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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Wisp - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    Wisp - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 4055 views)
Posted: February 24th, 2011, 5:34pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Wisp by Harley G Wolfe Jr. (Hugh Hoyland) - Short - Don't follow the light. 8 pages

A February 2011 One Week Challenge script. - pdf, format

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Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 9th, 2011, 5:41pm
revised script
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:05am Report to Moderator
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I found the set-up here a little too clichť, with no cell phone service, expository dialogue, and a young couple that has run out of gas, of all things.

The bluish light in the woods might look kind of cool, but the dialogue for the goblin feels a bit tacked on, and for all their running about in the woods, the payoff for this story is not quite there.

You have some grammar errors scattered about, but this generally read fast and well enough, showing that you can do this, even if this particular script was not the best showcase for that talent.

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:21am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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I don't think I've ever seen so many apostrophe errors.  The amount of misplaced punctuation is insane.  Even if this was written in 10 minutes I still wouldn't expect that volume of mistakes.  

That said, this read surprisingly fast.  Just know that every time I saw a phantom apostrophe-s I cringed and stopped for a split second.  Pretty basic setup but I actually liked the use of the voices as well as the goblin.  Maybe a little random sure, but also a bit ambitious.  

If you did indeed chug this out in 10 minutes then it shows.  I know 7 days isn't a lot of time to write a great short, but if you don't have time to even proof your own work then, well, these are the reviews you're gonna get.  But if you really don't know how to use an apostrophe then I would definitely look into rectifying that.


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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:32am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Your first slug says TWILIGHT - CONTINUOUS. Since thre is no scene that proceeds it (possibly taken out in a quick edit?) it reads incorrect. Nitpicks may say otherwise but TWILIGHT will suffice (better yet, DUSK)

I made note of grammar/spelling mistakes. Most of them deal with 's - keep a sharp eye on that. It's rampant from start to finish.touchís =touches, shine's=shines and so on.

Quoted Text
Emily slumpís for a second, then in a panic startís running
to. Sheís quickly loosing site of Daniel in the darkness.
She yellís at him.

Here's how it should look and read something like this:

Emily slumps for a second.  Panics.  Runs.
She  loses sight of Daniel in the darkness.
She yells at him.

You want to keep action in the present, "Then" is a word that can be cut and you lose nothing. When you show the action in a present and active form, the action happens "then" so "then" isn't needed. Also in other places, watch for 'begins' and 'tries'. Characters do. They don't begin to try.

Look at ths:

Quoted Text
Then from the darkness a hand grabís her shoulder.

Now watch and compare:

From the darkness a hand grabs her shoulder.

and while I'm on p4:

Quoted Text
She almost jumpís out of her shoeís. She does or she doesn't. How about 'She gasps'?

Continued heads and foot should have been clicked off.

I tried really hard to get into this. I flunked. The script reads like it was written in an hour, caution thrown to the wind. The good news is that if you are new to screenwriting, you have a little bit here which you can clean up and work on.

I couldn't get into it.

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:51am Report to Moderator

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What they said.

For me it was too straight forward with no real foreshadowing beside what was crammed down our throats by cheesy cliche dialog. I would say rework etc, but honestly I would add this to the lessen pile and develop another story. The only way to get better is to write, write, and write some more.

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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 4:44am Report to Moderator
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Little known fact, as cool, calm and collected as I appear to be I suffer from Anxiety disorders in which bring on panic attacks.  They're not pleasant.  In fact, they're probably the scariest 10 to 30 min one can experience in their entire lives.

With that bit of information out of the way... This script almost brought me to one.  But not because it was scary or shocking.  Rather because it was frightfully bad.  Luckily I took my meds early tonight.


Continued at the tops and bottoms of your pages -- Turn that useless feature off for your next script, please.

Your dialogue is a train wreck.  I pride myself on dialogue above and beyond anything.  If it's even a little off-brand tasting, I go back to the drawing board.  Yours is chock full of on the nose exchanges and over reaching. You're telling us too much of the story and not showing us.  And in the event you did show us (the car out of gas) you tell us that it is right afterwards.

I can't believe you put (') those behind pretty much anything you see fit to have one.  That's pimp.  I'm a musician well before I'm a screenwriter, but you write like I'd write lyrics to a song.  It's stop, touch and go with you.

Things like this --

Emily sayís nothing. She hears a twig snap from behind the
treeís, like someoneís approaching.

Really bother me.  

A twig SNAPS within the trees -- Someone approaches.

Try that.  It works.

And what about this tasty little tid bit --

He actís like he didnít hear her criticism

No... Just no.

It just goes down hill from there too.  It just takes a left turn into a town I call absurd.  Anyways, you completed a script in a week... Within the challenge requirements.  That's tops.
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 7:22am Report to Moderator
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My first we go.

I didn't think this was so bad.  I can see you were focusing on building suspsense.  Kinda had my heart racing a little.    Of course I was all alone in a dark room when I was reading it, so that kinda added to the creep factor.   Aside from the grammatical errors I give it a solid 5 1/2.   Lots a white space.  Kinda campy.  Easy to film.  Good job on that.

I'm not gonna pick it apart any further.  Congrats on completing the OWC.  They can be intense.

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  February 26th, 2011, 7:45am
e-mail Reply: 6 - 31
Posted: February 26th, 2011, 8:35am Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
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Hi, Gregory

Rather than gripe and complain I'll help on some simple stuff.

If you're using Celtx get rid of the MORES and CONTINUEDS this way:

Yeah, you should google "How to use an apostrophe". Really.

When using the alternate of the word "very" or "also" the word is spelled with two "o"s = too.
- Iím to nervous. - or "very", should be - Iím too nervous.
- Gotta catch em before they get to far - or "very", should be - before they get too far
- in a panic startís running to. - or "also", should be - startís running, too. - with an comma before it!

Things like "Ok" shouldn't be acronymed or abbreviated.
You always have to write the entire word out = "Okay". Never "OK" or "WTH?". Okay?
While we're on it, numbers need to be spelled out, too. = "five" or "twenty-two".

Move the end-of page 2 cell phone bit up to where Emily says "You should have called an
ambulance". Makes more sense there.

The characters engage in several unreasonable or irrational actions.
Like children with the attention spans of small dogs, or dialog that sounds more like "Wizards of Waverly Place" than "CSI".

I'm going to hazard a guess you're young rather than non-native English speaker.
If some of these grumpy goblins around here haven't chased you off forever, concentrate on your dialog.
Don't worry about story structure, largely that will follow the conversation, and you can modify the conversation later to fit your story.
Work on your dialog - by reading something... I don't know. From

"Superbad" probably might be up your alley.


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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 10:18am Report to Moderator

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I loved this line: "The light hoovers motionless."  Not sure why.

A lot of the grammar is off.  The number of " 's " is incredible.  Some advice: read a bunch of screenplays stat.  

On a positive note, you didn't get overly descriptive.  Lots of "white" on the page, which was good.  Keep writing!
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 10:42am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Needs a proof read next time. If it's a short, feel free to send it my way. I am new to formatting, but can help a little with the grammar.

As far as the story, two things: 1) it is not the kind of thing I prefer. No subtlety, no theme, no intellectual challenge, no real development of character;
2) my preferences are a very poor indicator. Lovers in the woods, blue lights, ugly goblins, the boyfriend irrationally charging a monster...this seems to be what works and is generally well received, both here and in the larger world of film. So fix the little format bugs and grammar, and you're well on your way hopefully to some success!
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 11:24am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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I liked the end of it actually - she wakes up, sees Darren dead and follows her mother voice. It's like posing the question once again - who's dead, us or them...

the apostophe thing - is that a formatting thing, maybe transferring it to pdf did it to your script - you didn't got one right I think.

Continuous in the starting slug made me thing that you had it in expanded version maybe. I think the slugs shouldn't start with continuous.

You could cut and make the dialog punchy, I think. The story flowed nicely - it's just too much of the same thing was said over and over and the dialog was a bit on the nose.
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:40pm Report to Moderator

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Wow... someone is apostrophe happy. I have to agree with Greg and I really just couldn't get past it. I may not be perfect but the amount of grammatical errors just shut me down as a reader.

This story may have been good but no reader would give it a chance. Learn your weaknesses and work on them. Bone up on your grammar and even think about having a proofreader.

At any rate, congrats on finishing the challenge. I unfortunately was unable to meet the deadline.

On a humorous side note, I bet Dreamscale's head probably exploded on this one and I mean "Scanners" style. Anyone heard from him since last night...

The Door (Horror/Thriller) - 116 Pages

Currently Working On:
The Devil's Brigade
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:56pm Report to Moderator
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That's me in the corner
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Quoted from JCShadow
On a humorous side note, I bet Dreamscale's head probably exploded on this one and I mean "Scanners" style. Anyone heard from him since last night...

Haha -- just giving props to a full-blown LOL, with a wonderful pop-culture reference to boot.

Us dreary mods need to read the reviews as well as whatever scripts we can -- it's a big job -- so thanks for cracking me up along the way.

Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 1:42pm Report to Moderator
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Normally, I wouldn't comment on grammar or spelling in a OWC, but your regular misspelling of words that end with the letter 'S' was driving me insane!  You seemed to have done it every time.


Quoted Text
Daniel cupís his handís over his mouth.

It should read:  "Daniel cups his hands over his mouth."  No apostrophes!

That aside, I thought the story flowed nicely.  Your characters had their own voices.  The suspense, however, stopped building after three or four pages.  You can do only so much with two people chasing a light.  Add something to raise the stakes a little.

The ending was nice.  It ended in a good spot without any super-surprise twists.

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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 1:45pm Report to Moderator

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Low budget     ***     
Original >Predictable     
Celtic Myth     > Goblin     
Visually interesting***      
Memorable characters***     
Unique ending***     
Standout moments***     
*** average impact/no specific comments                    
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