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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Time of the Season
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  Author    OWC - Time of the Season  (currently 1410 views)
Don
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 9:01am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Time of the Season by Herbert Plumer - Short, Drama - One family. Infinite degrees of separation. - pdf, format


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seamus19382
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:04pm Report to Moderator
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Not too bad.  A little sugary for me.  I'm not sure I really understand why Robyn thinks Greg is going to break up with her.  If it's because she's so embarrassed by her family, why would she invite him in the first place?  And if they're all having such a miserable time, why wouldn't they just leave early?  They're all adults.

I did like the twist of the secret.  That was nicely done.
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Brian M
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 1:01pm Report to Moderator
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This was okay. Lots of talking with not much happening but I could handle it. I think you could play up the fact that Robyn is paranoid, have her watch Greg flirt with her sister or something.

I first thought Lilah was the main character in the script until after page 5, I think you need more Robyn and less Lilah early on.

I liked the happy ending. Too many scripts with every possible member of the family in attendance end in disaster so it was a nice change.
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rc1107
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 1:55pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I have to admit, I don't really understand why Robyn thinks Greg is going to break up with her, either.  There's absolutely no indication on his part that he's going to.  He's going around and meeting the family, isn't he?  I understand that she's paranoid, but she's really coming off as bigtime frizzy, or frazzled, which isn't very endearing for her and really, I was hoping Greg was going to realize maybe she wasn't the right person for him.

I think him and Lilah would make a better couple, honestly.  You really focused on Lilah a lot and most of everybody's attention is going to be on her.  Robyn, the main character that all the action is happening with, isn't even in the first opening scene.  And when she is introduced, the focus still stays with Lilah who leaves Robyn in the dust.

Also, Lilah is introduced as a 22 year-old, but in a later statement, she says she's a 25 year-old woman.  Just a little confusing there.

All in all, it wasn't bad for what the OWC was calling for.  Drama and a picnic.  It might have been a little Lifetime-y and sugary, but it got the job done.

- Mark


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JamminGirl
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 8:40pm Report to Moderator
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Conner, Cooper. I got confused. It's very talky. Too talky. I tried but I couldn't finish the story and the characters were all way to combative...


Family Picnic 10 pages.

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steven8
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 9:20pm Report to Moderator
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This world could use a little sugary, in my opinion.  I got totally confused throughout this script, as I do in many movies I watch, but the conclusion was worth all of the mental spinning I did.  I enjoyed this very much.
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mythos
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An upbeat story with a happy ending? Ye shall be ostracized to the Land of Gerund. There your penance will be cruel!

You have a clear storyline, and I guess you’d revisit some aspects of it if you had more time. Wouldn’t we all? A few suggestions to consider that might bolster the structure, and reduce distractions:

Structure
I think you need to ask yourself: who is this story really about? Who are the two main players? If the answer is Greg and Robyn, then you need to review the weighting allocated to these two characters, especially Greg. As far as I can see, Greg is introduced – from a distance - on page five. We first get to meet him properly on page nine. Sure, we get a sense of him from others, but that is second-hand and expository. This doesn’t encourage the reader/audience to develop a strong emotional connection to him. You could’ve introduced Greg much earlier, for example, by having him say something loving to Robyn and doing something considerate for her before moving away to meet her family.

I’m not sure what it was, maybe it was Robyn’s extreme traits (a good thing!), or the tone and pace of the set up, but by the end of page five, I had a sense that this was going to end on an upbeat note, and one of the first possibilities that rushed to mind was that Greg was going to propose. Maybe that was your aim: telegraph your intention ahead of time. If not, I think you needed more effective misleads.  

Style
My take on your writing is that you wanted a gentle story with a feel-good personality. If this is right, I think you have the foundation for your goal. You might want to consider two suggestions:
-- Develop greater drama/conflict to better engage emotionally the reader/audience. You can be true to your mission whilst giving your story a bit more of an edge. Presently the emotional range is very narrow. I think your story would benefit by employing the alternating bad news/good news technique.  
-- Related to the above is the dialogue. I think there’s too much redundant dialogue – it doesn’t help the story, and comes across more as talking heads. You need to think of more ways to show us who are these characters, don’t just tell us.

Details

-- Perhaps too many characters for a short. I counted eight, that is, six characters plus two incidentals (Uncle Ron and Young Cousin). Maybe it’s seven – Cooper/Conner?

-- Maybe it’s just me, but I was confused about Cooper and Conner. I figured this was simply an oversight in the drafting, and that these two characters are one and the same. Is this right?

-- Suggest you simplify some of your descriptions. Scripts aren't works of literature.

-- Need to proofread more carefully: a few inconsistencies and some words missing.

I think you know exactly what you want to write and can do it competently. Think about increasing the emotional stakes and keep an eye on the details.


The journey is the reward.
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Angry Bear
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 12:36pm Report to Moderator
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Not bad. However IMO this would work better as a 5 page short. !2 minutes of this on film would probably make me switch channel. Either trim this one down from all unnecessary dialogue and descriptions and extra characters that are not needed or use this 12 pager, but develop characters and emotions more. I would prefer the first option myself, but it's up to you.

The proposal worked, but like the others have mentioned, I did not feel that Greg was up to something bad so Robyn's constant whining didn't make sense to me.

Yes, it was a bit on the sugary side, but I'm one who don't consume it at all and I really dislike happy endings. That's just me though and I've been told more than once that I'm weird.  

I still think that you did pretty good though and met the challenge.  


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bobtheballa
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 2:37pm Report to Moderator
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I suppose the proposal was the secret and in that case you met the challenge. You're obviously a seasoned, talented writer as the descriptions were solid and the dialogue was good though "sugary" as everyone else has stated.

I think this one lacked a sense of direction though, like the writer wasn't really sure where to take it. I guessed right away that he was going to propose to her but I'm not sure whether or not that was the intention. If it wasn't then we could've used more mis-direction to make us think they really were about to break up. If that was the intention, and we were supposed to hope her paranoid neuroticism wouldn't mess that up, then I think the build-up to the proposal after she's confronted him could be longer. Either one has the potential to induce more drama.

Well written for one week, though it wasn't really my taste. Good luck with your future writings!
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michel
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 3:19pm Report to Moderator
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It was well written,  a bit overlong and too mant characters. I got confused with the mix Cooper/Conner and I had to read again to realize they were the same person (well, I think).

Another thing that annoyed me was the CUT TO:. I'd rather see a LATER instead.

Personally, I don't think the proposal was a secret enough. And, after all, it's a not a drama.

At one time, I started to believe that Greg was in fact gay and has seduced Cooper. That would have been a good drama twist if Greg made his proposal to Cooper in front of Robyn. But it's just my opinion. (God, I'm glad I have one on my own)

Anyway it's wasn't that bad.

Michel


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Sham
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 5:43pm Report to Moderator
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I liked it. Cutesy and harmless.

Other readers thought Robyn had no reason to think Greg would break up with her. That's true, but didn't everyone in her family complain that Robyn was always too dramatic and paranoid about things she shouldn't worry about? To me, this is just Robyn being Robyn---freaking out about nothing.

Dialogue was okay. Some of it felt a little unnatural to me, perhaps because there was too much of it in some scenes. Overall, though, it worked.

Again, I liked it, and it met the requirements of the challenge. Good work.


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Dreamscale
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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This seemed to be longer than 12 pages for some reason.  It was a slow read.  I think there are too many characters and too much "stuff" going on that really has nothing to do with anything.

Way too much passive verbiage throughout.  A few errant words here and there, also.

I actually liked the story, as well as the ending. It just took too long to get there and by the time we did get there, I had lost interest.

Not bad though at all.


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Dreamscale  -  April 16th, 2009, 7:00pm
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Astrid
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 6:49pm Report to Moderator
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I like the idea of someone being so worried that they're gonna lose someone that, in the end, it becomes self full filling. This tho, is just very slow. It doesn't, imo, really start till page 6. So much of it, especially dialogue, could be cut without effecting the story at all.  

I wish you would've had a little more fun with it. The family is described by one character as being ridiculous, but with the exception of Robyn, we're not given any examples their ridiculousness.

Just seemed kinda thin.
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mcornetto
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 6:37am Report to Moderator
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Hey Bryan,

I thought this caught the craziness of a family picnic quite well actually. And the happy ending is always a plus - not a lot of those these days.  

I did think there were too many characters in this short, it was difficult to keep track of even when you were paying attention.  I would definitely cut a few of them.

The other issue I had with this short was the amount of dialogue. This was hugely dialogue driven and after a while it kind of grated on me.  Especially because you tried really hard to make your dialogue different, and for the most part that succeeded, however, occasionally the dialogue did seem a bit contrived and unnatural.

Like most everyone else I had a difficult time understanding why Robyn thought Gregg was going to break up with her.  I think that could have been explained a bit better.

Good work for a week.

Cheers,

Michael
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Higgonaitor
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 8:56pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Bry-mo,
This was okay.  I think you did well in creating characters that seem pretty real.  The only real problem I had with this was the ending, which I found to be pretty Cheesy--sorry.

I don't really have nay advice that wouldn't completely change your plot---I guess these type of "marry me!" stories just aren't my cup of tea...

But seriously good work witht he dialogue and characterization.  I'm sure someone else pointed it out, but you have a cooper and a connor and I think they're the same person.


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