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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    July 2013 One Week Challenge  ›  Unhooked - OWC Moderators: Dreamscale
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  Author    Unhooked - OWC  (currently 2715 views)
bert
Posted: July 17th, 2013, 9:44am Report to Moderator
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A nice message here -- though I fear the world would soon become a very drab place -- and I am not sure the government deserves that call-out in the logline given such a minor role.

The story is populated with colorful characters, though a few seem to have little to distinguish them apart from their names.  And Lily is not even given a single line of dialogue, making her role a particularly thankless one.

I could not buy into all of the dialogue from Matty, and the exposition is sometimes a bit clunky, particularly when Jason speaks of his transformation.

This is written well enough, however, that I suspect every drawback I mention is a result of the page limitations faced by the author.  Great descriptive work sets the scene early on, and there are no hiccups in the story later, either.

I do not know if this really needs to be longer, but it certainly could be, should the author decide to flesh out a few of these characters (Lily, in particular), and deliver the backstory in a more organic fashion, as opposed to character monologues.

Nice work on the whole, however.  I enjoyed it.  Fine selection of a title for this piece.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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pwhitcroft
Posted: July 17th, 2013, 10:05pm Report to Moderator
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I really like the sense of location in this and the distinctive nature of the people in the town. Also the topic of people giving up their addictions feels like a very powerful one that provides strong drama.

The dialogue put me off in a few places, and I guess Iíd have liked to see a bigger pay-off in the last few pages.


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EWall433
Posted: July 18th, 2013, 12:59pm Report to Moderator
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This one was one of my favorites. It misses the genre requirements, but I think thatís why it stands out so much.

You set the opening scenes wonderfully. Itís very hard to get the feel of an entire town, especially in just a few pages, but youíve managed it here. There are all sorts of great details that pull together and you use that space very efficiently. Kudos.

Iím ok with Jason being cured so easily by the water (someone has to be, in order to reveal what it does), but I agree with those above who say someone should have to make a choice. Not everyone would want to be cured by the water, or think they need to be.

There are a lot of different directions you could go with this type of story (maybe the cure only last for a short time and the town becomes addicted to the water itself), so I think thereís a lot of room for expanding this one. I donít think the government angle is the way to go. You may have put that in to meet the criteria, but I think this story is best served by keeping it somewhat close and intimate.

Overall this is a very solid entry for the challenge, though. Congrats!
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Abe from LA
Posted: July 19th, 2013, 7:56pm Report to Moderator
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I have mixed feelings on "Unhooked."  The writing at times was brilliant. Loved the descriptions early on, the nautical feel, and the dialogue between the fishermen. On the other hand, the story seems to falter some once Matty stays with Uncle Jason. Then the dialogue konks out, the logic flounders and both the mom's presence and the government's role seem thrown in to sew up the story.

The discovery of the water seemed underwhelming. Go back over the scenes where Matty finds the water, and what follows.  It's like an afterthought.  Matty's role is almost inconsequential.  Jason's change seems forced and blah, and the way he shares the water with the fisherman doesn't feel natural.

A small point that bothered me was when both Matty and his mom has scenes when they awake from sleep and looked "clean and refreshed."  Maybe allow them to wake up and slip into clean clothes. Then they can look refreshed.
And when we move to the following scene, we see Matty asleep on the boat deck and Jason walking "out of the woods with the canteen over his shoulder."  Isn't the woods like far away from the docks?

The other scene that I'm going to bust you for is the camping.  I'm thinking Jason gets so upset about his missing canteen of whiskey, that he is on the cusp of becoming his drunken, mean dad. Maybe catches himself just before slapping the crap out of Matty.
Then allow Matty to rant a few lines.  Otherwise, it feels way to expository.

The story's pacing also seems too leisure early on, and too rushed in the end.  It felt like a bigger story, and then the writer realized that it was a OWC.

Sorry for the quibbles.

Best thing I can say is this writer can write.  When not forcing scenes and dialogue, he/she can lay down some really nice images.  Seems to be a pretty good story teller with sound ideas.  For one week, very nice job.
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DanBall
Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 12:05am Report to Moderator
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Congrats on completing the OWC!

This wasn't my cup of tea. The dialogue was extremely OTN. The descriptions were okay, but got a little vague in parts and too heavy in others. The characters seemed very run-of-the-mill, probably due to the dialogue. The story was okay. I think it could be better if the presentation was improved.

On a more positive note, I definitely believe you know the small town of Ilwaco pretty well. You described it perfectly.


"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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Leegion
Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 2:45pm Report to Moderator
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Before I even get started on my review, I wanted to quote this:


Quoted Text
There are good ships, there are
wood ships, there are ships that
sail the sea but the best ships are
friendships, forever may they be.


That dialogue is pretty damn good.  Shows Jason as a tried and true good guy.

Also this:


Quoted Text
Hereís to virgins and lesbians...
thanks for nothing


One of the funniest lines I've read in a script in a while.  

Now onto my review (CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS):

W.O.W.  Only word to describe this.  

This story is phenomenal.  The dialogue is a bit on the button sometimes but other than a few minor moments where that leaks, this is fantastic.

The spring in the forest.  Magic?  A purifying spring capable of taking away people's vices, making them better people without addictions and flaws.

Perfect.  I really did like it.  Possibly my favourite so far out of those I've read, not saying the others weren't good, but this one is the best thus far.

Tremendous.

Lee

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Ryan1
Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 3:50pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Leegion

That dialogue is pretty damn good.  Shows Jason as a tried and true good guy.


That's actually an old Irish proverb.


Quoted from Leegion
Also this:
One of the funniest lines I've read in a script in a while.  


And the virgins and lesbians line has been around for awhile, too.  I think Jeff came up with that one in college.

I thought this was, for the most part, a well-written script, but fell short of really hitting its potential.  To begin with, I found it odd how the writer gave the setting a deliberately "New England" feel, even though it was supposed to be the PacNorWest.  Aside the mention of Ilwaco, Washington in the slug, which we wouldn't see, everything else points to a New England setting.  Why have a character named Boston Bob with a thick Boston accent?  And then throw in a few characters with Irish names and a Boston Bruins mention and all that's missing are some lobster traps.  The writing itself was tight and descriptive, I just think the writer could have done a better job painting the backdrop for us.

McMaster Bait was a funny spin, but was out of place with the tone of this piece.  Would have worked in a cheesy comedy, but not here.

I liked the concept here, with the magical water, but the ending was rather unsatisfying, IMO.  What's the point of moving the water?  And how exactly do you relocate a stream or pool of water?  By moving the rocks?  Didn't get the government's involvement at the end.  Really made no sense to me, nor did the ships leaving for Vancouver.  I think it would've worked better if it stayed on the island, with some kind of wicked twist regarding the waters magical powers.  Maybe there's a price to be paid for using the water somehow.  But overall, it kept me reading, so good job for a week.
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Dreamscale
Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 4:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ryan1
And the virgins and lesbians line has been around for awhile, too.  I think Jeff came up with that one in college.


I love virgins and lesbians...my competition is extremely limited that way and everything I bring to the dance has high hopes of being the best she's seen.  


Quoted from Ryan1
To begin with, I found it odd how the writer gave the setting a deliberately "New England" feel, even though it was supposed to be the PacNorWest.  Aside the mention of Ilwaco, Washington in the slug, which we wouldn't see, everything else points to a New England setting.  Why have a character named Boston Bob with a thick Boston accent?  And then throw in a few characters with Irish names and a Boston Bruins mention and all that's missing are some lobster traps.  The writing itself was tight and descriptive, I just think the writer could have done a better job painting the backdrop for us.


My thoughts exactly to the point where I was pretty sure who the writer was, but I was mistaken.

I'm also pretty sure there were lobster traps on the first page, which i had to Google to make sure there weren't lobbies off the pacific coast.



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marnieml
Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 5:31pm Report to Moderator
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Can't attach a pic right now but every pic in google images for Ilwaco,WA looked exactly like New Bedford, MA.


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ďIf someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."
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DanBall
Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 6:39pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from marnieml
Can't attach a pic right now but every pic in google images for Ilwaco,WA looked exactly like New Bedford, MA.


I've actually been to Ilwaco several times (my great-grandparents lived about 5 mins from there once upon a time). I've only heard of New Bedford, but that already tells me it's bigger than Ilwaco lol. Now I'm even more impressed you chose it without having been there.


"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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pale yellow
Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
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Really enjoyed reading this...you did a great job with it.


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marnieml
Posted: July 23rd, 2013, 3:17am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for all of the reviews, especially the in-depth ones.  I'm not a great reviewer myself, I'm just not good at giving "teacherly" advice, but I really appreciate it when people take the extra time to give constructive help.  Chris "Heretic" actually pointed out something I really need to pay more attention to and that is...make your characters work hard for what they get.  Yes!  That's very important!! It's boring when things come too easy.  

So Jeff had mentioned he was curious to hear about everyone's experience with this challenge.  I love to hear what other writer's go through so I'll share my story in case anyone is interested.  

I started by googling images of the PNW and was drawn to the fishing and harbor areas.  My family is from coastal Massachusetts so I'm very familiar with that type of area and they looked very similar. I also have quite a few salty fishermen in my family.  They drink their faces off, make crazy assed toasts and they all have nicknames.  By the way, I had no idea lobsters are scarce in the PNW.  Change it to crab traps.





Ilwaco also has dense forests, mountains and several small uninhabited islands right off the coast.  There is a main street that runs along the harbor with bars, restaurants...that kind of thing.  I don't know if anyone else does this but besides using Google images for research I also use Google maps and go on the street view.  I can do that for hours sometimes.  It really gives you the feel for a location.

So...my original idea ended up being way to big for 12 pages but I started writing it about 6 hours before deadline and didn't realize that till it was too late.  I had a much better idea for the water, how it was found and where it came from.  So that was my first obstacle.  

My second was that I totally forgot it was only supposed to take place in July of 2013.  My original idea was to not just show the positive effects of people being sober, but the negative ones. Businesses that served alcohol would suffer as well as coffee shops.  And also if no one was buying alcohol and cigarettes, the government wouldn't be too happy about it. That's where that came from.  I was really into that idea.  That part was also supposed to be adventurous, running from government people who were trying to steal the water and find out where they got it, but I just didn't have room.  

That's a little insight.  I liked this challenge.  I think it's the 5th OWC I've done??  Pretty sure. Anyway, it was fun. Thanks for coming up with the idea Jeff (and for finally liking mine this time!!) and thanks Don for being a lovely host.  


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ďIf someone is trying to bring you down, it just means you are above them."

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marnieml  -  July 23rd, 2013, 3:38am
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DanBall
Posted: July 23rd, 2013, 3:00pm Report to Moderator
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North Head Lighthouse is one of my family's favorite destinations. My parents usually use pics of it for their desktop wallpaper. That pic looks Photoshopped since it's not overcast. lol

Marnie, if you want to check out another cool fishing village in WA, check out Westport. It's a little bigger than Ilwaco, but it feels like the whole town's a dock. Every summer, they have a salmon derby that lasts a week or two. We were there for it one year. Didn't go out on any of the charters, but it was fun to see them come back in. And yeah, crab pots are really common out there. Some people use them, some people decorate with them, some do both. lol


"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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