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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October 2012 One Week Challenge  ›  House - 10/12 OWC
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  Author    House - 10/12 OWC  (currently 3559 views)
Grandma Bear
Posted: October 22nd, 2012, 3:26pm Report to Moderator

The Swamp...
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Page 1. First thought is the mountain road...This is supposed to take place at a rundown motel and it is supposed to be micro budget, hence the one location requirement.

narrator should be in CAPS.

Also typo in that first dialogue. These are quite a few errors to have right off the bat. Hopefully the story will trump those errors.

I’m only halfway down the first page and the errors are adding up. Typos and grammar issues and long wordy action paragraphs. Try to keep them no more than four lines max.

How old is Maria, btw. You said a girl riding a bicycle. is she 6 or 17?

Clunky dialogue from Maria. It’s also usually awkward to have characters talking to themselves like that.

LEAVING ROOM? I imagine English is not your native language so, I’ll cut you some slack, but I have to be honest with you too and let you know that this is tough reading.

Lots of exposition there in her last dialogue...

Those are my thoughts after the first page. You might hate me for this, but I’m going to quit here. There are 36 scripts to read and my time is limited. I’m sure you will get lots of useful comments to help you improve your style and storytelling.

Private Message Reply: 15 - 29
Posted: October 22nd, 2012, 4:14pm Report to Moderator

Los Angeles, CA
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As some have mentioned, I can't see English being your first language. That's okay, it's not mine either. Keep working at it.

In terms of screenwriting, my best advice is to create more white space. You have a lot of long lines of dialogue and long action paragraphs. These things really slow down the read and contribute to a lot of people giving up on the script.

Congrats on finishing the script!

'Artist' is not a term you should use to refer to yourself. Let others, and your work, do it for you.
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Private Message Reply: 16 - 29
Posted: October 22nd, 2012, 6:20pm Report to Moderator
Been Around

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It was a tough read but I told myself I would read every script. A couple of things, some of the requirements were not met. No supernatural background, no good versus evil outcome. Just two people talking with each other over a rare book until Maria realizes Harry has a knife ready to kill her. My advice - read more scripts, get a feel for format and so forth. Congrats on writing the OWC.
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Private Message Reply: 17 - 29
Posted: October 25th, 2012, 2:12am Report to Moderator

The Great Southern Land
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Hi Steve,

regardless of the fact there were quite a few issues as others have pointed out, due to the language barrier, there was definitely a creepy vibe to your story which I enjoyed.

Great to see you giving the OWC a go.

Private Message Reply: 18 - 29
Posted: October 25th, 2012, 3:49am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Perth, Australia
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Sorry but I'm not going to make it far into this one.

I did try and give it a chance but when that large block of dialogue started on page 2, I was out.

Obviously someone new to the craft so all I can say is well done for getting in an entry to a difficult OWC. I'm guessing others would have already mentioned some of the problems and added links and what not.

Congrats on completing the OWC.

Private Message Reply: 19 - 29
Posted: October 26th, 2012, 2:57pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
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House by - needed refuge from the weather, she find a place, make a unexpected acquainted character, ho hide a dark mystery.
Brief - A young woman discovers old books and old men have old ways of staying young.

Locations & Sets  -  Exterior, mountain road. Exterior, motel lobby/office @ night. Interior, motel lobby/office @ night.
Actors  -  MARIA (, HARRY (
Costumes  -  Old man clothes
Props  -  antique books, knife, liquid stage blood
Audio FX  -  latch fumbling, creaking door
Visual FX  - Rain effect
Other  -  bicycle
Genre & Marketability - horror drama
Comments  -  OMG. A girl riding a bicycle - on a mountain road - in the rain. When given criteria such as “microbudget” and “in a beat-up motel” a writer should stick to the producer’s criteria. Just start with her on the bicycle pedaling into the motel’s parking lot. In fact, just begin from the motel lobby interior and have her drive up to the door on her bicycle to save some effort/cost. English a second language? (That’s okay. I can only speak and write in one language, so you’re doing considerably better that me.) Alright, you gotta severely pare down your descriptions. Dialog’s a bit stiff. Turn off your screenwriting program’s mores and continueds feature. Characters are introduced in all caps followed by age and brief description.

Example, from page 2:
The step go down the stairs, frozen, she don't move,
staring at the door of the room. Sound of fumbling at the
latch and the door swing open. In the door stand a old man,
white bearded and white hair, wearing really old fashion

Cut it down to...
Maria goes downstairs. She stops at the door of another room where someone fumbles with the latch before it opens.

HARRY, 70, white hair and old clothes, smiles at her.

Now, imagine I put a video camera in your hand and gave you two actors and a stairway.
Re-read both versions a couple times and consider if you would film them different in any significant way that the viewing audience would appreciate. Probably not.
You have “INT. MOTEL LEAVING ROOM - NIGHT” four times in a row. Don’t do that. Characters are not interesting, just a nice girl that gets scared and a friendly old creep. Storm coming, but no hurricane. No decision being made. Certainly none between good and evil. Story’s a little predictable. Good use of minimal cast, a few props, and essentially one location with two brief establishing shots, one of which can be eliminated entirely. And I wanna give a little shout out to whomever wrote “One of God's Special Children” that people of different cultures do indeed have different ways of speaking and there’s nothing derogatory in intent.
Script format: needs work. Final word: Uninteresting characters & story

$500 - $1,000  Lo/Hi Estimated Budget Range
/ 5.25 Screenplay Pages
= $95 - $190 Estimated Cost Per Screen Minute

Adherence to Given Criteria:
Odd but interesting character(s) - nope
take refuge from a hurricane - nope
in a beat-up motel - yep
and are forced to make a choice - nope
between good or evil - nope
in order to survive the night. - nope
Each character must -
have some history involving a supernatural event in their lives - yep
that factors into their choice. - nope, Harry’s going to kill her, no choice
Genre is open. - horror drama
This is a micro-budget short, - yep
so no destruction of the motel, - yep
no children or animals - yep
and minimal special effects. - yep
BONUS! Story also included:
mime(s) - nope
dinosaur(s) - nope

Private Message Reply: 20 - 29
Posted: October 26th, 2012, 6:33pm Report to Moderator

Posts Per Day
Agree with the others here. Needs lots of work. Keep at it and you'll get there.

Good effort.
Private Message Reply: 21 - 29
Posted: October 28th, 2012, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

at my desk
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Don't want to kick a dead moose.

I will say something positive.  Canadian, eh?  My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Niagara Falls Ontario.  You have a beautiful country, my friend.  

Good luck in your writing.

Thanks for playing.
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Private Message Reply: 22 - 29
Posted: October 28th, 2012, 9:36pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

Well, congratulations on completing the OWC.  And welcome to the boards!  

We do all have to start somewhere.  And I know that I wouldn't be able to write a script in another language at all.  So kudos for trying.  Please feel free to ask anyone on the boards, as you have questions re: the script writing process.  That's how we all learn.

Best and cheers,

--J (Wonka)
e-mail Reply: 23 - 29
Posted: October 29th, 2012, 1:59pm Report to Moderator

Bay Area, CA
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I didn’t make it past page 2, sorry. I can usually look past grammar and punctuation errors – but you didn’t even have the proper format at all. You didn’t bother to capitalize your n in narrator at the beginning.

And sentences like “It is raining hard” irritate me. They’re so bland. Hell – you could’ve even used “It’s raining like cats and dogs” or just something more…

Can’t comment on anything more because I didn’t finish.

Private Message Reply: 24 - 29
Posted: October 29th, 2012, 3:08pm Report to Moderator
Been Around

I got dipping sticks.

Los Angeles
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haha looks like Steve broke his silence.

can't afford to spend much time on this one. seriously rushing like a mad man.

just a tip. your expository paragraphs are WAY too long. should cap it around 4 lines, 5 lines max. scripts should be easy to read. and when you come across a chunk like that, reading your script becomes a chore.

congrats on completing a script in another language. i'll try to take a look if and when you repost it.

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Private Message Reply: 25 - 29
Posted: October 29th, 2012, 5:01pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

Posts Per Day
I would not give this another look.

Quoted from SteveCadieux
i am french Canadian, lol.
Steve Cadieux

Typical Canadian. Didn't even read any other entry.


Private Message Reply: 26 - 29
Posted: October 29th, 2012, 5:19pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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And over 20 peeps plodded through this "script".


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Private Message Reply: 27 - 29
Posted: October 30th, 2012, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

English is not your first language; I figured that out right away.  You're not the only one like this.

From what I can tell, this didn't really meet the criteria of the challenge as there was no good-and-evil-choice to be made.

This story, from what I can tell, reads like the first few pages of a longer piece, or is a summarized version of a feature script.  You cut straight to the chase without any build up in story or characters.

When Maria found the book, her dialog is extremely on-the-nose.  She told us everything about the book that we, the readers, needed to know.  People don't talk like that in the real world; your characters shouldn't.

e-mail Reply: 28 - 29
Posted: March 8th, 2013, 11:42am Report to Moderator

Posts Per Day

Adiams, Let's change the narrator into a capital n, Where it looks like this: Narrator.

And when the old man is introduced for the first time, You should capitalize, such as this: OLD MAN. When the old man speak for the first time you should address the character cue as this:

                                             OLD MAN/HARRY  

And finally, Please eliminate the profanity orphan word at the end of Maria's sentence.
It can go on to greener pastuers without it.

Your story is a great gathering by the fireplace night-time story, Which probably would be a bigger story and attract more readers if it was somewhere in the United Kingdom.

A great story.


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Private Message Reply: 29 - 29
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