blow their brains out? That I didn't really get - 6/10
Writing/format: oh, the mistakes. SO many mistakes. I honestly think (hope) it's a product of trying to write in a language you're not completely comfortable with, but it really does damage to the script as a whole. You start badly with the double 'when' in the logline and things don't really improve throughout. Your actual formatting is okay, but the writing is poor - 3/10

TOTAL: 27/50

Everyone should use the scoring system! It focuses your thoughts when you read, even just listing the category scores gives at least as much feedback as a one line review because it flags up the script's weaknesses, and it allows you to easily sort which ones you think are the best entries (at the moment Of Sound Mind is leading with 40, and Love Is All You Need is last with 19). Embrace it!

Again, to the author, if you are actually a native English speaker then feel free to PM me and we'll arrange a time and place where you can slap me!

EDIT: just want to take the opportunity to shamelessly brag that I was right. Go me.


Guess who's back? Back again?

Revision History (1 edits)
JonnyBoy  -  April 13th, 2009, 7:55am
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mythos
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 10:18pm Report to Moderator
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I think you have a good concept that will be better served if you significantly change the structure of your story.

What struck me about your story is that, although engaging, it comes across as background to the main event. Maybe you were experimenting and thatís what you wanted to achieve. If not, you might want to consider: what is the core Ė the essence - of your story? For what itís worth, my take on it is that the story is really about Lily and Old Black Man. If this is right, then itís very difficult for the audience to have any emotional connection to these characters Ė we donít know them at all, except by way of some expository dialogue from Dave and Cheryl.

A few other points:

-- You might want to review the way you open. I think it helps keep the reader engaged if a script is easy to read, and looks easy to read. You open with description that takes up most of the first page. Thatís heavy going, and sometimes itís necessary. However, in this case I believe you can lighten the load by abbreviating the descriptions. I think you can cut about half of the present description without story compromise. Trust the reader/audience Ė theyíll get it.

-- Others have mentioned language, grammar, syntax etc. and I agree. Itís something that you will need to address. It would be a shame to let technicalities get in the way and detract from your storytelling.


The journey is the reward.
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Brian M
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 4:25pm Report to Moderator
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There was quite a bit of tension when the gunshots went off but I think there's got to be more of a reason for the murders. Lily isn't really the center of the story to begin with so I don't really feel anything for her. Give her some dialogue instead of letting Dave and Cheryl tell her story for us.

I looked past the mistakes, I can't imagine writing a script in a second language, I would make a complete a*** of it. I still understood everything that was going on, I just wished there was more to it.
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bobtheballa
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 4:54pm Report to Moderator
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This one fit the challenge, I saw a picnic, drama and what I assume was a secret so good job there. I say that because I didn't quite understand the ending, though I have a guess, and I think it could be explained a bit better.

Also, what struck me was how on the nose a lot of the dialogue was. On page 2-3 there's a lot of exposition spoken by the mother that could provide us with a bit more information on Lily. Give her some mystery, some intrigue, so that when she goes missing we're left in suspense rather than mildly interested. That way the ending will seem more satisfying as well.

Overall decent but not one of my favorites. Fix up the story and re-fine some of the dialogue and you may have something.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 19th, 2009, 11:23am Report to Moderator
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Michel,

sorry to see you got slammed for the English. Sure there were mistakes, but I think it was pretty obvious that it wasn't written by an English native so I think that should be taken in consideration. I had no problem following the story.

You had good drama here, but there are some things that need to be clarified IMO.

You lead me astray with Lily being gone. I thought she had drowned so when the real secret is revealed I was surprised. Not so sure however that I liked the secret though. The way you wrote it when the family finds Lily was a bit clunky. I thought at first she was being raped. I think that needs to be changed into a more romantic or loving way. Maybe they were holding hands or something. I thought he was strangling her...

Also what really happened here? They took their lives, but why would Lily chose a nice family picnic to do so? That seems sort of selfish to not care about the others. And was this planned? Did they plan to meet there and do this? That would be really bad if that was the case.

Over all I think you did a good job. You wrote a drama with a secret being revealed at a family picnic.  


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Abe from LA
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 6:46am Report to Moderator
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Hey Michel,

I see where you're going with this script, but you don't reach that goal.
Way too much first-page descriptions.  Look at the inconsistencies at how your give ages.
Fix those things.
There was a lot of dialogue early on that was expositional, on the nose -- there to give us background information.  
The first part of the story seemed to languish.  It lacked the energy of the back end.

Once the search for Lily starts, the script perks up.
My biggest issue besides the aforementioned is that I didn't understand Lily's motivations.
Was her plan to commit suicide at the picnic?
Lily it seems pulled the trigger, but when found, is under the black man's body.  That's an easy fix.

Is the old black man supposed to be Cheryl's father?  She said he left at an early age and you seem to hint at this in the story.  If this is true, give us something more substantial.  Even if it's something in Cheryl's physical appearance.

Anyway, there are things to cut out, but that shouldn't be an overwhelming task.  But we do need to see more of Lily and know her motivations.  As written here, she seemed tagged on.

You've done better work, but this story could be pretty nice with certain fixings.
Good luck.
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Higgonaitor
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 10:21pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Michel,
Finally got a chance to start reading some of these:

I liked this one.  English is not your first language, and there are quite a few grammatical hang ups and awkward phrases in this, but really not an overpowering amount, so good job there.  if you'd like, and if we use the same software, you could send it to me and I"d be happy to find them and re-write them in a more acceptable styler.

As for your story, my only real hang up is that we don't really, as an audience, get to know or care that much about lily.  I don't believe she has a single line in the whole script--yet its really about her in the end.  Maybe make a scene in the beginning where she interacts with some of the other characters you set up.  As it is now, the secret doesnt really seem to be that big of a deal.

I hope this helps. PM me if you want to take me up on the offer to help you with some of the grammar.

--Tyler


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George Willson
Posted: April 24th, 2009, 4:07pm Report to Moderator
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That was interesting at least. It looks like you still need to work on your English quite a bit since a lot of phrases were very confusing and took some thought to figure out what you were saying.

Once I got past that, it was ok. The stereotypes were in full force here with the daughter and son along with the parents who inexplicably can't explain or even personally justify how their kids are the way they are. The grandmother present for the picnic, yet napping on the side of the stream was ok as well and served the stereotype at least.

The ending was a bit of a surprise, and yet I wonder the implications of it all. There's also quite a bit of it that doesn't make sense time-wise. It seems to imply that Lily actually did marry the black man and Cheryl is their child since he wasn't present throughout her life. However, why would their union still be a secret? The horror of inter-racial marriages passed away almost fully after the 50's or 60's. Lily is in her 60's, so if she is the mean age of 65, that would her born in 1944. She would have been 18 in 1962 when she met this man. For her to socially hook up with a black man would put her in the part of a country with a black populace, and it's all too likely an interracial union would be more acceptable in that area than in one with a predominantly white population. Cheryl being in her late thirties would put her born in around 1968, and by that time, an interracial couple, while not commonplace, would not be shunned out of society.

However, I don't know the socio-political or racial climates of the UK or Australia during those time frames since your little family appears to be from one of those areas as evidenced by the non-American mother reference of "mum."

But a photograph from 1962 would hardly look as old as all that either. In fact, it wouldn't be unheard of for that picture to be in color, since it would have to have been taken with a home camera.

So it doesn't really work out logically there at the end, but the intent was good. It was decent.


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michel
Posted: April 25th, 2009, 1:26pm Report to Moderator
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First of all I want to thank everyone who had patience reading and reviewing my script. As a general critic (except TommP!) my English grammar and sentence structure are poor. I plead guilty. As an excuse, I would say that it is the first script I wrote for more than one year, and I miss practice. Talking about practice, I did just before "Memories" to get back on the saddle again and I barely had any remarks on what I've been blamed of here. Anyway, I'll try to improve my style like I did in the past.

Quoted from Tommyp
A real drama! This was very well written and I enjoyed the story. It did have a lot of characters for a short though... and I lost track once or twice.

Thank you.

Quoted from Dreamscale
BUT...at least you ended things up with a story of sorts, and a reason for the script.  It didn't work for me at all, but of the first 3 I've read, it's the best.  

At least, that's quite positive.

Quoted from MBCgirl

Wish I could say something positive as I usually try to find something encouraging to say.

Try next time

Quoted from JamminGirl

Sorry, I wont read  this any further.

Very constructive.

Quoted from Andrew
Without the OWC time restriction, I think your ideas will be more developed and better for it.

That's what I think too.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

I thought at first she was being raped.

That's what I wanted people to think in the first moment.

Quoted from Grandma Bear

That seems sort of selfish to not care about the others. And was this planned? Did they plan to meet there and do this? That would be really bad if that was the case.

Suicide is always selfish. You think of you in first, never mind the consequances for the relatives. In fact, in my head, only did planned the killing.

Quoted from Abe from LA
Is the old black man supposed to be Cheryl's father?  She said he left at an early age and you seem to hint at this in the story.  If this is true, give us something more substantial.  Even if it's something in Cheryl's physical appearance.

That's a good point Abe. I considered that point but I thought it would be too obvious when they find the two bodies. I could described Cheryl as a metis, but it would have too easy. In fact, my lack of practice in English and the extreme short time to write made me miss several things I do regret.

Quoted from Higgonaitor
PM me if you want to take me up on the offer to help you with some of the grammar.

I will when I'll rewrite it. Thank you.

Quoted from George Willson
The stereotypes were in full force here with the daughter and son along with the parents who inexplicably can't explain or even personally justify how their kids are the way they are. The grandmother present for the picnic, yet napping on the side of the stream was ok as well and served the stereotype at least.

Unfortunately, in a short, you have to sometimes go through those kinds of things.

Quoted from George Willson
It seems to imply that Lily actually did marry the black man and Cheryl is their child since he wasn't present throughout her life.

Well... Here's the background story as it was intended:
When she was young Lily was very much in love with a Black man. but her family was against that union. That's why she did her life on her own, and the Black man on his. Then, Lily married Cheryl's father who couldn't stand to know that she were still in love with her youth love. That's was he left. Lily and the Black men saw each other all these years, but he was still married. Till the picnic date. When they met, they start to make love, but as Lily didn't want to lose him again, she killed him and kills herself. That's the meaning of the words on the picture.

I couldn't interactive sooner with Lily because I wanted to surprise audience. The only warning sign from her is when she takes a glimpse at her watch. It means she had a date with someone, that's why she disappeared.

In fact, I realize that in 12 pages I put the content of maybe one whole feature.

Like I said before, I'll try to do better next time.

Michel







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