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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    July 2013 One Week Challenge  ›  The Light - OWC Moderators: Dreamscale
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  Author    The Light - OWC  (currently 2881 views)
Posted: July 13th, 2013, 7:30pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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The Light by I - Short - A family struggles to cope with a child's discovery. - pdf, format

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Posted: July 13th, 2013, 8:48pm Report to Moderator

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The logline could use some flare, you might miss out on a few reads because of how bland it sounds.

Page 3 - "He ain’t going ’n die." Doesn't read well for me, I'd suggest just saying it normally.

The unlabelled flashbacks do get confusing at times, at least I think they're flashbacks? They certainly don't seem to reveal anything we don't already know -- or that we don't need to know.

Not a fan of the ending, you slowly build it up but it doesn't really lead anywhere. In the dialogue, you suggest that this is a family thing but why is Miles the first kid to step into the light? I mean really, why, after so much time didn't the father or the grandfather go inside. I just don't buy it, this quiet kid without much character IMO, would do such a thing when his family wouldn't.

I honestly would've preferred to see what happens, or at least get some glimpse or some kind of suggestion. Regardless though, this had a nice, almost surreal vibe to the script and I enjoyed that.

Grade: C+
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Posted: July 13th, 2013, 9:02pm Report to Moderator

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Wait. Wait.  What?  What was that?  I....I'm so confused.

First, I'm saying this really didn't meet the challenge requirements in three ways:  (1) it really doesn't make any reference to the Pacific Northwest as far as I can tell, (2) it can't possibly be anything other than a PG-13 at most (mom drinking a lot of wine and she says "hell" a couple of times), and (3) we don't know whether what Miles is looking at is really something that can change the course of mankind.

As to the story itself:  It was way too clippy for my taste.  By that I mean the scenes all seemed to last 10-15 seconds at most and seemed to end before they were supposed to.

We don't get any real explanation as to why Robert has shown Miles the light, other than his father showed it to him when he was a kid.  But we don't know what the light is about, what happens when you go into the light, or why it has a mesmerizing, hypnotic effect on Miles.

It's also way too long into the story before we can any sense of what is happening.  In a short like this, we need to have some meat pretty quickly.  I don't feel like I even got an appetizer before the end.   The dialogue was also pretty spotty.  Some of it was okay, but a lot of it was pretty clunky.  Also quite a few grammatical and spelling errors.  I'm guessing this was pretty rushed in the writing to beat the deadline.

Sorry for the negative comments, but hopefully others got a better sense of this than me.

Grade: C-

My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Posted: July 13th, 2013, 10:12pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Yeah, gotta agree with hawk.

I had no idea what was happening, what was meant to happen or why.

I didn't realise there was no violence or whatever till hawk mentioned it.

I think the writer had his idea there in front of him but couldn't nail it. Something is there I guess but it needs a big rewrite

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Posted: July 13th, 2013, 11:03pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
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As I go:

Not sure what it looks like to be "harassed," as a permanent state?

There's just absolutely no way a 10 year old can stop two adults from taking him away from a place. That doesn't sell. Shove the little guy in the SUV and get going, that's all there is to it.

Have they tried following him?

This mystery is growing tiresome, because it feels like the family are highly motivated but totally static. If there's a reason they can't do any of the obvious things -- take the kid away, follow the kid, etc -- I think we need to know that that reason exists.

This is the second script that seems to have confused the Pacific Northwest in 2013 with the American South in some older time period.


So the story, as I gathered it, is an interesting one, I think, but the execution isn't really working for me. The mystery isn't revealed by action -- it's just revealed as people slowly reveal it, through expository dialogue. None of the characters create changes in the story's momentum in any way, except when Mom pressures Dad to go out and talk to Miles...but that's really just more exposition.

I also don't think the idea works without us understanding why Miles is different from his familial predecessors. The only criteria we're given is innocence, so, he's more innocent? But that doesn't really matter to us. What I think this story needs is an arc in which Miles proves himself -- shows the being and the audience why he's different.

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Posted: July 13th, 2013, 11:45pm Report to Moderator

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I'm not digging this one, some of the above and some of my own.  I think the concept is there, but some elements are absent.  Your characters have desire, but they never move past them.  A desire should be the starting point of the structure.  An internal need is present, but is never revealed, which is not crowd pleaser.  Also, there is no self revelation - which is important because it reveals the theme.

Good job, a few diamonds in the rough.

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Reef Dreamer
Posted: July 14th, 2013, 5:31am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The effects of writing again....

The Island of Jersey
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The light

As we go this appears to be non linear - losing me a touch but sometimes they get clearer as they go, let's seei I like Abby - she knows how to knock it back!!
P4 - Roberts place's'
P4 at the end of this page I'm not wholly sure what is going on. Robert took them to the woods, Miles goes weird, sees lights - that we know - and the mother is stuck in the cabin with lots of bottles of wine. Don't blame her.
What's a 'back- back'?

Ok, a simple, story. A mysterious light in the woods - like that - and a family obligation to return with the son.

The boy finds the light, alone it seems, goes night after night and drives the mother mad. The daughter is a bit passive.

Where the R rating ?

This comes across as a gentle drama caused by a family secret which divides them.  Whilst it is sensitively handled it may require a bit more punch. Shouldn't be too difficult to film though.

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
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Posted: July 14th, 2013, 6:51am Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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Another example: EXT. FOREST ROAD - DAY
The SUV sears along the forested road.

I know we only had a week, heck some of us only had 24 hrs but I feel a bit short changed with these slug headers considering that the Pacific Northwest locale is meant to be 'front and centre' of the script. You're not the only one, mind you...that element is just a little disappointing and I find I'm not engaging with the story so much.

Overall this one's just a little too 'lite' for me. I just didn't feel any great urgency or suspense or much drama either.  No major errors but just no major stakes either. Perhaps the deadline was looming?

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Posted: July 14th, 2013, 9:45am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

The bleak North East, England
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Not for me this one.  I didn't mind the non-linear approach but it was the story itself that left me disappointed.

It had an opportunity to be a nice mystery, a slow burner but then there was no real pay-off at the end.  There was too much left unexplained, what was the light, what does it do to Miles and why is Abby letting this happen if she doesn't approve?

I also don't see this being an R rated movie

I think this story got lost in the forest.

Check out my scripts...if you want to, no pressure.

You can find my scripts here
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Posted: July 14th, 2013, 1:12pm Report to Moderator
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Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Awkwardly written throughout.  No clue what's happening, as each scene is either out of order or it's an odd structure that I'm no following.  Dialogue isn't written well, nor does it sound believable.

I don't get any Pacific Northwest feel here.  Way to much dialogue.  Definitely not R rated.  Miraculous discovery?  No clue what was discovered.

Sorry, but this ain't for me.

Thanks for entering.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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irish eyes
Posted: July 14th, 2013, 7:50pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

There`s too much blood in my alcohol

Upstate New York
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Not the most invigorating logline

sorry not R- rated maybe written by one the younger peeps.

I got confused all the way through and I don't think it fell under any of the parameters required besides a young boy.

Congrats on finishing though


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pale yellow
Posted: July 15th, 2013, 8:20am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Jacksonville FL
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There was a little mystery in this with the light. But it was a confusing read for me. Not much happened. I had to stop before I got through this one. Sorry. Good though for completing the owc.

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Posted: July 15th, 2013, 3:42pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

It's okay with me.

Columbus, IN
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It seems like this one was written in a hurry. Half the story made it to the page, the other half is still in the writer's head. Also, the bad grammar made it a little incomprehensible for me. Try reworking it some and try it again. There's a good story in there somewhere.

"I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember The Road Warrior. The man we called 'Max'."

THE PINBALL WARRIOR (scifi, WIP, ~30 pg.)
A STAND AGAINST EVIL (short, 9 pg.)
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Posted: July 15th, 2013, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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p.1 - ‘fast balding’.  Odd description.  Receding maybe? As for ‘harassed’ is he generally harassed or is it specific to the moment and how he enters the room?  No biggie, just stood out.

Felt like the story jumped back and forth with nothing to indicate the time-frame.  Though I could kind of keep up I had to go back and check locations to see where we were following on from.

p.4 - Miles’ sounds a little older than 10 here in his dialogue. Again on p.10 there were a few lines that stood out as sounding as if he was older.

Though it fell short on a number of the challenge requirements I actually kind of enjoyed this -- there’s a simplicity that worked to counter the more abstract back and forth and it was close to being one of those stories where I came away not minding too much that I didn’t ‘know’ exactly what was going on.  

I only wish I’d had a better understanding as to what the ‘light’ wanted with Miles (or with people in general) and why Robert would allow his son to go when neither he nor his father had done.  I’d also wonder how Abby would let it happen -- think she’d be a damn sight more protective.  

What stood out to me is the idea of a couple struggling to accept losing their son to this strange ‘light’.  It’s the human element that drives the story and although it would take a lot more by way of set-up to convince the reader that parents could freely allow their child to go, it’s where I think this story could really work.    


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:
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Posted: July 15th, 2013, 5:26pm Report to Moderator

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Doesn't really hit on any of the challenges. You have a cabin in the woods but that could be just about anywhere in the world. The story itself felt like it was set in the past and for an R rating, well there wasn't one. More like a PG drama.

Interesting story though, a bit confusing at times but could be really good with a solid rewrite.

Congrats for finishing the OWC.

- Dirk
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