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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  The God Stick - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Angry Bear
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  Author    The God Stick - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 4842 views)
Electric Dreamer
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 11:46am Report to Moderator
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Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

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A little too straightforward, but it plays out pretty well.
I was bummed that Grandpa's stick didn't come into play at all.
I dislike missed callbacks and pay offs like that.
Seems foolish to leave the God Stick where anyone can steal it.
For seven pages of exposition, it actually was a fluid read.
Pretty dickish to just throw the grandson in there unprepared.
If you want the comedy route, they should have gotten liquored up before the battle.
A few drinks after a tearful trip to the graveyard makes perfect sense.
Being the best way to get the grandson to believe was tale is a few pints.
Exposition is best delivered while distracting the audience with another element.
Some banter about the "new boy" from the Sorcha would have been nice too.
Biggest missed opportunity for cool title, "Sixty Seconds to Hell".
I want a write a script just so I can call it that, total drive-in genius.
Even though the narrative underachieves,  it's solid and reasonable to film. Kudos.

E.D.


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Revision History (1 edits)
Electric Dreamer  -  February 28th, 2011, 12:40pm
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Hugh Hoyland
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 12:31pm Report to Moderator
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I agree with the posters that say it flowed well. Enjoyable story and some decent visuals. and like I say of everyone who entered a story here, congrates!


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GM
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 1:06pm Report to Moderator
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It flowed well. But I think it might need a bit more expansion. For instance, Sean will not willing accept this task especially how he was introduced to it.

Gabe
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stevie
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 3:55pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah, another one that is stronger for having a UK writer(I guess?) who really gets into the mythical being.

Nice little 'family' type story with a dash of possible horror - certainly action. The best for me so far.


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jwent6688
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 5:23pm Report to Moderator
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Yep, this is definitely one of the better entries. Well told, fine writing. I enjoyed it.

My gripes would only be ones that have already been mentioned. Seems too much is at stake here for Adam to just toss Sean to the wolves. Maybe he could recall his farther telling him something he was always supposed to remember. Adam repeats his line before he locks him in.

Definitely one of the better stories. Felt very realistic. Someone did research.

Good job writing a script for a week.

James


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c m hall
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 7:36pm Report to Moderator
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I enjoyed reading this and like the ending very much.  Sorcha is presented as sort of a one note monster, I guess some are.
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wonkavite
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 8:14pm Report to Moderator
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Probably my favorite of the 3rd batch lot (at least of those I've read.)  It's pretty straightforward - there's no twist (and believe me, I was expecting one.)  But the story was a fun read, good characters, and a touch of humor.  And it was quite Celtic, so it fit Rick's criteria quite well.

Cheers.

-WV
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pwhitcroft
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 9:27am Report to Moderator
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This is a strong complete story that works really well for me. I particularly like the story telling aspect of it, which in many scripts is a bad thing, but in this one it fits well.

These are notes I made as I read:

Pg 1 – The first page has me interested, but not excited.

Pg 2 – Your story has gotten going well and you’ve set up some mystery.

Pg 4 – I like the flashbacks.

Pg 7 – Nice tension and ambiguity.

Pg 8 – Good battle.

Pg 9 – And a clean wrap up. I was braced for a twist, but I'm glad there wasn't a silly one. If you could give the ending a little more punch it probably wouldn't hurt.


Philip


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keaton01
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 8:48pm Report to Moderator
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Nitpicky Notes:
- No page number on first page is needed.
- Left justify your copyright.
- Transitions, like 'END FLASHBACK' should be right justified.
- No need for 'the end'

Beside the nitpicky notes above I didn't find any other technical faults. I liked your writing style. The actions was good. I didn't like how the story unfolded, especially with the great deal of exposition. It's a tricky juggle between telling a good story and making it clear what's going on. It certainly would be a challenging low budget short, but doable. Keep honing it.


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Dreamscale
Posted: March 4th, 2011, 2:01pm Report to Moderator
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Why is this wallowing near the bottom of Page 2?  Easily one of the top 5, if not top 3 scripts here.

Well written, although I can tell it was rushed.

Good research on Ireland as well as the dialect.  Makes for a much more convincing read.  Dialogue, although better than most, at times is easy to spot that an American wrote this.  It kind of goes in and out of being authentic and phony.  Dialogue and dialect is very tough to get right, and almost impossible in a week's time.

A few mistakes here and there, but it's an OWC, so no big deal.

I actually liked the story, but feel there are better ways of getting the exposition out than in just dialogue.  Also think there's a better way for Sean to get initiated.

Totally agree that the Shillelagh needs to be the God Stick.

The fight scene, although decently done is a problem for me.  There was some awkward stuff with the old guy outside the window that didn't read well or work, IMO.  But, the biggest issue is that I think the scene itself will play out goofy, as opposed to scary.  I think it needs to be rethought, as scenes like this usually turn out not working like you'd expect...of hope.

Great effort here!  Always nice to see a well written script every once in a awhile.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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wannabe
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 4:28pm Report to Moderator
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This was one of my top 3 picks.  With a rewrite to fill some holes this could be an awesome addition to you sample writing arsenol.    Congrats on a great script.
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_ghostwriters
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 11:35pm Report to Moderator
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Now I'll finish up my reads...

Good one Ryan, as usual you know how to tell a story and this was know different, it unfolded rather nicely.  Simple and too the point.  Definitely one of the top-notched ones.

Ghost


A-CAROLING FOR CHRISTMAS

GHOSTS OF APPALOOSA

RISE OF THE AMAZONS

THE SLEEPING TIGER

THE TIME GUARDIAN

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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Ryan1
Posted: March 6th, 2011, 4:32pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this.  This script came together surprisingly easy, as past OWCs have usually been down to the wire.  

Based on the totality of reviews, one of the "sticking points" seems to be that the shillelagh should be the God Stick.  In hindsight, this now makes a certain amount of sense to me.  But, as I was writing it, I had it in my head that the stick had to be more substantial and thicker like a baseball bat to get the job done.  More witch-crushing power.  I do regret having the stick stored in a trunk, though.  It should have been kept in hidden panel within a wall or something.  It's just that I envisioned this cottage to be so far out in the wilderness that its nearly impossible to find unless you're really looking for it.  But, in the rewrite, I might go back and work a backstory of how the Godstick is kept by the elder patriarch of a family.

Some people mentioned they didn't buy how the old man threw the kid into the witch thunderdome without any training.  Once again, I had a notion in my head that maybe didn't come across on the page.  Because the father died unexpectedly of a heart attack(not killed by the witch, as some assumed), he didn't have a chance to train and indoctrinate his son into the legacy.  And, if Grandda' had tried to tell Sean about a witch erupting from the ground, Sean would have thought the geezer was going senile.  In the rewrite, I'll go back and fix this with a line or two.  The thing is, if the kid was expecting the witch to pop out of the ground, there would have been no shock value for him.

Leitskev wrote:

"But something changes and forces the grandfather to place the burden on the grandson. Some other plan for dealing with the witch falls through. As it is now, the way the grandfather does this, Sean should beat him with the Godstick!"

This is what I meant.  The father died unexpectedly, and now the burden lies on Sean's shoulders.  Grandda is too old to be in there when the witch appears, so he had to put Sean in there and let him experience it for himself.  

Some people say it needed a twist at the end and I would disagree with this.  The only twist is that Sean realizes he's going to have to go through this every Samhain for decades to come.  This is a pretty straight forward tale and I just didn't want to tack on the obligatory horror twist.

So, that's about it.  Had fun writing it.  Glad to see most people liked it.

Ryan





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Sandra Elstree.
Posted: March 7th, 2011, 1:12am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ryan1
Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this.  This script came together surprisingly easy, as past OWCs have usually been down to the wire.  

Based on the totality of reviews, one of the "sticking points" seems to be that the shillelagh should be the God Stick.  In hindsight, this now makes a certain amount of sense to me.  But, as I was writing it, I had it in my head that the stick had to be more substantial and thicker like a baseball bat to get the job done.  More witch-crushing power.  I do regret having the stick stored in a trunk, though.  It should have been kept in hidden panel within a wall or something.  It's just that I envisioned this cottage to be so far out in the wilderness that its nearly impossible to find unless you're really looking for it.  But, in the rewrite, I might go back and work a backstory of how the Godstick is kept by the elder patriarch of a family.

Some people mentioned they didn't buy how the old man threw the kid into the witch thunderdome without any training.  Once again, I had a notion in my head that maybe didn't come across on the page.  Because the father died unexpectedly of a heart attack(not killed by the witch, as some assumed), he didn't have a chance to train and indoctrinate his son into the legacy.  And, if Grandda' had tried to tell Sean about a witch erupting from the ground, Sean would have thought the geezer was going senile.  In the rewrite, I'll go back and fix this with a line or two.  The thing is, if the kid was expecting the witch to pop out of the ground, there would have been no shock value for him.

Leitskev wrote:

"But something changes and forces the grandfather to place the burden on the grandson. Some other plan for dealing with the witch falls through. As it is now, the way the grandfather does this, Sean should beat him with the Godstick!"

This is what I meant.  The father died unexpectedly, and now the burden lies on Sean's shoulders.  Grandda is too old to be in there when the witch appears, so he had to put Sean in there and let him experience it for himself.  

Some people say it needed a twist at the end and I would disagree with this.  The only twist is that Sean realizes he's going to have to go through this every Samhain for decades to come.  This is a pretty straight forward tale and I just didn't want to tack on the obligatory horror twist.

So, that's about it.  Had fun writing it.  Glad to see most people liked it.

Ryan

If everyone doesn't already know my stupid scripts by SGA (Sandra's Give Away), now for sure they will with this comment:

I feel so strongly that there is this blood type that creates within us certain desires that we can quench, we can even be strong enough to ignore, but these desires are part of our program and there's no way in Hell that we can get rid of them. An instance:

You LOVE ice cream!!!! Is there any way you're going to get rid of that desire? The only way on our level of existence to (kinduv eliminate a desire)  is by replacing it with "another different desire".  Truth is, the first desire is never eliminated. It just becomes somewhat of a false cause.

Anyways, point:

"The God Stick" in The God Stick was the source of power in defeating Sorcha. ...

Or was it?

I'm searching within your script for that beautiful nugget.

Does "The Power" exist within us all? If it does, then how does The God Stick factor into the equation?

I'm reminded of my dad. He taught me to ride a two-wheeler regular bike. As I attempted to ride it, he held on from behind. Then, he let go...

But I didn't know...

And all of a sudden it felt a bit weird. And so...

I turned around to look at him...

Only to see he wasn't there!!!

***Many of you probably had similar experiences. The point being;

You never knew you were "without" until you felt you needed something outside of you.

In the case of my bicycle riding attempts, it's the need for my dad.

In the case of The God Stick, it's the need of __________.

How wonderful it would be to see this script rise to where we are asking ourselves:

Who does our young protagonist need?

Sandra








A known mistake is better than an unknown truth.
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rc1107
Posted: March 7th, 2011, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Ryan,

Gotta say right off the bat, I love the title for 'The God Stick'.  Lol.  Your title is actually the reason why it's one of the first OWC's I'm reading.  It just sounds so cool.  'The Lord's Stick' would also make a pretty eye-catching title, but 'The God Stick' is just as powerful.

As for the story, it's good, but I think it's one of those that would be a lot better if it was expanded.  I know, I know, there's probably a lot of people who probably say every short would be better expanded, but I think it's especially true in this story's case.  There might not be enough here to make it a full blown feature, but I think expanding it would keep the atmosphere a little more realistic.  I think the main problem with the story, which a lot of people have said, was that the grandfather just throws the kid, who I'm not going to lie, but sounds like a nancyboy in the first place, into the room and leaves him to die.  If the father had passed in April, then the grandfather would have had six months to properly train the young man and give him time to absorb the story, plus it would have built up the suspense on the approaching Samhein, and whether the tale of the witch was really going to happen or not.

Of course, I understand that you had to keep this story under 12 pages, so I guess you should only be listening to me if you plan on expanding it or not.  I think it would make a great atmospheric story on a larger scale, and give you time to smooth out those rough patches.

Another rough patch I'm speaking about is the Flashbacks.  In an expanded story, you can tell the story of the priest and the witch and not even in Flashback form.  You can have it as the beginning of the story, then go from there.  Throwing it in here in this short form, it really shows that the story was rushed.  I mean, don't get me wrong, it was good for what it was, but I think it could be even better if it's tweaked in just a few places.

And yes, I think it would be a very good idea to make the grandfather's walking stick the God stick.  Yes, it might be a little bit thinner than the one you had envisioned the grandson using on the witch, but when it all comes down to it, a stick's a stick and someone can still be bludgeoned with it.

Anyhow, very good job and I did enjoy it alot.

-  Mark


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