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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  Scottish Lullaby - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    Scottish Lullaby - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 5201 views)
Posted: February 25th, 2011, 6:18pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Scottish Lullaby by Kevin Lenihan (leitskev) - Short - A peculiar boy becomes the focus of dark ambition and supernatural forces, as jealous gods reach from the past.

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

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- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  March 7th, 2011, 6:13pm
revsied script
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:06am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
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This looks like it was written in Courier New?  Change it to Courier and it wouldn't have gone over the page limit.  

I thought this pretty good.  A little wordy at times and it had a lot going on for a short, but it met the criteria well and effectively had some creepy imagery as well as a good story to supplement it.  I'll be honest - the part with Dougal, the part in the bar, how everything came together -- it came off as a bit random for me because, I think, with such a short amount of space to tell a story there's only so much you can do.  But that said I thought this wasn't half bad at all.  Nice job.


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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 9:44am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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This has a good sense of place and an effective tone. I like the use of the mythology to tell a personal story. For me the writing style could be tightened up and it might be that the story could be more focused on the key characters, especially near the beginning.

These are notes I made as I read it:

Pg 1 – Being picky, your page number should be top right and starting with “FADE IN:” is usually a good move.

Good set up of location.

“DR ALASTAIR” – Introduced twice.

“Of course. Come in, please.” – Is this a little formal for a Glasgow factory worker?

“to the kitchen, where there's a small table.” – This is an example of overly describing the scene and it has the effect of slowing the read down.

Pg 3 – I can see some things being set up here, but you’ve also got some mundane things slowing the story.

“She speaks warmly of her son.” – This comes from her dialogue and doesn’t need to be told to us.

Pg 4 – First scene with Kyle works well.

Pg 6 – I like Dougal’s arrival.

Pg 8 – Moving along well.

Pg 11 – And the finale delivers a tense finish.


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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 10:23am Report to Moderator

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The title has me hoping for a true Celtic tale.

Why for the love of fudge is there a page number on the first page in the upper left hand corner?

Pg 2 - Is Kyle a kid or an old man?
       - Why just come out and say elf, gnomes, etc? Wouldn't they be ashamed to say    this and just let what strange things mean linger.
Pg 3 - Why is there a gap in the dialog? Was there a BEAT meant to be there.
Pg 6 - Add an extra space before your scene headings to improve the reading.
Pg 9 - Please my mother will kill me - great line.

Now where's the FADE OUT? Don't listen to some folk 'The End' is for novels, but a script needs at least a fade out.

I like this a lot. I was looking for a classic tale and you delivered. Some of the other scripts I read could be any horror, but you fit the theme.

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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer


About a thousand years from now.
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Hi, Son

Gotta do the FADE IN: left justified & FADE OUT: right justified.
The world is over run with the idiots that need them, so just do it.

Page 3 - KYLE, 10.

Odd story.
Don't know how "Horror!" it is, but it's certainly creepy.


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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Well, I'm happy to report that this is easily the best of the bunch so far.

You've actually crafted a story and given your characters some life.  It's apparent that some thought went into this, and that's great to see.

Now, the not so great news...the actual writing isn't very good.  Very awkward for the most part.  Lots of passive phrases.  Missing punctuation (periods, mostly, which is rare).  You have a repeated Slug and several characters are intro'd more than once.

I'm not 100% sure exactly what's supposed to be going on, nor am I sure you need all these characters, but it's a good effort for a week's time.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:51pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

Los Angeles
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Congrats on completing the OWC.
I agree with the aforementioned format issues.
The read was chunky, but I did get through the pages okay.

There's a story here, but it's muddled with the doctor stuff.
I don't understand why we go through all that, there's no pay off for it.
The events seem a bit slapped together and a bit hard to follow.
Not much of a horror element, but has some creeps.

Overall it's decent and has some good imagery, and I like the lullaby.
Good effort.



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is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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This had some cool parts.  I think you strayed a bit from what was really interesting though.  The mother made a deal to have a beautiful singing voice.  Okay but she's singing in a nightclub?  And maybe that should have been introduced earlier.  Like if she was singing around the house.  And what was the point of Grand Da??  IMO that added nothing to your story and I kept waiting for him to show up.

So I like the concept but I think you could have executed it better.

Nitpicky stuff:

Your description of MR. CROCKET - "his first name on the chest"  I wasn't sure what that meant then I figured maybe it was his first name emoroidered on his shirt?  Then why not tell us his first name.  Seems like a wasted description since it didn't add anything.

Be careful of formatting errors like CAPPING characters when first intro'd.  That alerts us that we are "seeing" someone for the first time.  You capped Dr. Alistair twice which threw me off then you didn't cap Mrs. Crocket and I had to go back to see if we had actually seen her yet.  Thought I missed something.  This kind of thing takes attention away from your story.  And things like missing periods after Mrs. and Mr.  Just throws off the reader. Again, that takes away from your story.

This dialog doesn't make the doctor sound too credible.  -- DR ALASTAIR "Yes, I have. And on the whole, I find Kyle to be quite normal. Perhaps a bit different than the other children, but normal."  How can he be "quite" normal and "bit" different?  I'd reword this.  Maybe he's a bit different but nothing to worry about...
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 1:17pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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I would have liked first names on this instead of Mr and Mrs Crockett. Easier to discern whilst reading.

Overall, pretty good. I liked them forcing Mrs Crockett to sacrifice her own son. Though, I didn't get why she would. A bit selfish on her own part if it were just to gain the voice of a god. Maybe I missed something. Other than that, I found it well written. There were some typos and one block of dialogue had a space in it for no reason.

Good effort for a weeks time.


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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 1:41pm Report to Moderator
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I liked the mythology in this.

I don't know if you need Dr. Alastar at all - wondering if it could be just his parents talking to each other at first. Why would they go to Dr. Alastar if they are in it then? -this part is against my logic.

You said they didn't see Dougal and then they confess to the old woman that they talked to him.

So the ancestors did something and someone must sacrifice his self? For what I wonder, what would happen if they do not? -this needs to be answered I think and it was not. Or did I miss something?

The story progresses nicely I think but in the end I'm left with questions.
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:05pm Report to Moderator
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This had a creepy ending, but I wouldn't call this a horror story; more dramatic than anything else.  You need to show some threat to Kyle at some early point.  And include a little bit of the mythos earlier, too.  There was no building of suspense.  Picture this:

something happens.  something happens.  something happens.  something happens.  something happens.  something happens.  Bobby gets hit by a bus.

You have some shock value at the end, but that's it.

Now look at this:

something happens.  something happens.  the brake on the bus disengages.  something happens.  something happens.  Bobby crosses the street.  something happens.  something happens.  Bobby gets hit by a bus.

There's a little suspense in the second paragraph because the reader is aware of a threat.

Hope this helps.


Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  March 26th, 2011, 2:39am
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:06pm Report to Moderator

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I liked this. It had some good visuals. You kept me reading and very curious to find out what happens. I thought the end was disturbing with Kyle staring at the mother while she sings and I could definitely see that on screen.

Just a couple notes I have:

- Dr. Alastair is introduced twice. Had to go back and reread to make sure I didn't miss something there.

- I thought Gran Da might add something to the story but then nothing happened. I'd get rid of that.

- If I'm not mistaken, Dougal is the same age as Kyle (10) and the mother offers him a cup of coffee. Not a big deal, but I actually laughed at that because I can't picture offering a 10 year old a cup of coffee.

- I was a little confused with the man who snatches up Kyle. At first I thought it would end up being Dougal but then Dougal was just sorta there in the tunnel. Was that just a random goon? I don't know.

Anyways, good job on this. And I hope Mrs. Crockett scores some kind of Celine Dion Vegas type gig for that deal she cut with the Gods.
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 2:36pm Report to Moderator
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Right up front, I am not fond of the title.  Just saying.  I am reading for horror scripts, and this title was not speaking to me at all.

The odd breaks in long passages of dialogue tell me who this author is, I think.  I am not saying, but I am pretty sure.  And it is wrong to break up dialogue that way, btw.

I thought it was cool when Dougal arrived, but that scene ends too quickly.  A missed opportunity.  Same thing with Grand Da.  Why even put him in if you are not going to use him?

At the end, the song fits and the title fits, so I acknowledge that without backing away from my original beef with the title.
And the end is poignant and cinematic, even if I do not quite get it.  I think some of the dialogue is a bit too cryptic, speaking in riddles where something a bit more explicit might be demanded.

A nice piece, though, all in all.

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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 3:11pm Report to Moderator

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Scottish Lullaby               
Horror > Ending
Low budget  ***
Powerful ***
Original ***
Celtic Myth > (?) doppleganger, knowledge  of the hidden, sacriifce demanded
Visually interesting > An industrial town built over bog
Memorable characters >     Dougal too small a part
Unique ending > The boy held under the water
Standout moments > Dougal says hello, boy held under
LIMITATIONS  > Actress  will need to sing.

*** average impact/no specific comments               
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Posted: February 26th, 2011, 5:12pm Report to Moderator
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I'm sorry, but this one didn't do much for me at all.   Can't even put my finger on it as to why.   I suppose the story just didn't move me.   I might have to reread it  later to see what I missed.   But congrats on completing the challenge.    Sorry to be so harsh.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  February 27th, 2011, 1:22am
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