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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  Husks - WT5 Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Husks - WT5  (currently 1214 views)
Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 7:34pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Husks by Anonymous 70 - There is something very wrong with Earl. Something... Strange. - Short, Sci Fi, Horror

Visit for what is new on the site.

You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 8:54pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

Not a big deal but look at how you spaced out the two character's ages. Keep it clean, keep it uniform.

Quoted Text
NOTE: Earl’s face is NEVER seen clearly.

This can come through in the writing and not as a note to the reader.


Quoted Text
EARL REYNOLDS,55, country strong, wears a grey jumpsuit,
exits the truck.

And this:

Quoted Text
The muddy boot steps into the kitchen. It belongs to EARL
REYNOLDS, 55, country strong, wears a gray jumpsuit. (NOTE:
Earl’s face is NEVER to be seen.)

Very sloppy, very, very sloppy.

Stuff-just-happens-because horror. Not for me. Nothing is explained and the story sufferers.

Criteria has been met, won’t score too high anywhere else unfortunately.

All the best.

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Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 3:27am Report to Moderator

The Great Southern Land
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EARL REYNOLDS,55, country strong, wears a grey jumpsuit,
exits the truck.

I like the country-strong description. Hyphenate?
Btw, you repeat that full description further on down the page in Caps. Probably a deadline thing.

There's nothing wrong with using 'wearing'  - (yes, the dreaded 'ing' word for some script writers,) in this sentence. It's still an active description.

Okay, what's going on? A circular power saw equates to a hand-saw? Technically used by hand or on a table, but really?

This reads like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre's country-cousin, except with aliens.

Some of the writing and images conveyed are not bad, along with the tone of the dialogue.
I just think this isn't technically a handsaw, but maybe I got the wrong end of the stick.

Private Message Reply: 2 - 17
Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 4:29am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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The second 'Note' annoys me. No need to distrust the reader, plus its overall technical appearance just pulled me from the story and made me write this, to say it pulled me out of the story.

A lot of the asides slow down the read as well. Otherwise it was an okay story, except that the

circular power-saw is against the criteria – no engines or motors, just manpower like this stuff
this was the task
so criteria not met here

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Grandma Bear
Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 7:04am Report to Moderator

The Swamp...
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Page 1.   Double introduction. Awesome! He must be important!  

Page 2.   Just a personal preference, but IMHO, it's better with --
(on phone)
You sure?

--rather than V.O. Though not wrong, it makes it sound in my head as if the voice is not part of the scene, but rather laid on top of it like a narrator. (on phone) makes me immediately hear the voice through a phone filter.

Page 3. Crusty withered fingers. You make him seem like he's a hundred years old.

Okay finished. Sci-fi, check. Broken down car, check. Handsaw, sort of. You had a power saw.

As far as the story itself goes, it wasn't bad at all, just a bit old hat, IMO. I wished you had the time to come up with something unique that made this stand out some. A twist or something. Right now it's rather predictable. What if you kept Earl's face hidden like you have now so we think there's something wrong with him, but when he gets to Stacey, it's her who has the alien slugs inside and tries to kill him.

Good Luck in the WT.  

Private Message Reply: 4 - 17
Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 12:28pm Report to Moderator

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Nice atmosphere. Earl reminds me of Cockroach from MIB. However, I don't know if power saw is allowed and counts equally as a hand saw. Overall not bad.
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Gary in Houston
Posted: July 4th, 2019, 8:50am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Boy, you're adamant that Earl's face is NEVER to be seen.  But it actually is, later, right, because Stacey kicks him in the face and we see it splitting open.

Another note, when Stacey is talking with James on the phone and you use (V.O.) with him, it probably ought to be (V.O. PHONE) -- I know it seems obvious, right, but technically I think that's the way it should be done.

This isn't bad at all.  Nice little story, probably could actually be written out as a feature.  Pretty solid job in my opinion.

Best of luck, and congrats on finishing the challenge!

An utterly mediocre writer who somehow still falls bass ackwards into getting some of his scripts produced.
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Posted: July 4th, 2019, 11:20am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Pretty standard horror fare. Man gets possessed by alien force, man kills family, they get possessed. Final scene of one more impending attack.

Works just fine. Nothing really wrong, just no new ground broken at all.

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: July 4th, 2019, 11:40am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Southern California
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No hacksaw.

Some hiccups here and there - like repeating Earl's description - but solidly written for the most part. Story-wise - not much there - it's like a scene from a feature rather than a complete story, IMO

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Private Message Reply: 8 - 17
Posted: July 4th, 2019, 3:16pm Report to Moderator

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An asteroid that enters Earth’s atmosphere becomes a meteor. Aliens coming in on these space rocks is one of the oldest tropes in pulp fiction. Whatever type of creature a writer comes up with, it’s going to face stiff competition from everything that’s come before. The problem with the slugs that pop out of the infected in this script is that they don’t seem to anything “special” to their victims. Sure, they turn into homicidal maniacs, but what doesn’t?
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: July 5th, 2019, 8:25am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Shakespeare's county
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Hello writer

Ah, yes - the perils of rewriting in a tight timeframe. Bet you are giving yourself a big ol' face slap for that double introduction lol never mind, shit happens.

The meteor/asteroid distinction in the previous comment can be ignored, it's mentioned in dialogue - your character can call it whatever they want - mistakes like that are what make characters human and less like robots.

"As the blade SAWS into the glass," - Is that a thing that can happen? Don't cars have safety glass and so shatter? I dunno... but it's horror so who cares, don't even know why I'm mentioning it.

A slight inconsistency - why would the slugs fall out of Marge's mouth at the end? They don't appear to like it outside of a host so why would they do it willingly? and if they are not in Marge, how do they control here.

That aside, it was a good horror short - nothing original or groundbreaking - a tried and tested formulae but it was done well. Visually, I would start somewhere else, the meteor bursting through the atmosphere, or landing - or even have it already land and we see Earl approach the steaming crash site - something to kick us off in style.

Well done for completing this marathon.

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Posted: July 5th, 2019, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

No sh*t, there I was....

Tucson, AZ
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Can't say that it's really original. Invasion of the Body Snatchers with tentacles.

I can get picky that Earl uses a power-saw not a hand-saw but...survey says? Nice that you included a Ford Pinto, so the broken down car is a given.

A few errors and a 'EARL REYNOLDS, 55, country strong, wears a gray jumpsuit. (NOTE: Earl’s face is NEVER to be seen.)' double-take. When I'm rushed, I do the same thing with double words but this is huge. If someone else is available to proof read, that would've easily been noted.

Good job, writer.
Private Message Reply: 11 - 17
Posted: July 5th, 2019, 3:41pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Criteria met, read well to me and there were some nice horror imagery in there.

Just felt a little familiar and a bit more horror than sci-fi.

Decent effort.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays -
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Screenwriting articles -
IMDB Link -
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Posted: July 6th, 2019, 11:25am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Between Chair and Keyboard
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No copyright notice, so I'm stealing it! (Just kidding)

Quoted Text
NOTE: Earl’s face is NEVER seen clearly.

It would seem less that you're hiding something if you just "casually" mention in the action that we're seeing Earl from behind. It's also not true that we "NEVER" see Earl's face.
Asteroid is the wrong term; that's a rock in space. Once it enters the atmophere it's a meteor, and once it hits the ground it becomes a meteorite.
James isn't intro'd properly. It's hard to do non-awkwardly when someone is only ever heard on the phone, but it's still supposed to happen.
Might want to INTERCUT between the road and the Pinto interior, but I think what's there now works fine.
Very well done for just five pages.

Feature-length scripts:
Who Wants to Be a Princess? (Family)
Glass House (Horror anthology)

TV pilots:
"Kord" (Fantasy)
"Mal Suerte" (Superhero)

Additional scripts are listed here.
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Posted: July 8th, 2019, 11:13pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Vancouver, BC
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I really like this. It's creepy horror sci-fi. You got the tone right, it's cinematic, it has the right tropes...excellent for five pages!

Yes, there are mistakes here and there. Overall though, I find this is a strong entry. used a power saw. D'oh!

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Posted: July 9th, 2019, 11:25am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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It's actually a good slasher. I don't like slashers because no explanations and motivations are being offered. Just creatures attacking in some way. And in your case, they are body invaders or something. But anywho I did enjoy the read although had to skim through some of the bloody action.
I think there's a bit of disbalance - it started talky and then you go straight action, gory and all kind of stuff.
Also, I think you could cut the talk with the third person, I don't see how it related with what happens later.
It meets the criteria.
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Posted: July 10th, 2019, 12:54pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Cut to three weeks earlier

London, UK
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I'll not mention the obvious error.  The rest of the story was pretty decent.  Good atmosphere and scenes.  Meets the criteria for me.  I liked the ending too.

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Site Private Message Reply: 16 - 17
Posted: July 11th, 2019, 10:39pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Las Vegas, Nevada
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Enjoyed it for the most part. Liked the title and the corn-husk mutations. To me that was original. But the slug-like creatures seemed like overkill and by the book "we need a slime creature." The circular/power saw was cool even if it broke the rules (didn't see the criteria beforehand) and am glad it wasn't a chainsaw. That would be too cliche again. Kind of had a Lovecraft feel to it too which was appreciated.
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