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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Rat Trap
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  Author    OWC - Rat Trap  (currently 3011 views)
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 7:18pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Rat Trap by Orville Kay - Short, Drama - Brian has a secret he is about to share with his family, it turns out that there are others interested in learning his secret too. Will Brian tell his secret? Will his family still love him? Who are those strange men on the boat? What is going on with that elevator?  All these will be revealed, and much more, on tonight's thrilling installment of....Rat Trap. - pdf, format

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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 12th, 2009, 9:55pm Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

The Swamp...
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I liked it.

Well written and well plotted. You did good.

I had no idea why the woman was in the elevator. At first I thought you had missed the change in theme for the OWC and was writing a comedy/stuck in elevator.

My only gripe with this one was that I wanted to know what was revealed at the family picnic. I was annoyed that I never found out. I realize that wasn't really necessary to the story, but I really wanted to know. Maybe reveal what it was in the end by the wife or something to fix that issue.

Nice job!  

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Posted: April 12th, 2009, 10:58pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Quoted from Grandma Bear
I liked it.

Well written and well plotted. You did good.

I had no idea why the woman was in the elevator. At first I thought you had missed the change in theme for the OWC and was writing a comedy/stuck in elevator.

My only gripe with this one was that I wanted to know what was revealed at the family picnic. I was annoyed that I never found out. I realize that wasn't really necessary to the story, but I really wanted to know. Maybe reveal what it was in the end by the wife or something to fix that issue.

Nice job!  

Yeah, I really wanted to know Brian's secret, too. I suppose it's not terribly important, and I guess it would miss the point of the script if you actually gave it away.

A very solid script. It's a good story, and your writing is fine, but you have quite a few typos that could have been avoided by a quick read-through. Also, the line "cold pizza" doesn't need to be in a script. It can't be filmed.

Overall, though, a welcome addition to the OWC. Meets all criteria.

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Posted: April 12th, 2009, 11:23pm Report to Moderator

You're never alone...

Barberton, OH
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Cool little story, and well told.  While it would have been neat to hear what Brian's secret really was, it wasn't relevant.  For 13 pages, you packed a lot of stuff in there!

Oh, be careful, you called Brian Sean on page 4.
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Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:40am Report to Moderator

You know what a saguaro is?
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ouch. tres unfortunate for father. if they missed that actual confession, should they still have pulled the trigger? i'm partial to happy endings. maybe Rudy should terminate Yellow and Blue (for incompetence) in the next installment. that would be a happy ending.
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The boy who could fly
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 11:44am Report to Moderator
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British Columbia, Canada
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This was pretty good i thought...I liked how it started with Ruby stuck in an, I though that was pretty funny.  I liked the idea of this script the most......some of the dialogue with the family felt kinda weird...i dunno why it just did, but oh well,  I really liked the ending too,  the story itself was good and you followed the challenge so you get high marks for that.  Good job.

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Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:12pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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I liked it.  Nice twist.  I like that we don't find out the seceret.  Something to ponder on.  The dialogue did seem a bit stilted, but easily fixed.  I liked Ruby also.

Ps - Great title.
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Posted: April 13th, 2009, 7:37pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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This is a well constructed story.  It keeps our interest as well throughout.

Lots of typos though. You're also missing some slugs when you go back and forth between the boat and the beach, which made things get confusing.

Biggest issue is the dialogue.  Everyone seems to speak like they're robots reading out of an English 101 book.  Doesn't come off as real based on this.

Good effort overall, though.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: April 13th, 2009, 8:27pm Report to Moderator

Dracut, MA
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This was very well written. I was excited to read a conclusion. I also wondered about the girl in the elevator, but it worked out very well. Maybe a line at the picnic asking where someone is... would've masked who Ruby is even more. My only problem was the reaction of the family. Kinda strange that no one seemed to be reacting.

Very cool, nice twist, other than typos, written very well. Good descriptions.


Why is a Raven like a writing desk?
onus - Three men, three guns, no escape. (WIP)
the Deal - What would you do for a million dollars?
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Posted: April 14th, 2009, 5:27am Report to Moderator
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Nicely written.  I liked how you decided to cover all bases with the elevator and all.  You even brought the storyline with the elevator in at the end for a nice little twist.   I was expecting that you would do that and I'm glad you did because I would have been disappointed otherwise.

I had a couple of problems with this one small, one big.  The small one first.  Why did you name them Yellow and Blue?  I could understand that if you had made some association with their characteristics but you didn't.  You might as well have called them agent one and agent two because that's what the naming amounted to.  

The big problem I had was a logic problem.  If Yellow and Blue were after the wrong guy, how on earth would that know there was going to be a family secret told on that day?  And even if they were after the right guy, how would they know?  Especially if the guy was so hard to track down.  It would be much more realistic if they didn't know that secret was coming and lucked onto it. Then you could proceed with the dropping of the mic and maybe have it picked up again when the daughter was talking about all the FBI agents.  That should give them all the info they needed to do the hit.

Anyway, I though this was really good but the logic issue really took me out of the story.    
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Posted: April 15th, 2009, 8:37pm Report to Moderator
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I really liked this one. It's suspenseful which makes for a  fun read. The action was well written. The dialogue tho, as others have said, is stiff. I noticed that you don't contract words much, making everything sounds a little too formal. Anyway, NICE!
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Posted: April 16th, 2009, 7:10pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Not that bad, a puzzle-like script. What annoyed me was you jump from the boat to the picnic without any change of location. Or do you stay on the boat, listening to the beach by some kind of radio?

It would be cool if Blue, Yellow and Ruby were with the FBI, or CIA, killing the wrong person. Ruby would flash her badge to get the phone from the nurse. I understand you get the gun to show Ruby used it before.

Plus, you call one of the characters GRACE in the dialogues, but Mom in the action lines.


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Posted: April 16th, 2009, 8:49pm Report to Moderator
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Structurally this was a great story and pretty good for only one week. Though some of the others were disappointed, I really enjoyed the ambiguity of the dad's secret.

The main problem for me was the dialogue. The family members' dialogue was a little plain but it didn't distract me nearly as much as Red & Yellow's dialogue, which felt cringe-inducingly unrealistic.

Still, the set-up and execution for the story was well done and I enjoyed the read. Nice job.
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Brian M
Posted: April 17th, 2009, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Probably the best title in this OWC. A nice story with a really good twist with the elevator. I loved how you wrapped all this up. I too, didn't mind not finding out about the secret, it's not important to the story. If you tell the secret at the picnic, the elevator twist doesn't work so I think you done the right thing.

A re-read or two would have done this a world of good. Lots of typos, even one on the first page that nearly had he believing Ruby was a guy. Dialogue was also an issue that I can relate to, the time restrictions for the OWC might have played a part in that.

How did they know a family secret was going to be revealed on that day? That part confused me.

Overall, very well thought out story. Could be much better with a re-write. I will say again that the title of the script is pure genius. A job well done!
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Posted: April 18th, 2009, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read folks, much appreciated. Will clear a couple of things up...

This was written with a few hours to go, strangely though it was not a rushed, last minute thing and I am not blaming that on my mistakes. I had decided to spend the week plotting my script in my head and by the time Saturday morning came I had a script all read to write. Once I finished it though I saw one tiny element in it that gave me inspiration for something else and thus re-wrote the whole thing in less than an hour.

Problems, Ruby started out life as a man and I missed out one of the "he's". Schoolboy error.

There was originally three kids but I kicked one out due to too many characters, but yet again left a couple of references to a larger family - another schoolboy error.

I had time to fix, for whatever reason that morning I was not thinking very clearly. I think I probably had a hangover.

I kicked myself when I read Cornetto's comment about how they knew that a secret was to be revealed, for some reason I had it in my head that they should have known. It only occurred to me when Michael said it that they actually did not need to know! I know other mentioned this too, you are right. Again, not thinking clearly.

I called them Yellow and Blue because I did not want to give them names, I did not want it revealed up front that they were mafia. If they had names it would be Vinny and Mikey or something, where I was hoping people might think they were FBI at first. I picked colours because of Ruby, i figured that they could all have colours, bit of Res Dogs there I guess.

It did originally write a scene at the end that was a few minutes flashback to before the gun was fired, sort of a Rashomon thing, the same scene from a different angle. In it Brian explained he was actually a retired CIA spy and was sure he was being followed and thought the Russians have come to kill him. Hence the reveal. But I decided it was too talky and too much for a short and like the idea of not actually finding out what his secret was. I am pleased that some people agreed.

My biggest problem, and Dreamscale mentioned this as me forgetting a slug, which was not the case but I understand where he got that from. Is that some of the beach scenes were actually being watched from the boat, so the dialogue was actually coming via the headphones. I did want to highlight this in Parentheticals but could not remember the phrase (I was using canned but was sure this was wrong) and again that got left out.

Was a bit disappointed the next day when I realised I could and should of done a better job with it. But thanks for reading anyway.
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Posted: April 19th, 2009, 3:45am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Some things are better left to the imagination!

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I'm still busy writing reviews, so I'll write mine before I read any of the comments.

I think this story has some very good aspects and suspense.  I don't get how Blue and Yellow would know how Brian was going to tell a secret when they weren't sure he was even the guy they were looking for.  

A family secret was revealed, but not to us and that was a bummer! However, the fact that I wanted to know what he did...that's not a bummer.  Good job on making us want to know!

There were many misspelled words, punctuation missing and I think, as I usually say, that it is important to be sure and proof your work just to tidy it up, as these become distracting in a least for me.  Dialogue could also be strengthened along the way without too much effort.

I honestly think you can clean this up and it would be so much better.  Nice twist in the end, and the cool part for me was that it was a little too late for the innocent Brain.

Nice wrap up of the character, Ruby as well.  Good job Giles, just know that we can always improve on what we write with just an extra proofing.


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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Posted: April 22nd, 2009, 12:46pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Quoted from GM Giles
some of the beach scenes were actually being watched from the boat, so the dialogue was actually coming via the headphones. I did want to highlight this in Parentheticals but could not remember the phrase (I was using canned but was sure this was wrong)

I use 'filter' as a wryly in those situations, such as when someone talks through a phone or headphones or walkie-talkie or T.V. or radio.  It definately would have cleared up a lot of things because I thought I had missed a slugline a couple times and had to go back over and read a couple scenes because I was lost.

Anyway, what's up, Gary?

I really liked the story for this one overall.  I didn't really have that much of a problem with the dialogue that a lot of other people seem to be talking about.  I'll go over and give this one another read later, though.

You definately want to go back and fix all those typos, though.  Come on, how long have you been doing this now and you can't put out a 12-pager without any careless mistakes?  And I understand they're just small mistakes, like missing only one letter, but they make for serious problems.  For the first page I thought Ruby was a guy and I couldn't help thinking (what a dipshit this writer is.  Ruby's a girl's name.)  Okay, so I didn't really think that and I never called you a dipshit, but hopefully you get the point.

As for naming them Yellow and Blue, I see what you were going for, but they never refer to each other as Yellow and Blue, so it's kind of useless because it'll be lost onscreen.  (And isn't that what we really right in this structure for in the first place?)  Maybe you can have them wear watches and name them after the color of their watch, like Gold and Mauve or something.  That way, it'll help not only your readers distinguish them, but it's also a focal point for the audience that only sees it onscreen.

As for not sharing with us what Brian's secret was...  You're a dipshit.  :-)

Honestly, I didn't really mind it as I've come across so many 'what's in the briefcase' Pulp Fiction scenarios in scripts now that never get answered I'm kind of numb to it and expect it most of the time.  To be honest, something was telling me in the back of my head that Brian's secret was never going to be revealed.

Others have said that it wasn't integral to the story, and I'm not saying that they're wrong, but I'm going to have to disagree with them.  I think it is.  The secret is focused on throughout the whole script.  Hell, that's why Yellow and Blue were there.  To hear the secret and kill him.  They only hear the aftermath of the secret about why FBI agents always crawled around the family's living room.  I think, at the end of the story, that issue has to be explained.  Why were the agents there, then?  It comes off as laziness (or unintelligence) because it looks like you can't find or come up with a good reason for the agents to be there, but you had to have Yellow and Blue misinterpret something.  It seems like you kind of just gave up on the idea of trying to think of something for a great secret.  I know laziness and unintelligence definately isn't the case, but to a first-time reader...

Other than that, though, the rest of the story was real good.  You built up really excellent suspense...  the scenes seemed to keep building and building.  The writing (minus the typo's) were to the point and deliberate and got the idea across.

A very enjoyable read.  I'll also try and check out some other things you 'released' since I've been gone.

See you around, Gary.

-  Mark

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George Willson
Posted: April 24th, 2009, 3:45pm Report to Moderator

Doctor who? Yes, quite right.

Broken Arrow
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That was pretty decent. I liked how you had it coming from different directions at the same time, and that strange person in the elevator. The secret (un)revealed was pretty clever leaving us to wonder what really was discussed. I would have liked to have known. I was a bit thrown off when they were watching the family from the boat, but I figured it out.

One issue I do have, though, is how you told the audience why the guys in the boat were there. You note in the description how something "completes the disguise." This says they're there for some kind of mission, so instead of giving us a bit of misdirection in thinking they're an ex-boyfriend or just curious for a bit, you tell us outright in an unfilmable line that they're in disguise for something. I would have liked to have seen some actual names as well to further misdirect the reader, since they never use the names you gave them. That along with a little less direct dialogue would have improved that part of the story.

And another thing that threw me off is the blood on Brian's hand. He's cooking and using a spatula or something. Where would the blood have come from? He just flipped the cooking steaks and gave his daughter a hug. The blood was confusing.

You also misfired a name in that Sean was suddenly cooking as the guys were watching from the boat. Who's Sean?

I think the overall story was pretty good and I liked it. I just think the boat part could have been a little more veiled.

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Posted: April 24th, 2009, 9:05pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks folks for the read. Sorry I have not responded sooner, A huge week for me in every sense of the word and had lots going on. Anyway...

Morgan, you are totally right with your comments, I have already addressed most of them but the fact is that I got lazy and never did a great job of finishing this off and I have only myself to blame. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Mark, Hiya buddy, glad to see you back around and nice to see you are doing okay. I'm a dipshit am I? haha yes, you are probably right. I am stuck in two minds on this, but I do quite like not revealing the secret in the end. Brian is dead so it does not matter anymore what the secret is. I sometimes like ambiguous endings, probably more of a European thing really, where it is not as important to tell what happened at the end of a movie than it sometimes is in the US. I remember the Soprano's controversy, in the UK it was not received as that much of a big deal as it was in the States. Again, thanks for the read. Don't go digging too deep, there is not much I have written in the last year, been trying to work on features and have two unfinished ones. Gonna get my arse into gear soon.

George, Thanks, Good point really, you are the first to mention that and you are right. I never thought of it like that but I should not have mentioned the disguise bit. Thanks for the read.

Cheers folks.
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