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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February 2011 One Week Challenge  ›  The Spirit of Ben MacDui - Feb 2011 OWC Moderators: Grandma Bear
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  Author    The Spirit of Ben MacDui - Feb 2011 OWC  (currently 3005 views)
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 4:38pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Wherever I go, there Jwent.

Posts Per Day
I like how this was told. The unseen things always add to the creepiness factor. Its very well written IMO.

I do think Liz needs to be put under the gun more. Maybe she hears the monster kill John outside the cave. Its too tight for it to get in after her. But it tries. The monster stands gaurd at the cave entrance waiting for her. She knows shes doomed.
I would've like that better. More tension in it at least

Overall, I still liked this though.

Good job writing a script in a week.


Private Message Reply: 15 - 25
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 5:12pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Parts Unknown
Posts Per Day
Really liked this one, my fave out of the four I have read thus far. Really well paced, characters nice and believable. Less is more technique used very effectively.


I liked the ending. Your slugs tell us that time has passed as when we go back to the final scene we are in the cave at night, so we can gather enough time has passed for her to come to her decision. I didnt think the ending was abrupt - but as mentioned above maybe we could have more tension just before it to re-inforce its final smack in the face.

Maybe at the start you could have the pair in a more tired, weather beaten state of frustration - start it tense rather than them being happy & sedate? I've never been up a mountain but guessing in these conditions it isnt a walk in the park? Maybe that would be more effective - have them already on the road to ruin before the beastie arrives?

Enjoyed. Nice work.
Private Message Reply: 16 - 25
Posted: February 28th, 2011, 7:51pm Report to Moderator
Guest User


Clean writing, interesting characters, nice (and very low budget) story.  

My only issue with it is the ending...  There just didn't seem to be a payoff.  You don't know for sure what happened to John (though it's strongly implied).  And you never see MacDui.  So when Liz decides to suicide, it's too much, too early.  We need more meat in the story for that kind of ending.  Add more scenes!
e-mail Reply: 17 - 25
Posted: March 1st, 2011, 9:51am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

Posts Per Day
The location, relationship, and tension within this work well. For me I’d prefer a reworking of the resolution of the story.

These are notes I made as I read without looking at the other comments:

Pg 1 – “to help –“ – I’ve got no problem with this continuation format. It can help things flow well. In this case though the following sentence doesn’t feel like a smooth flow on from this.

“raises the flask to her mouth” – This is an example of overly detailed description. If it says “Liz drinks as...” we’ll know she’s raised her flask.

Pg 2 – “There appears to be” – Most of the time in screenwriting some either is or it isn’t.

It seems like you are going for establishing some tension at the top of this page, but at the moment it is done a bit nebulously. I wonder if you could show something more clearly foreshadowing trouble.

Pg 3 – Good tense stuff.

Pg 6 – This was going well for me up till she ends it. It feels like a soft cut out from the story.


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Posted: March 1st, 2011, 8:54pm Report to Moderator

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Damn it! This started out so good and just died. I think maybe you had this idea and rolled with it, but didn't know how it was going to end or ran out of time. Either way expand this, give us a proper ending.

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Posted: March 1st, 2011, 10:33pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
Posts Per Day
Doesn't work for me.  Doesn't come off as at all visual or realistic in terms of the setting and situation.

Dialogue doesn't come off as real.  Actions don't come off as real.

Potential is there, but it seems like a HUGE rush job at the last second and had to be cut back to meet the deadline. If that's the case, I understand...I really do.

Congrats on entering this OWC.

To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Private Message Reply: 20 - 25
Posted: March 5th, 2011, 1:20am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Oh Hi

San Diego, California
Posts Per Day
Good premise, would be really good fleshed out, but as of now it just doesn't go anywhere.  

I like the fact that we didn't see what this thing was.  I guess I would have liked to know but I won't hold that against you.  The main issue is that you created this intense conflict here...and that was it.  Guy leaves, doesn't come back, girl kills herself.  Not what I was hoping for.

It read fast and as I said -- it's the foundation of something really good.  

Nice work.


Site Private Message Reply: 21 - 25
Posted: March 6th, 2011, 3:32am Report to Moderator

Newcastle, England
Posts Per Day
Thanks for all the reads and comments.

I planned all along to not really show the Monster, which appears to have been a mistake based on the comments. My thinking was to keep this really low budget and I also preferred the psychological stuff that I read about this particular myth - I just couldn't really find good enough ways to 'show' the fear and dread that the monster created, especially with the suicide.

Was good to get some writing done though, so thanks to Pia and Rick for setting up the challenge.


Site Private Message Reply: 22 - 25
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: March 6th, 2011, 3:03pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

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You don't necessarily need to show the monster itself, but I think you at least need more events...whether they are supernatural or just natural.

You definitely should revisit this.
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Posted: March 8th, 2011, 10:07am Report to Moderator

New Jersey, USA
Posts Per Day
I personally liked the idea of NOT showing the monster.  What the audience imagines will be far scarier to them than anything you could actually show on screen... provided the actors' reactions and emotions are properly evoked.

I agree with everyone that said the ending came about too quickly.  It felt like there was a lot of wasted potential in the scenes in the cave.  I don't even think that you need to "explain" what happens to the husband.  The dread on the wife's face could say it all.  I also found myself wishing you'd spent more time in the cave exploring the characters and their connection.  I know he was going for the bag to help her, but I still felt he left her side too quickly and too easily.  There was actually an element of your story that I liked up until I just typed my last sentence...  

When he leaves her, he says "I love you," almost like he's acknowledging that he probably won't make it back.  Like I said, I liked that while I was reading, but after the fact I realize that it's actually a flaw in the logic of your script.  If that is the case, I'd think that'd be motive for him NOT to go after the bag.  An experienced mountain climber would know that someone with this type of injury wouldn't stand a chance alone in those conditions, regardless of whether there's a monster lurking around.  He would know that there's no way she could survive on her own, so if he risks his life and loses his life going after the bag, he's essentially killing her.

Jwent had some good ideas about how to build the tension, having the monster try to get in, hearing horrific noises (perhaps her hubby's death, unless you still wanted to leave that open-ended) from outside the cave.  I thought the pacing was a good start and I thought/wished you were gonna build from there, but it just didn't go anywhere.  I'm not a parent, but I'd think that looking at the pictures of her kids would more likely make her want to fight rather than give up.
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Posted: March 11th, 2011, 10:18am Report to Moderator
Guest User

While I thought the writing was very clean and tight, I was not happy with the story.  The whole thing was a chase scene (a slow-moving chase scene, but a chase scene none the less).  I was hoping to at least get an idea of what was chasing them.


Liz kills herself at the end?  I don't get it.  I got the impression that she and John were weekend warriors and thrill seekers.  Suicide isn't in their vocabulary.  I don't even know why she did it; it would be one thing if she saw John get killed or something.

To summarize:  good story telling; bad story.

Hope this helps.

e-mail Reply: 25 - 25
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