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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    April, 2009 One Week Challenge  ›  OWC - Shhh
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  Author    OWC - Shhh  (currently 3235 views)
Don
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 11:02am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Shhh by Horace Smith-Dorrien - Short, Drama - A family reunion reveals that mental illness is the rule, not the exception. - pdf, format


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Astrid
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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This is imo one of the better ones I've read. It's a creative, complete story with lots of colorful dialogue and a good pay off at the end. No real complaints.
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seamus19382
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 12:26pm Report to Moderator
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Wrestling!  Any script that mentions Lou Thesz and Nature Boy Buddy Rogers is a-ok in my book.  My only problem is there might have been too many kids (and secrets).  Maybe cut a couple and have longer discussions about the secerets that are revealed.  For instance, I would have liked to hear more about Dina's daughter dying. I also loved the lack of reaction to Brad pulling the gun.
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Shelton
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 2:55pm Report to Moderator
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This one was a little touch and go for me. I think the early part, about the first half of it brought it down a bit.  Once it got to them playing the game, I was more into the story and enjoyed it.  Maybe look into trimming some of the filler up front.

The writing here was pretty economical in its word usage.  I think it worked most of the time, but there were a couple things that read oddly for me...example.

"A pretty woman, DINA (40), walks out of the cabin. Across the
grassy area, carrying a bottle of beer to her dad."

My issue with this one is probably that it's NOT economical.  But, I digress.  I'm more concerned with the story.

You loaded a number of secrets in here, which was good, and the finger pointing all the way through to the ending kept it interesting.

Anyway, not bad.  If you cut a bit off the front I'm sure it would be even better.

  


Shelton's Website

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"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper." - Steve Martin
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Brian M
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 3:37pm Report to Moderator
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This was an interesting read. It kept me guessing until the last line so that's a plus. It must be some family if Brad can aim a gun at someone's temple and they don't bat an eyelid.

Some cuts can be made, Brad talking about the sting for starters. It slowed it down for me but picks up when the game starts.

The dialogue was certainly a strong point. There's some funny lines in here. This is one of the stronger entries.  
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rc1107
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed this.  I thought it was written very well and was really interesting, especially once the game got going.

I think cutting a lot of the opening scene and getting to the 'secret' game a lot faster would help this story even more.  That way, you'll get rid of a lot of the unnecessary introductions and be able to spend more time on the actual secrets, which is the most riveting part of the story.  I would have liked to see all of the secrets panned out more, especially the one of who killed the Johnson boy.  Maybe even give us answers to some of the secrets.

It's good as is now, but can definately be played up.

One thing I did notice, though, is that the brothers and sister are all in their 40's and 50's, but they're dialogue doesn't reflect that at all.  In fact, without saying they're in their 40's and 50's, I would have thought that the characters were in their early and late 20's.  Maybe possibly early 30's.  A lot of them were pretty immature.

That point aside, it was still an enjoyable read and I was a big fan of the ending.

- Mark


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JamminGirl
Posted: April 13th, 2009, 10:19pm Report to Moderator
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It did keep my interest, except for the Maxwell food poisoning rant. That was too much.

I guess the story was supposed to be about characterizations then? With the exception of Maxwell and perhaps Dad,  the characters really were not at all distinguishable.
It was a decent story.


Family Picnic 10 pages.

After the Trade 3 pages

by T. Jasmine Hylton
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Dreamscale
Posted: April 14th, 2009, 12:14am Report to Moderator
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Bravo!  Well done!  Very well done.

Dialogue was excellent. Really came off as real and it was strong and moving stuff.

As some will know, I love ambiguity, and you pulled this off well...lots of possibilities in my mind.

Only problems are page length and lack of onscreen action.  I think in the right hands, the lack of action could be taken care of with concerned faces and tension based on the brutal truth being spilled out here. As for page length, I mean that I think this needs to play out for at least 10 minutes, and because of the way it's written with no action, it won't be nearly that long...but that's merely based on this challenge.

Very well done...easily one of the top 5, of the 27 I've read.  Well plotted and laid out.

Standing O!!!!!!


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Blakkwolfe
Posted: April 15th, 2009, 9:55pm Report to Moderator
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Pretty strong story...got a little lost with all the brothers and characters milling about...Remember Killer Kowalski back in the day...Really liked the idea and concept of the secret game as a way to pass a rainy afternoon. Excellent incorporaton of the secret picnic theme. The dialogue was good, but again a bit tricky trying to sort out all the people [watching this filmed, though, I don't think that would be an issue] Had some good dramatic tension and some strong, valid conflict...Remind me to pass on the potato salad that these people bring...
Very well done.


Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Dove Chocolate Wrapper
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bobtheballa
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 5:09pm Report to Moderator
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I really liked this one as well. The dialogue was among the most believable of any of the OWC scripts I've read so far and the game was an interesting concept.

The dialogue leading up to the game was rather boring as others have mentioned though I guess it was important for character development. I think it could have been tweaked though to give us a better idea of who each secret corresponded to. I'm not sure how you could pull all of these off but the gay one could certainly be covered by having someone let a homosexual comment slip without the rest of the family noticing it. The suicidal person could probably have a subtle slip as well.

Just a suggestion for improvement but this one's pretty good on its own. Well done!
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michel
Posted: April 16th, 2009, 7:16pm Report to Moderator
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Well written. Maybe too much dialogues or maybe it's because there are too many characters. It sounds a bit like an Agatha Christie's reunion though the end was quite unclear to me. Regarding of those secrets I wouldn't like to belong to that family... Too much...

A minor detail, instead of indicating in the action"reads", better indicate it in parenthesis under the character name in dialogues.

Michel


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 5:31am Report to Moderator
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Hi Gary,

I didn’t read any of the other reviews.

When you have a slug like CABIN, you can save some space by not putting “of the cabin” in the description. You can just say Dina walks out. Sometimes repeating something might be necessary for clarity but most often you can save some space that way.

Be careful with some of your descriptions. Sometimes they sound like a laundry list of actions. Sometimes they seem there arbitrarily rather than to propel the story.

Would Maxwell really say of his sister’s kid: “So her kid drowned…”? Sounds like he didn’t know the kid. And would Brad really pull a revolver on him over it? Didn’t seem plausible. But then again, they are pretty dysfunctional.

As the story progressed, particularly when they get to the game, it seemed to smooth out and flow much more evenly. In the early part, it seemed more forced and uneven.

Aside from all that, story wise, it was a neat story. Once they got to the game, I found it very compellingly pulled me in. Very good job there.


Breanne



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Grandma Bear
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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After the writers were revealed I wanted to read this one first because it's been such a long time since I've read something of yours and I know you know how to write.

I liked this one a lot. Thought it was clever and kept me guessing. I wouldn't be surprised if some filmmaker wants to do this one. It would be a simple script to do.

I do think that the beginning could use a little trimming. Not much, but just a bit.

At first I was thinking there were too many characters being introduced for a short, but once we get to the "game" I enjoyed everyone's secrets a lot. In fact I would have liked to see that part expanded a little more.

Great job Gary. A clever fun read. I bet you it will get filmed.  


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cloroxmartini
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 1:44pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from rc1107
is that the brothers and sister are all in their 40's and 50's, but they're dialogue doesn't reflect that at all.  In fact, without saying they're in their 40's and 50's, I would have thought that the characters were in their early and late 20's.  Maybe possibly early 30's.  A lot of them were pretty immature.
- Mark


You must be in the latter, so, you'd be surprised.

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cloroxmartini
Posted: April 18th, 2009, 2:13pm Report to Moderator
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Second poisoning thing to read. Depending on which one I read first, the ending would be deflated for the second read, as it was here - just the way it happened for me, like, oh, read this already.

I enjoyed the game here and would like to have seen it started sooner. Didn't like the ending, but it's a decent closer for this exercise. Would have liked to have seen a different secret played out like the guessing game.
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Abe from LA
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 5:58am Report to Moderator
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Astrid and Seamus,  thanks for the reads.  Yeah, I  try to incorporate wrestling into everything I write.

Mike Shelton, I hear you about the trimming.  Believe it or not I trimmed the title before submitting.  I dropped the "it" from the end. No Shhh.

1987Brian -  Didn't care for the "sting" part, huh?  They are actually cool, if you are on the observing end.  A couple of my co-workers have been caught in john busts on their lunch breaks.

Hey rc1107,  OK, so everybody sounds immature.  That actually gives me an idea for a different script.  Thanks for the feedback.

JamminGirl,  just too much food poisoning for you, huh?  Guess that's life, death and the pursuit of happiness.

Dreamscale, Blakkwolfe and BobtheBalla
, I'm pleased that most of this story worked for you.  I tried.

Michel,  Funny that you mentioned Agatha Christie.  "10 Little Indians" was something of an influence in the setup.  That and Rod Serling's "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street."

Breanne,  Thanks for your comments.  I respect your skills as both a writer and reviewer.  Yeah, you nailed me on a bunch of faux paus, especially the Cabin.  I failed to remove the isolation of the cabin after including the opening scene of Dina.
I only wish you would have submitted something.

Thank you, Pia.  I think you are about my biggest supporter on the board.  Much appreciated.  I'm surprised you didn't give this one a shot.  You do shorts so well.

Cloroxmartini ---  sorry that ending just didn't cut it for you.  I guess that's the nature of the beast.
___

Like other participants, I wrote this in 37 minutes.  It just took me 6 1/2 days to post.

As for the story:

I know the beginning is slow, but gimme a break.  I wrote that part after waking up.  I'm old and slow.
I know there are a lot of characters, and most have no personality, but I've been telling my family that all my freakin' life.
And I know the ending has a squirrelly climax and quick falloff, but I blame that on endurance issues.

The OWC was fun, as always.  I think I'm improving with each challenge.
--

My motivation for writing this script was to put myself in a dysfunctional state of mind.  I'm one of many on the SS boards to be participating in the upcoming Please Remain Calm web series.  My assignment, in 5 pages, was to write a rape scene with no real rape and no nudity.
It's to be dialgoue driven , with no real rape and no nudity. Some violence is okay, but go easy on the blood.

I guess the filmmaker thought I'd be perfect for the rape episode due to my first-hand experience with self-mutilation and penchant for dirty language.

Anyway, here's hoping I do rape better than picnics, family secrets and potato salad.  
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mcornetto
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 8:16am Report to Moderator
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Hey Gary,

I was surprised to see that you entered because we haven't seen anything from you for a while, so I thought I would give your script a read.

I thought you did a great job with the characters and the dialogue.  I did think there were a tad too many characters for a short but it wasn't that difficult to keep track of them if you paid attention.  

I thought the beginning was a bit on the slow side.  Once again the characters and the dialogue were great but there wasn't anything there that really grabbed me and pulled me into the story.

Once the secrets started flying though things really picked up.  I liked that you kept the secrets varied and I appreciated that you didn't let things slip into melodrama.  I really liked the end, quite the shocker.

Nicely done for a week.

Good luck with getting your PRC episode in. If you want someone to give it a once over before you submit it, I'm volunteering.

Cheers,

Michael    
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seamus19382
Posted: April 20th, 2009, 9:55am Report to Moderator
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"Yeah, I  try to incorporate wrestling into everything I write. "

Then I shall try to read everything you write!
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George Willson
Posted: April 24th, 2009, 4:38pm Report to Moderator
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So... Willis is the eldest brother until Brad, who is five years older, shows up? Weird.

On the whole, I really liked it. I think the secrets game was clever, especially the rule about how it can't be traced to whoever wrote it. It allows someone to confess without actually confessing and therefore spark that discussion. A lot of interesting things came out, especially the last one, considering how dad died and that he was always held responsible for the food poisoning.

Of course, Cooper was the one flipping burgers, so I don't see why they'd blame Dina.

Pretty good on the whole, though.


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Abe from LA
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Thank you for the read, Michael C.  I guess that last think I submitted was another OWC, about a year ago.  So, it's been a while.

I figured the beginning was not going to be well received, but you know how it is, sometimes we don't have the time or don't take the time to go back and make things better.

And good luck to you on the PRC segment.  I will keep you in mind to exchange reads for future projects.  I had submitted my Rape segment last weekend, a day past the "deadline."  I am a notoriously slow writer.  

Seamus --  OK, now I'll have to put more wrestling into my writing.  I was going to post something wrestling related, but I forgot how to link a Youtube video.  But as soon as I figure this out, watch out for that German supplex.

George --- thanks for your comments.  I didn't even realize that I forgot to remove the "older brother" label.  I added another brother later and just got sloppy about the ages. My bad, and  nice catch.
I'm pleased the rest of the store more or less worked for you.
I can't recall about the food poisoning, but I think I wrote that Dina brought out the potato salad. If I did not write that, well, it was in my head at some point. HA.

Off topic, I'm wondering how to link the Youtube video, so that the actual video appears.  I'm pretty sure you or Shelton posted something about this in the last 6 months, but I couldn't find the answer in the Q&C section.  Can you enlighten me?  Thanks.
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George Willson
Posted: April 24th, 2009, 10:44pm Report to Moderator
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Go to the YouTube video and there should be a link there that says "show video on your own site" or something like that. Copy that code and just paste it in a post.


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